A couple of weeks ago, the world lost one of the icons of my childhood, voice actor Kevin Conroy.
Mr. Conroy was well known for voicing Batman in many shows, movies and video games, starting with the Batman Animated Series.
With a column name Caped Cearnsader, those of you reading likely know I am a fan of comic book characters and superheroes. My first introduction to Mr. Conroy’s work was through the Justice League Animated Series. From the first episode, the show hooked me. I wanted the toys, the pencil case, and really any other merchandise with images of the show’s characters. However, despite having a heavy lineup of characters with superpowers, my personal favourite character was always Batman. I wanted to see more of his work, and I got excited whenever Kevin Conroy voiced Batman in another show or movie.
I think, Mr. Conroy showed, through his portrayal of Batman over the years, you don’t need powers to make a difference. Sometimes, all you need to have is the right attitude and a sharp mind. In the shows and movies, Batman was never outmatched or intimidated by heroes or villains with superpowers. This would’ve obviously been a challenge for Mr. Conroy. How does one make it, so Batman seems like he belongs with the world’s finest? He made it work, and in a big way, with Batman sometimes seeming like the Justice League's leader.
Though, what has always stuck with me, about his portrayals, is how he brought real humanity and emotion to a bit of a darker character. Just from how he spoke, I could tell when his character was feeling deep hurt or sadness, as well as how much Batman truly cared about his super friends, his sidekicks and butler.
I, often, still quote some of Mr. Conroy’s greatest lines, such as the “I am vengeance” speech.
Apologies to Adam West, Michael Keaton, and other voice actors who have taken on the role of the Caped Crusader over the years, but, to me, Mr. Conroy, was the true iconic voice of Batman. The world has now lost a great talent, and for some, a great hero. Rest in Peace, Mr. Conroy, and know you’ve impacted superhero fans like me greatly.