One of the most prolific and iconic DC superhero voice actors Batman, Kevin Conroysadly passed away at the age of 66. Although he had a varied career, most fans knew him as the voice actor for Batman starting in the 1990s. Batman: The Animated Series. He would become the quintessential voice, if not the definition, of the caped crusader who captured the dark sides of Batman and some of his more nuanced moments as Bruce Wayne. Conroy would go on to reprise the role of Batman for a number of DC Comics animated properties such as Justice Leaguemovies like Batman: Mask of Phantasmand more.
Death of Kevin Conroy was shared in a heartfelt Facebook post by Diane Pershin, the voice of Poison Ivy, who was confirmed by multiple sources to have passed away after a “short battle with cancer”. Pershing’s message said he had been ill “for some time,” but noted that he was still making time to attend various conventions and events. The obituaries were shared by some of Conroy’s teammates like Mark Hamill, where they all noted the amount of kindness and respect he had. This legacy cemented him as the voice of Batman for a generation, especially in video games that featured him.
DC Animated Universe Batman Games
Conroy would begin voicing the Caped Crusader within a few Batman video games based on the aforementioned anime series that was airing at the time. The very first of them was The Adventures of Batman and Robin on the Sega CD. While this game would also be released for SNES, Genesis, and Game Gear, Sega’s CD release featured a number of animated cutscenes produced by Warner Bros. Animation itself. These cutscenes would have Conroy reprising the role of Batman, along with a number of other actors from the series such as Mark Hamill, Arleen Sorkin, Diane Pershing, and more. These animated segments are sometimes referred to as “The Lost Episode”.
From there, Conroy would go on to voice the character in two more Batman video games, as they were also based on the anime series canon. These two would be Batman: Revenge and Batman: The Rise of Sin Tzu, both developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Although these games received mixed reviews, some fondly remember these games for the dub, with Conroy delivering a consistent performance that fans have become accustomed to while the show aired. Batman: The Rise of Sin Tzuhowever, would mark the last game explicitly based on the anime series.
Kevin Conroy in the Batman Arkham series
While others Batman the games would continue to be produced, they were less ambitious and designed to capitalize on the brand. That would change with Rocksteady Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, being one of the first big budget games for the then modern platform, the PS3. Seeing that the first Arkham the game was influenced by Batman: The Animated Seriesthe developer has also brought back several voice actors from the series, including Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill in their iconic roles as Batman and Joker respectively.
Conroy’s performance in the first game sounds almost exactly like he did in anime TV shows like Justice League Unlimited. This voice will continue to evolve over the years, becoming more gruff and guttural in the Arkham Games follow. Much like Conroy’s performance in the animated shows, these games would go on to mark him as the definitive voice of the character for many gamers. The strengths of these games are both the interactions of Joker and Batman and how they affect each other, with lines and dialogue that make these characters feel authentic and alive for many fans.
The only exception to Conroy voicing Batman in the Arkham the series would be Origins of Arkham, where he was replaced by Roger Craig Smith. The game was a prequel developed by WB Games Montreal instead of Rocksteady, with other characters like the Joker being replaced by a different actor. Conroy, however, would reprise the role for the saga’s grand finale, Batman: Arkham Knight. When it would be the last Arkham game developed by Rocksteady, there were some other games in the series which were released afterArkham Knight such as Arkham Underworld and Arkham RVwith Conroy reprising the role again.
Other games that feature Conroy’s Batman
After the release of Arkham games, Conroy would go on to voice the character in a number of animated shows and video games whenever he could. One of the first games to feature Conroy was DC Universe Online, an MMO revolving around the DC Universe that was released in 2011 and was one of the few actors to reprise his role from a past show. While the character would get different voice actors depending on the game, Conroy still regularly appeared as the voice of Batman.
NetherRealm Studios fighting game duology Injustice would also see Conroy reprising Batman in both games, alongside other DC Animated Universe alumni like George Newbern and Susan Eisenberg who reprized their roles as Superman and Wonder Woman respectively. He would voice the character multiple times throughout the year in games like Lego DC Super-Villains.
The last time Conroy would reprise the role of Batman before his death would be in multiplayer crossplay Multiverse. He’s joined by other iconic voice actors who have played the game’s characters, such as Newbern as Superman, Eric Bauza as Bugs Bunny, and Matthew Illiard as Shaggy. With so many performances as DC’s Dark Knight, fans will forever remember an actor who defined the character, but also an inspiration to future performers or current industry talent. He is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, his sister Trisha Conroy and his brother Tom Conroy.