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Holy multiplicity, Batman!

A Caped-Crusader scorecard
By MIKE MILIARD  |  July 16, 2008

Darkness falls: Scars run deep in Christopher Nolan’s Götterdämmerung. By Brett Michel 
ADAM WEST
YOU KNOW HIM FROM
. . . Batman (1960s TV series) and Batman: The Movie (1966).
UNIFORM. . . Campy gray unitard with polyester-looking cowl and cape; bright yellow belt. Akin to something stitched together by Mom for the school play.
VILLAINS FOUGHT. . . The Joker (Cesar Romero), the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether).
BEST NON-BATMAN PROJECT. . . Lookwell! (pilot, created by Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel).
CHOICE QUOTE. . . “Sock! Zok! Whamm! Crash! Kapow!”
THE CRITICS SAID. . . “While the film is far from perfect, it’s meant to be that way.” (Apollo Guide)
BAT FACT. . . “West was at one point offered the role of James Bond by Cubby Broccoli in 1970 for the film Diamonds Are Forever. He declined, later stating in his autobiography that he believed the role should always be played by someone British.” (Wikipedia)

MICHAEL KEATON
YOU KNOW HIM FROM. . . Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
UNIFORM. . . Uncomfortable-looking black carapace rippling with abdominal musculature.
VILLAINS FOUGHT. . . The Joker (Jack Nicholson), the Penguin (Danny DeVito), Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).
BEST NON-BATMAN PROJECT. . . Mr. Mom.
CHOICE QUOTE. . . “Y’see, my life is really . . . complex.”
THE CRITICS SAID. . . “A triumph of design over story, style over substance — a great-looking movie with a plot you can’t care much about.” (Roger Ebert)
BAT FACT. . . Mel Gibson turned down the role because “I just didn’t want to put a spandex suit on.” (snarkygossip.com)

VAL KILMER
YOU KNOW HIM FROM
. . . Batman Forever (1995).
UNIFORM. . . Stylized plasticized suit of armor, like a full-sized action figure. A massive helmet that belittles, as one Internet wag put it, his “tiny chin.”
VILLAINS FOUGHT. . . Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), the Riddler (Jim Carrey).
BEST NON-BATMAN PROJECT. . . Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
CHOICE QUOTE. . . “You called me here for this? The Bat signal is not a beeper.”
THE CRITICS SAID. . . Kilmer’s “goofball grin” is “utterly disarming . . . a deftly understated performance.” (Rolling Stone)
BAT FACT. . . The only blond Batman.

GEORGE CLOONEY
YOU KNOW HIM FROM
. . . Batman and Robin (1997).
UNIFORM. . . Nipples! Nipples!
VILLAINS FOUGHT. . . Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman).
BEST NON-BATMAN PROJECT. . . “Booker” on Roseanne.
CHOICE QUOTE. . . Robin: “I want a car, chicks dig the car.” Batman: “This is why Superman works alone.”
THE CRITICS SAID. . . “I’d have more respect for [director Joel] Schumacher if I discovered that he hated Batman, and had intentionally ruined it with this garbage. Then, this might actually be just his own personal joke.” (posting on IMDb.com)
BAT FACT. . . George Clooney: “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

CHRISTIAN BALE
YOU KNOW HIM FROM
. . . Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008).
UNIFORM. . . A complex thatchwork of slats and ribbing. Breastplate looks like a pair of bongo drums.
VILLAINS FOUGHT. . . The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), the Joker (Heath Ledger).
BEST NON-BATMAN PROJECT. . . American Psycho.
CHOICE QUOTE. . . “A guy who dresses up like a bat . . . clearly has issues.”
THE CRITICS SAID. . . “Bale, in his first venture into superhero status, hits just the right balance between Bruce’s uncertainty and the intensity of his alter ego.” (CNN.com)
BAT FACT. . . When promoting Batman Begins, Bale kept his adopted American accent because “Batman is such an American character that in representing him in doing the interviews I don’t want to be sounding English because that would be peculiar.”

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