Though it took a beating from many critics and fans alike, Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice also has it supporters in both categories. The film has now earned nearly $900 million at the worldwide box office – and in the months since its release, many folks with ties to the cinematic or televised lineage of DC’s most iconic heroes have offered their thoughts on the film (both positive and negative).
One actor with close ties to Batman that hadn’t chosen to weigh in until recently was Kevin Conroy, who has been supplying the voice of the Dark Knight in various projects for over two decades. His tenure behind the cape and cowl began with the legendary Batman: The Animated Series, which also established Mark Hamill as the most revered voice of The Joker. If anyone knows a thing or two about Batman, it would definitely be Conroy – and it turns that he has a bone to pick with Ben Affleck’s version of the Caped Crusader in Batman V Superman.
“Personally I love the fact that Batman – in the stories I’ve done, and the way he’s been rendered by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, the people I’ve worked with most closely – he never kills anybody. He doesn’t cross that line. Batman is not a killer. […] “In the most recent live action movie, that seems to have been a line that was crossed and it’s not one I’m particularly comfortable with.”
While Conroy is correct in asserting that his particular rendition of Batman isn’t a killer, and he’s certainly entitled to his opinion on the subject, it should be noted that Affleck’s Batman is far from the first version of Batman to kill bad guys. In fact, he’s not even the first big-screen Batman to off criminals with extreme prejudice, as Tim Burton’s Batman (played by Michael Keaton) also had little compunction about killing.
Additionally, while Christian Bale’s Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy ostensibly had a staunch no killing rule, he seemed to have no issues letting a villain die via inaction or at the hands of someone else. After all, he tells Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) that he “doesn’t have to save him” before allowing him to die, and seems to have no issues with Catwoman killing Bane near the end of The Dark Knight Rises. In essence, Batman has always and will seemingly always be a character with complex and flexible morality, even if Conroy’s crusader manages to keep blood off his hands.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash and Batman solo movie are currently without release dates.