Everyone has a favorite Batman. For some, it might be the one Adam West played in the 1960s TV series. For others, it might Kevin Conroy's iteration from Batman: The Animated Series. However, it's safe to say that the versions of the Caped Crusader who get the most attention are the ones from the live action theatrical films. Kevin Smith has seen quite a few Batmen over the years, and while Michael Keaton's Batman may have kicked off the near-consistent release of movies starring the Dark Knight, the director now believes that Ben Affleck's Batman reigns supreme over Keaton's.
During his Comic Book Men panel at New York City Comic-Con earlier today (via Comicbook.com), Kevin Smith explained that Ben Affleck's Batman is superior to Michael Keaton's because of how much better he moves when taking on criminal scum. He explained:
Ben Affleck rules as the Batman. The brilliance of Zack Snyder said, let's make him look and move like the video game Batman. I mean it used to be Michael Keaton, and f*, Mr. Mom doesn't hit too hard, but Ben comes in and blows up 12 people just coming in the door.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice endured a lot of criticism earlier this year, but many praised Ben Affleck's Batman, who at the start of the movie had been defending Gotham City for 20 years. Granted, not everything was perfect about this version (I didn't particularly care for the brutal killings), but to some, he's the most faithful Batman seen on the big screen yet. Obviously Kevin Smith counts himself among this bunch, as he was pleased at how fast and intense Affleck's Caped Crusader was. Presumably Smith's main point of reference "video game" wise is the popular Batman: Arkham series.
To be fair, one of the reasons that Michael Keaton's Batman wasn't as mobile was because of the costume. In the late 1980s, it was harder to construct a convincing-looking Batman suit, and while Keaton's iteration of Bruce Wayne could still easily punch bad guys in the face, there's no way he would be able to charge swiftly into battle. Granted, superhero costumes nowadays are still extremely uncomfortable, but at least it's easier to provide mobility when necessary.
Christian Bale's Batman also suffered from that problem somewhat. Sure, in The Dark Knight he donned a new suit that allowed him to turn his head, but his fighting style still looked stiff because of his constricting crimefighting duds. It definitely looked more realistic to match that more grounded world, but it's still not how many see Batman move when they're reading a comic book or watching him in an animated adventure. Plus, with plenty of stunt work and continuing advances in CGI, it's easier than ever to make a live action Batman match his comic book counterpart as closely as possible.
You can catch Ben Affleck's Batman back in action when Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017. Meanwhile, Kevin Smith's Comic Book Men will premiere its sixth season on Sunday, October 23 at 12:40 a.m. EST/PST on AMC.