It’s a debate that nerds will likely have until the end of time: who’s the best Batman of them all? After so many different incarnations, and so many different stylistic choices, it becomes difficult to decide. Some people prefer the tortured, gothic soul of Michael Keaton, while others prefer the gritty, post-9/11 realism of Christian Bale. We may never actually come to a definitive conclusion, but Adam West apparently has his own opinion on the subject.
Batman legend Adam West recently made an appearance on the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory and gave his own input regarding the definitive rankings of the cinematic Caped Crusaders:
It should be me, Keaton, Kilmer, Lego, Bale, and the pretty boy Clooney.
Although it may be a joke, it’s a ranking that’s probably not too far off from what many people think. Adam West and Michael Keaton often battle it out for the top spot among older Batman fans. Val Kilmer as the third best Batman has to be a joke; although he did a perfectly serviceable job in Batman Forever, his portrayal of the character never really stood out and represents the middle of the pack in terms of memorability. The typical rankings that most people assign generally follow West and Keaton with Christian Bale – whose Bruce Wayne is often praised more than his Batman. Although it’s a joke, a fairly large chunk of the population might actually agree with West’s assertion that Christian Bale’s take on the character is “overrated.” After all, nobody likes an asthmatic Batman.
Lego Batman represents the wild card of the bunch. Nobody would have expected that the character would become so popular in animated Lego format, but audiences responded so well to his appearance in The Lego Movie that he would actually receive his own spin-off down the road. Then finally we have one we can pretty much all agree, George Clooney represents the worst cinematic incarnation of Batman.
Check out the clip from The Big Bang Theory below to watch Adam West sound off on the age-old debate:
Of course, we also have to praise the writers of The Big Bang Theory. They used the scene as a perfect opportunity to remark on the casting of Ben Affleck as the latest silver screen version of the Dark Knight, and the concerns that many people have about him. However, judging by the overall praise we have heard from early screenings of his performance, he might knock a few of these former Batmen off of their pedestal when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25.
Oh, and by the way, Mr. West, you forgot to mention the actual best Batman of all time: Kevin Conroy.