The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I had just yesterday re-downloaded and revisited the exquisite Batman: Arkham City. As I played, I couldn’t get over how amazing the voice work was for the game, with Rocksteady Games assembling the voice cast from the 90s phenomenon “Batman The Animated Series”. Amongst the stellar performances, it’s Kevin Conroy’s smooth and intimidating voice at play with the chaos of Mark Hamill’s insidious Joker that grips me the most.
They play off each other perfectly, with almost every scene containing a quotable bit that you’ll remember for years. However, it’s the in-between times, where it’s just Batman, where Conroy’s skill and love for the character are most evident. For millions, Conroy is Batman. While the caped crusader has had many faces, the defining persona has always been set by Conroy’s dark, velvety voice (and a little Adam West, to be honest).
Conroy had evidently been ill for quite some time. Many costars and fellow voice-acting legends, including Mark Hamill and Tara Strong, voiced their heartbreak. However, due to his decades-long run as the voice of the Dark Knight, he was a lifelong friend to many whom he shared a recording booth with. He was described as warm, caring, and calm, something I can attest to from attending a fan event years ago. He was not only polite and welcoming to us fans, but he was genuinely happy to see us and experience our enthusiasm and love for his work.
There will undoubtedly be new voices behind the cowl. The Bat symbol will still blanket the dreary skies of Gotham city. However, with a heavy heart, we say goodbye to the man behind the voice we grew up with. He. Is. BATMAN!
Photo courtesy of IMDB