Actor Kevin Conroy, who voiced the eponymous hero in Batman: The Animated Series, died on November 10 at the age of 66. The beloved actor was diagnosed with cancer not long ago, but despite the diagnosis, Conroy was there for fans and continued attending conventions, according to IGN.
Representatives with DC Comics have confirmed Conroy’s death following his bout with cancer. It’s sad news, indeed, for those who grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series, which featured the best Batmobile that the Caped Crusader has had the honor of piloting — hands down.
Much like Kevin Conroy’s Batman himself, the Batmobile in the original cartoon series (1992-1995) was a superlative depiction of the car. Both the supercar and superhero from BTAS are arguably the best and most memorable versions we’ve seen yet, and it’s going to be hard to displace Kevin Conroy as the voice of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Likewise, the long sloping lines of the Batmobile in BTAS are more memorable than recent depictions of Batman’s daily driver — even if such a machine could really only work in the dim Art Deco world of the cartoon.
Despite that particular Batmobile’s proportions and impractical combination of propulsion methods — there’s not only a jet engine and afterburner but, also, a twelve-cylinder engine judging by the car’s design — it remains one of the most imaginative and deceptively simple Batmobiles.
I imagine drawing its long flat lines had something to with efficiency: it’s hard to draw the same thing perfectly over and over again. But the BTAS Batmobile somehow managed to look faster and more exciting than any still image of the thing could imply.
The glorious Batmobile that Conroy’s Batman drove just refused to stand still! Even when static, the car looked like it was hurtling through space. It was like forward momentum rendered in a black-blue livery.
I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to weave its long wheelbase through tight turns, but, damn, if it didn’t make a straight sprint look good. I don’t think there could ever be a Batmobile as endearing to me, who, like many of my colleagues at Jalopnik, did actually grow up watching BTAS. And neither could there ever be someone like Kevin Conroy, who’s the definitive voice of Batman.