For a lot of people, including myself, Kevin Conroy was the Batman. A lot of you might’ve known him from the Arkham Trilogy—I myself was first introduced to him via Justice League: Unlimited. He was the voice of Batman for over three decades before he died after a short battle with cancer in November last year, age 66.
As spotted by Eurogamer, a tribute has been added to the Batman: Arkham Trilogy, though it’s only presently confirmed to be on the Nintendo Switch version. Gamingbible editor Ewan Moore posted a screenshot of the tribute on Twitter, which reads: “In memory of Kevin Conroy.”
(Image credit: @EMoore_ on Twitter/X)
The Switch port (produced by studio Turn Me Up) has received widespread criticism for performance problems that range, as a Digital Foundry deep-dive states, from “unexpected” to “an unmitigated disaster”.
It’s not confirmed whether this same tribute will make its way over to the existing console and PC versions of the trilogy. A movie skin in the stylings of Robert Pattinson’s version of the character was reportedly released on PC, pulled, then included in the Switch version, though it’s promised for the other versions as well—when that happens, I’d be surprised if the tribute wasn’t included.
While it’s unfortunate the tribute is on a port with some technical issues, it’s by no means Conroy’s last performance. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will be his last time voicing the caped crusader. Regardless, considering the career he left behind, it’ll take more than a shoddy port to so much as scuff the man’s legacy.
In DC Pride 2022’s “Finding Batman”, which was made free to read by DC after Conroy’s death (frustratingly, the desktop version of the site redirects to a mobile app at the time of writing), he wrote about uncovering the character, especially as a gay man who was closeted until 2016, one who had lived in New York during the AIDS epidemic.
When the creative team for Batman: The Animated series talked to him about the character, they described how “he had formed dual personalities to deal with the agony of his childhood”. He was asked whether he could relate to that. His performance then “seemed to roar from thirty years of frustration, confusion, denial, love, yearning … Yes, this is terrain I know well. I felt Batman rising from within.”
Conroy was also beloved by those he worked with, too. Mark Hamill, who has had a similarly prolific run as the Joker, said in a statement last year: “he was the ideal partner—it was such a complementary, creative experience. I couldn’t have done it without him. He will always be my Batman.”