At a recent press conference for his latest movie, director Joel Schumacher (Phone Booth, Phone Booth 2) somehow ended up discussing his powerful work with the Batman franchise. He is basically the Terrence Malick of Batman, I’m sure. Anyway, he “took full responsibility” for Batman and Robin, whatever that means. Like an apology? Do you make a full apology for Batman and Robin? Because that movie hurt people. And then he said this:

“For me, Val Kilmer was the best Batman.”

AY-AY-AY. Well this certainly raises an interesting question. Namely, is there anyone else in the whole world who agrees with Joel Schumacher and also what the hell is Joel Schumacher even talking about and also is there a script for Phone Booth 3 when is Phone Booth 3 coming out because everyone’s very excited about Phone Booth 3 and the fans would like some answers?! Anyway for the sake of Batman-related scientific inquiry, please take our brief poll to determine whether or not Joel Schumacher is alone in the universe or if there are other Joel Schumachers out there:

Was Val Kilmer The Best Batman?

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Before you cast your final vote, may I submit the following into evidence:

Where does he get such wonderful POLLS?! (These are good jokes, I hope someone is writing these down.)

Comments (72)
  1. A little piece of George Clooney died today.


    Although in his defense, he was not as bad as Clooney. He did ok. BUT NOT THE BEST NOT THE BEST AT ALL.

    • Guys, I think I take Batman waaay too seriously.

    • He was also better than Adam West, who was very good for the what the show was, but was very bad as Batman. Val Kilmer is perfectly middle-of-the-road as Batman.

      • He’s like the double yellow line on Batman Road.

      • Exactly! He is the average Batman! Watchable, but neither terrible, nor great. I should know, I apparently have an internet Ph.D. in Batmanography.

        • Could you please rank the Batmen for me? Asking for a friend.

          • From worst Batman to best Batman:

          • This is obviously only my personal bat-opinion, and I welcome conversation (even if everyone would like me to stuff it. Sorry friends! I am a bataficionado!)

            1. Michael Keaton (he was my first Batman. You never forget your first Batman).
            2. The portrayal of Batman in the Batman: The Animated Series from the 90s. That was a great show.
            3. BatBale.
            4. Val Kilmer
            5. Adam West (I feel bad but it was just SO SILLY)
            6. George Clooney (OH WHY GEORGE CLOONEY WHY)

          • Facetaco: WASN’T BATMAN:TAS THE BEST? It was so the best. Bale, Keaton, and Conroy are pretty even for me. I had to give Keaton the edge just because who the fuck expects Mr. Mom to be Batman?

          • Somethings missing from these lists.

            From worst Batman to best Batman:

            That’s much better.

          • FT is correct, as far as best Batman “Actor” is concerned

            However, if we are ranking Batman “Voice” it actually goes (worst to best).


            I think this list explains itself.

          • From worst to best, of the ones I have bothered to see and/or remember:

          • I think we need a live action Battle for the Cowl (NERD ALERT) with Chris O’Donnel as Nightwing/Batman. And West as the dead Batman, in flashbacks, preferably dancing.

      • Everybody hating on Adam West need to STEP OFF. He was THE BEST Batman when he was around, as that television show was right in line with the Batman comics of the time. Batman was hokey and he ran around with Robin and they put their hands on their hips a lot and smiled and talked about being chums.

        When Comparing 60′s West Batman to 80′s Keaton Batman, please take into consideration that there is a 20 year gap in which Batman changed quite a bit in attitude, mood and demeanor (FRANK MILLER).

        When comparing Batmen, that initial 20 year gap holds more weight than the gap from Keaton to Bale, namely because no one has reinvented Batman as drastically as Frank Miller did since then, which drastically altered the source material the films were adapting.

        Schumacher was completely oblivious to the fact that West’s Batman had become irrelevant once the Dark Knight Returns was published, and he would have served the film series better had he attempted to adapt the source material instead of trying to incorporate and adapt an old television show.

        So I say West’s Batman should be off-limits in this Bat-Comparison. He’s Smithsonian. He’s iconic. He’s camp. He’s in no way even slightly similar to any of the other Batmen.

        Leave Adam West be, or else my avatar will come get you. In your sleep.

        • Adam West is my favorite. Back when Batman was fun.

