There’s little more talked about in the DC Extended Universe right now than Ben Affleck in the role of Batman. Also known as Bruce Wayne, the hero is one of the most instantly-recognizable for millions across the globe and, for those who have seen Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck’s performance as the billionaire vigilante was one of the shining moments and biggest takeaways of the entire flick.
In the past, we’ve seen five other men take on the live-action version of Bats, with Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale stepping into the role.
Each has brought their own spin to the character, bearing down on different aspects of the Caped Crusader’s personality. Though nobody’s perfect, when fans first saw Ben Affleck in the role in Dawn of Justice, it became obvious that he was the best we’ve seen to-date.
Here are the 15 Reasons Ben Affleck Is The Best Batman.
15. He’s an incredible fighter
When we see Batman in combat, we’ve come to expect some pretty extravagant and exciting scenes, especially following the fights gamers have taken part in during their time with the Arkham video game series.
Live-action fighting in superhero films and television shows has certainly evolved throughout the times; we’ve moved further away from West’s comic book-esque “KAPOW” sequences and more into the grittier side of things. This really allows Affleck’s version of Batman to come across as one of the most violent, dangerous and unpredictable Caped Crusader’s we’ve ever seen.
Bale held the title as best Batman fighter following his time in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but after being completely decimated by Tom Hardy’s Bane in Dark Knight Rises, it became clear he was a man who could be broken.
14. He’s the closest to comic book Batman we’ve ever seen
Affleck’s suit is the most faithful to the comic books that’s ever graced the big screen. As Bruce Wayne, he’s also able to pull off the confident and oftentimes smug persona that we’ve become used to throughout the years.
Physically imposing both in and out of the Bat suit, this version of Batman is an incredibly menacing one, who looks like he’s been ripped straight from the pages of a comic book or graphic novel. Tall, stocky and with the perfect jawline, this is a Batman that meets all the requirements of the loyalists who have been reading the hero’s adventures for decades on end.
13. He actually puts in the work in a strict training regime
In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice we see the most gruelling training regime that a big screen version of Batman has ever undertaken.
Though he’s been around for some time, this weathered version of Bruce Wayne isn’t afraid to get down and gritty with a brutal series of workout options that ensure he continues looking like one of the most dangerous people on the planet.
Immediately convincing everybody watching of his power and strength, this minor sequence is one that actually turned out to be one of the most memorable from Dawn of Justice. It not only proved Batman’s power, but also showed that Affleck himself is willing to put in the work to become the most physically impressive Dark Knight to-date.
12. He works like an actual detective
Having been in the business for some time, Affleck’s Batman is somebody who will have studied exactly how to get things done in the most efficient ways.
One of Batman’s mantles that often goes forgotten is World’s Greatest Detective, but Affleck’s skills throughout Dawn of Justice do well in reminding us just how important that position is this time round.
We’ve seen West’s version of Batman do a little sleuthing in the past, and Bale’s Bats did some forensic work during his tenure in the role, but Affleck did more in one movie than those two did in entire runs as the hero.
Going undercover, following leads and at times, simply using his gut to advance his ambitions when it comes to taking down criminals, Affleck’s Batman is the closest we’ve seen to acting like an actual figure of official authority.
11. He can switch between Bruce and Batman in a second
There always seems to have been a tipping of the scales in one direction or the other with the Batman actors of the past.
Fortunately, Affleck can nail both of the roles impeccably well, whether he’s mingling with the elites of society as Bruce Wayne, or taking down criminals as the Dark Knight himself. While Keaton and Clooney (minus those bat nipples) nailed the superhero side of things, they weren’t the most convincing Bruce Waynes.
Bale was always stronger in the latter role, despite also being a great Batman at times. With Affleck, there’s no calling on a superior side– he’s perfect in both of them.
Whether he’s using his playboy persona to serve a greater purpose or wiping out the criminals of Gotham to ensure its citizens live in a safer environment, this is the Bruce Wayne-turned-Batman we all grew up with.
10. He’s always two steps ahead of his opponent
Putting up an incredible fight against Superman (who should technically outrank him immediately), and actually besting him in Dawn of Justice’s biggest fight sequence, Affleck’s version of Batman is obviously somebody who studies his strategic approach instead of diving straight into a conflict.
This is the man who figured out how to take down Doomsday; a rampaging and evil monster that would go on to murder the Man of Steel. Consistently able to outthink his opponents, it’s hard to imagine what could stump this hero.
He’s proved himself time and time again in past bust-ups that are alluded to throughout Dawn of Justice, and we see him face his biggest challenges throughout that movie.
Will he finally meet his match in Justice League? We wouldn’t count on it. In fact, the only thing Affleck’s Batman didn’t plan for was those primarily negative reviews.
9. He’s gotten right to the core of Batman’s psyche
Batman is somebody who has been through a lot. He’s been tortured both physically and mentally, witnessed the murder of his two parents as a child, and spent his life brooding, before taking on a completely different personality and role in society.
It’s enough to turn anybody into an angry, paranoid, untrustworthy loner, and that’s something that Affleck’s version of the Caped Crusader has so far managed to show off in spades.
This isn’t a hero you’d want to be best friends with, but at the same time he’s the most relatable and grounded version of Batman that the big screen has ever showcased.
8. He’s not afraid to work as part of a team
Affleck’s version of Bruce Wayne is the man finally responsible for working alongside Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in bringing together some of the world’s most powerful heroes to form the Justice League.
