Batman remains our closest link to a superhero we can all relate to. No mutations to speak of; Bruce Wayne’s only superpowers consist of a Swiss bank account and extensive collection of fine art. He’s depressed and moody, never manages to maintain a long-term relationship, and his best friend just so happens to be his butler (you guessed it, the real Batman is Dylan McKay from TV’s Beverly Hills 91201). If Gotham were West Hollywood, Bruce Wayne would be the mysterious fellow jogging up the hills of Runyon wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses. US Weekly and People would be covering Bruce Wayne’s nightlife exploits on a daily basis. Piers Morgan would invite him on his show to talk about his sex life. Esquire would feature him on the cover twice as many times as they featured John F. Kennedy Jr in the mid-’90s. If Bruce Wayne dated a celebrity named ‘Christina,’ their supercouple name would be ‘Bructina.’
For these reasons, we all adore Bruce Wayne aka Batman. Bruce Wayne is one of us, the top 1%-version, and being Batman is a hobby that he takes way too seriously. You know, kind of like Harrison Ford flying airplanes or Nicholas Cage collecting castles.
Fine, we can’t all relate to the life of a playboy-industrialist-millionaire. But can we relate to the Kardashians or ‘Brangelina?’ Don’t answer that, but please answer this: Which Batman would be the most popular if he lived among us today? Seriously, from the lineage of Bruce Wayne aka Batman incarnations, which would be the coolest and most likely to be loved by gossip columnists, housewives, and college students?
I need your opinions on which Batman would be the most eligible bachelor? In order to help you make a prudent decision, here is a short breakdown of each ‘Caped Crusader’ that is worth considering. No, I didn’t include the voice actor who ‘voiced’ Batman in the animated series. To make things easier, I’ve rated each Batman (including Bruce Wayne) on the most important criteria you can use to measure a man (car, wardrobe, and muscles). Each criteria is rated from 0-5 (5 being stupendous). A final score is given to each Batman based on their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t let me influence your opinion and please be honest, have fun, and see The Dark Knight Rises!
#1. Adam West
With chiseled features and campy pick-up lines, the Adam West Batman from the ‘60s TV show is your ideal man for a night at the discotheque. He’s the only Batman that can solve a riddle and flirt with Robin at the same time. Holy ambiguous!
Physique (2): If you look closely, you might see an abdominal muscle hiding beneath those hideous gray tights. Are you into man boobs? I didn’t think so.
Personality (2): He’s the professor you never dated. Intelligence is what makes him great. But wait, you’ll have to deal with his awkward pauses between every spoken word. “I…found…the…answer…to…the…Riddle…Robin.”
Car (5): A vintage convertible with orange racing stripes, the ‘60s bat mobile is the hippest ride any superhero ever snagged! One problem—how do you find parking for a cruise boat on wheels?
Wardrobe (5): I have to admit, this is the only Batman suit I would wear to a Halloween party. The grumpy eyebrows, solid gold belt buckle, even the velvet gloves scream ‘classy crime-fighter.’ For the ladies out there, this is the only bat suit without a hard plastic shell. Easy access, anyone?
Political Orientation (0): Conservative
OVERALL RATING: 14
#2. Michael Keaton
Mysterious is the word that best describes the Batman from the 1988 film. As Bruce Wayne, he had a subtle approach. Unlike the drunken playboy depicted in the Christopher Nolan films, Tim Burton’s version is quiet, sophisticated, and the Bogart version of Batman. Michael Keaton created a film noir detective in a bat suit; dark, told his women to ‘shut up,’ and always wore a black turtleneck.
Physique (2): Short, sort of chubby, and not very dark. But since Kim Basinger didn’t seem to mind, we can’t really judge. Oddly enough, he had six-pack when he wore the suit. For those reasons he gets 2 points.
Personality (4): Dark, mysterious, and always searching for the right words – Michael Keaton as Batman is the artistic hipster you take out for Scotch tasting with the girls. Since he has a tendency to flake, we can’t give him a 5.
Car (1): Maybe too edgy for most people – the 1988 Batmobile looks like something out of a Tim Burton nightmare. Unless you like a car that spits our fireballs, this may be too edgy for dinner at Mr. Chow on Friday.
Wardrobe (3): The shiny black suit, accented with bumblebee yellow highlights was trendy and totally ‘80s. Somehow, Michael Keaton had the perfect jawline for Batman, which made the suit look even cooler.
Political Orientation (2): Liberal
OVERALL RATING: 12
#3. Val Kilmer
1995’s Batman Forever brought us the first flirtatious Batman with a sense of humor. Kilmer’s Batman was condensing and arrogant and always gave the beautiful Chase Meridian (played by Nicole Kidman) something to think about. As Bruce Wayne, he was the first with an assistant named “Margaret.” An assistant? Now that’s Hollywood!
Physique (4): Always in shape and looking great in ‘shiny black rubber,’ Kilmer’s Batman was simply the most athletic looking ‘Dark Knight’ up to that point. Let’s reward him for the hours spent in the gym.
Personality (4): His intelligence is off the charts. Sense of humor? Check. A touch of arrogance mixed with a mysterious side? Check.
Car (1): For some reason, Val Kilmer’s Batman stole Michael Keaton’s bat mobile and shoved a blue glow stick into the exhaust. If the Electric Daisy Carnival sponsored a pace car, it would be the 1995 bat mobile. This was one ugly ride.
Wardrobe (1): For the first time ever, Batman had nipples. A subtle touch in the 1995 version (nowhere near the perky things they gave George Clooney in Batman & Robin), but they were still there. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but Batman doesn’t need nipples. He’s fighting crime, not posing for a men’s underwear ad.
Political Orientation (1): Independent
OVERALL RATING: 11
#4. George Clooney (DISQUALIFIED)
George Clooney is a great actor. As Batman (and Bruce Wayne), George Clooney turns into Josh Hartnett before his first acting class. His voice sounds goofy in the suit, all the classic Dr. Ross mannerisms are apparent, and for some reason, he shakes his head around like a bad Jay Leno impersonator. This was also the first batman that carried around a credit card (not a joke), came equipped with ice skates (also, not a joke), and sadly – he even had a close-up of his buttocks in one famous shot (I wish this was a joke). For these reasons, and so many more you can watch here on the Top 15 Dumb Batman and Robin Moments, George Clooney is disqualified from my list.
OVERAL RATING: -1
#5. Christian Bale
Christian Bale is James Bond as Batman. A slick playboy with a dark past, Christian Bale gives Bruce Wayne an edgy quality that made even Katie Holmes run for the hills. The first European actor to adorn the Batman gimmick, Christian Bale has been the closest thing to a Shakespearean actor the franchise has ever had. Love him or hate him, he’s the most successful Batman ever. He also has the best hair from the group.
Physique (4): Ripped! Christian Bale is the first Batman with a personal trainer and Bikram Yoga studio in his mansion. For the first time since the original comic book, the suit doesn’t do Bruce Wayne’s abdominal muscles justice.
Personality (3): Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne is a little too cool. His playboy persona is exaggerated and he seems more like a philandering Congressman than the classy Bruce Wayne from the comics. I hate to say it, but he’s the reformed version of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.
Car (1): Ugly. The bat mobile is a victim of Christopher Nolan’s attempts to be realistic. After all, nobody would be caught dead rolling down Rodeo in a quasi-tank contraption.
Wardrobe (2): Another victim of Christopher Nolan’s History Channel version of Batman, the bat suit from The Dark Knight actually has Kevlar. Really? Christian Bale’s Batman looks more like a member of a paramilitary unit than a classic DC Comics superhero.
Political Orientation (2): Moderate