In a testament to the afternoon cartoon’s lasting brilliance, Wired named voice-over actor Kevin Conroy the hands-down best Batman of all time, beating out heavyweights like Christian Bale and Michael Keaton. Conroy’s gravely baritone infused his characterization with an inner turmoil and gravitas worthy of the Dark Knight. Here, Batman finds himself pursuing a similarly cloaked avenger — the murderous, sickle-armed Phantasm — while recalling his formative evolution into the fear-inducing masked avenger. Subplots involving Batman’s love interest (who proves as elusive as the titular killer) and the unexpected dilemma of whether or not to save the life of the Joker (voiced by Star Wars‘ Mark Hamill) make this animated version as ethically complex as any live-action film.
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