In Dawn of Justice, while his primary goal is to take down the Man of Steel, he eventually comes to realize that he can work alongside Wonder Woman to achieve one singular goal: saving as many innocent lives as possible when the world is faced with a dangerous threat.
While trailers have shown Bats may be struggling to warm to the King of Atlantis, we’re sure he’ll put aside his personality clash for the greater good, which is exactly what we all want from the Dark Knight.
7. Kevin Conroy says he’s the best live-action Batman
For two and a half decades, Kevin Conroy has brought animated versions of Bruce Wayne and Batman to fans using just his vocal cords, making his voice one of the most distinctive and instantly-recognizable in the industry and certainly amongst superhero fans.
It’s fair to say that when it comes to passing judgment on the role, Conroy’s opinion holds a lot of weight.
Exciting it was for fans of Affleck then when, earlier this year he told CBR: “I think some of them [previous live-action Batman actors] get Bruce Wayne more than they get Batman, and some of them get Batman more than they get Bruce Wayne. I think Ben Affleck has probably gotten the best balance of the two. He’s a really good Bruce Wayne and a really good Batman.”
6. He’s been in the game for some time
Studying his opponents for many years, Affleck’s Batman is an experienced hero who’s been working within the “industry” for quite a while.
Despite the fact that he’s not afraid to admit that he doesn’t always have the answers to every mystery brewing in Gotham and beyond, he makes a convincingly realistic Batman– after all, that’s all part and parcel of the job.
This is job that he understands better than anybody, having lost his faithful partner Robin, aka Jason Todd, to the Joker in events that took place pre-Dawn of Justice.
Though there are rumors that some of Affleck’s past Batscapades will be explored in future films, there’s every chance we won’t ever see them transpire in live action, and that’s okay. It just further solidifies Affleck as a Batman who has been through some incredibly tough times.
5. He brings the Dark Knight into a new era
Because of that age and his experience, Affleck’s Batman is somebody who brings a new era of the Caped Crusader to the big screen.
He’s a hero that’s done a lot of things, seen a lot of things and gone up against a lot of different people. He also serves to drive the DC Extended Universe forward, following the events that transpired in Man of Steel.
Affleck’s Dark Knight is unlike any other and that immediately tells the audience that he’s going to be a completely different entity, bringing fresh stories to cinema and doing a fantastic job in the process.
There’s always the risk with superhero movies that things can get stale fast; it’s something we’ve all seen in the past with various adaptations. So, allowing this new type of Dark Knight a place on the big screen is the best move the DCEU has made yet.
4. He’s not afraid to be secondary to others
In allowing himself to work alongside other heroes, he’s become unafraid to let others take the reins whenever they see fit. It’s something we see a little of in Dawn of Justice when he joins forces with Wonder Woman, and something we’re likely to see a lot more of when Justice League swings round.
This is going to be the perfect time to showcase everything the DCEU has to offer, so Batman will likely be doing very little in comparison to the other members of the team.
He’s already had his chance to shine in BvS and has an upcoming solo flick, so we shouldn’t expect him to be the focus in this year’s big screen release.
3. He’s not got to be the ‘good guy’
Affleck’s Batman is one that instantly shocked fans, as he would brand his criminal victims with a bat-shaped logo.
Though it caused an uproar with those who would prefer new versions of Batman to stick as closely to the comic book character’s actions, it actually furthered Affleck’s version of the hero as somebody who would accept the world as it is and adapt to it.
Criminals were becoming braver than ever. They wouldn’t care too much if they got caught because they’d serve their time, come straight out, and be brought right back into a world of crime. It was a cycle they were used to being a part of.
Affleck’s Bats put a stop to that when he started branding the criminals of Gotham. Suddenly, all of their power and status is removed. This Dark Knight is somebody who knows how to break the cycle and cleanse Gotham for good.
2. He’s open to change
Though he did brand his criminal victims at the beginning of Dawn of Justice, we saw him move away from the violent form of punishment when he caught up with Lex Luthor.
He refused to brand the villain, instead using his more thoughtful approach and coming to a deeper understanding of how to deal with those who would threaten the status quo. He’s forced to adapt quickly to rules that are constantly changing around him, and while he’s very good at remaining ahead of his enemies, there are times we see his mortality challenged.
He’s a Batman of his time. As technology and livelihoods evolve and are utterly different to that which would have existed even just a decade ago, Batman has had to change too. That’s exactly the Batman we meet via Affleck’s portrayal.
1. Affleck truly loves the role
A little earlier this month, San Diego Comic Con made its annual return and rumors began swirling that Affleck could be set to leave his role as Batman as early as November, following his time in the upcoming Justice League movie.
Fortunately, the man himself was on hand to respond directly to that chatter, and took to the stage in the famous Hall H, mincing no words and explaining what he thinks of his iconic role.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the f***ing coolest. It’s amazing. I know there was speculation and rumors about me not directing. I would be an ape on the ground for Matt Reeves. I’m really blown away and excited, and it’s a great time for the [DC Extended Universe].”
This is a man who clearly loves the opportunity he’s been given and the character that is Bruce Wayne. Dedicated to the role like none we’ve ever seen in the past, Affleck is willing to go through a major body change and shift in his personal life to ensure he can bring the best version of Bats to the big screen we’ve ever seen. We’d say he’s doing a pretty great job.
Do you agree? Who’s your favorite Batman? Tell us in the comments!
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