        • It is a little painful and strange to watch movies try to take Batman, as a character, seriously. Sure Bale has been in the best Batman movies and has been surrounded by the most interesting villains, but if you just look at Batman himself, he makes the most sense and is the most enjoyable to watch when his absurdity is acknowledged. That puts West at the top of my list, followed by Keaton, followed by anyone else who thought having a tricked out car and special belt was a bit silly.

    • In everyone’s defense, neither the Val Kilmer Batman nor the George Clooney Batman really had much to do with their quality as actors.

  3. Meanwhile, Val Kilmer had been quietly hoping that everyone would just forget he made any movies after The Doors.

  4. Baby Baby Friday was obsessed with this movie, y’all. I blame Chris O’Donnell’s baby blues.

  5. Well, I’d have to agree. He was certainly a looker in his day, and Schumacher has perhaps not chosen the most polite way to convey this, but as Kilmer ages I suppose it’s not a completely unfair assessment to say that he’s the…..

    WHAT?! …OH…I thought that said FAT man. Fuck THAT.

  6. “I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.SO HUNGRY”

  7. I voted “yes” because he was part of the movie that brought us this

  8. In fairness, Schumacher only worked with two Batmen and Kilmer was clearly the better of the two. We all know the best Batman was that dude from “Confessions of a Superhero” who got body-slammed by that other dude on the walk of fame.

  9. Robert Lowery for the win. No one has captured Batman’s iconic grandpa pants tuck since him.

  10. I think we all know who is the best Batman…

  11. First of all, Schumacher is not known for his discerning tastes. But if we’re looking at who was the most appealing Batman I have to agree with him. He was serious and fun, but also incredibly sexy. Clooney was TOO fun and the rest were TOO serious. Keaton was good, but not sexy enough. Bale was just…robotic.

  12. val kilmer, batman forever ≥ christian bale, batman begins

    val kilmer, batman forever > christian bale, the dark knight

  13. It might have to do with my birth year, but when I think Batman I think Michael Keaton.

  14. For your consideration…

    You want to get nuts? COME ON…let’s get nuts…

  15. For your consideration…

    You want to get nuts? COME ON…let’s get nuts…

  16. On the real, I thought he was a pretty good Batman. Batman Forever is definitely one of my fave. Jim Carrey as The Riddler was fucking great. Hard to top his performance.

  17. Here’s what I want to see:

    Batman – Jason Bateman
    Robin – that kid who played George Michael
    The Riddler – Will Arnett
    The Joker – the guy who played Buster
    Cheetara – Porcia de Rossi
    Lex Luthor – David Cross

    Shot in the cool old 1960s version of Batman, back when Batman was cool, before it was super serious depressing and shit

    • Sweet Jeezus how does this not exist?? I need to watch this.

      With maybe “Guest Starring as the President, Kevin Sorbo.”

      • You could have George Sr. and Oscar as Two Face
        Lucile and Lucile Two can fight over who gets to be catwoman

        So many fun possibilities

        Batman was fun back in the day. But then ever since Frank Miller in the 80s everyone thinks, “oooh Batman needs to be dark and serious and grim and gritty etc” blah puke. Gargle your puke and swallow it and shut the fuck up. Adam West Batman was rad and fun. Keep it funny and make it cool again.

    • ah crap, I meant Cheetah from legion of doom, not Cheetara, which is a thundercats character

      • Really glad you made that correction, otherwise your comment would have made no sense.

        • F’real. Mos def.

          Can you people who have facebook accounts start a “Draft the Bluth Family to do a Batman series” type of facebook thing, like what the people did for Betty White and SNL? Because I would like to see this happened but I will not touch your facebook noise. Thanks for your assistance in these efforts.

  18. May I submit the following piece of evidence:

    Lest we forget…

    Still, that said, I’m going with Keaton. Hands down.

  19. There should have been a picture there

  20. The best Val Kilmer is hands down Top Secret Val Kilmer! WHOO BABY!

  21. I think Val Kilmer was definitely the best Simon Templar.

  22. Adam Scott = Best crying Batman.

  23. sdsdtgewrfgdf

  24. Christian Bale is very good as Bruce Wayne, but whenever he’s Batman he is boring, just some guy in a rubber suit…unless he’s speaking, in which case he ruins every scene with his over-the-top laryngitis voice. I’m still stunned that Chris Nolan never bothered to tell Bale to a. tone down the voice and b. don’t do the voice at all around people who KNOW Batman is really Bruce Wayne. Conroy is the only voice I’ll accept for the animated Batman, and Michael Keaton is the only actor to nail the character on the big screen.

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