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Recently I went to see Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. One of the biggest things I walked away from that movie liking was the performance of Ben Affleck. I was very surprised, but I really enjoyed Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Then I asked myself a question. Where does Ben Affleck rank in the history of Batmen?  Here’s my list:

(Sorry to Vince Russo and anyone else who is a fan of Adam West. He’s not on my list as I never watched the 1960’s Batman TV show)

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1. Christian Bale– I gave Bale the first spot, but I’m not sure he’s the best Batman. I gave him the top spot more because of the greatness of Christopher Nolan. The trilogy of Batman movies that were helmed by Nolan was by far the best. Bale’s only real negative as Batman for me was his over the top gravelly yelling when he donned the suit. That’s minor but it was so bad that it almost knocked him out of the top spot on this list.

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2. Ben Affleck– Yes, you’re reading right. I think Ben Affleck is the second best Batman of the modern era. I almost ranked him number one. Affleck’s Batman was much darker. The twenty years of fighting crime had seriously changed his outlook on the world. He looked at the world and people in a very negative way. That outlook caused his initial conflict with Superman. I also thought the fact that Affleck’s Wayne/Batman was okay with the use of guns and killing people was very interesting as well. I walked away feeling like this version of Batman was an anti-hero. He referred to himself as a criminal in the movie. He was a man willing to sink to the level of criminals to save Gotham City. Affleck’s Batman was not the traditional hero we were used to when we see the Dark Knight.

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3. Michael Keaton– I can go back and watch the original Batman movie from 1989 and still enjoy Keaton’s performance. He wasn’t the bulky, hunky superhero we see with Christian Bale and Ben Affleck. He was a normal looking man. Keaton’s Batman really got to the root of who Bruce Wayne is to me. Bruce Wayne is a normal man that uses his wealth to turn himself into a superhero. He’s not a “meta-human.” How can you not enjoy Keaton’s performance opposite Jack Nicholson in the first movie? I mean seriously!

4. Val Kilmer– Absolutely awful. The only reason I didn’t rank Val Kilmer dead last was Jim Carrey. Jim Carrey was so great as the Riddler in Batman Forever that he pulls Val Kilmer up.

5. George Clooney– I don’t blame George Clooney for taking the role. He was still on ER and his movie career was just starting. With that being said, he was absolutely awful and his movie was absolutely awful. It was a movie that simply didn’t need to be made. It was so bad it killed the Batman franchise until Christopher Nolan came along and decided to revive it.

There you have it. That’s how I rank the Batmen.  How do you?

Follow Blake on Twitter: @blakemitchamore

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