Yesterday’s ‘Batman: 75th Anniversary’ panel was a must-attend event for fans of the Caped Crusader. Packed with powerhouse writers Geoff Johns, Neil Adams, and current writer Scott Snyder; illustrators Greg Capullo and Jim Lee; and the voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy. The panel went over the history of the Dark Knight, with each panelist weighing in on the evolution of Gotham’s guardian.
The panel discussed the Dark Knight’s origins from the minds of Bob Kane and Bill Finger. When polled for their favorite Batman villain, the consensus was near unanimous: the Joker. Despite many acknowledging the viciousness of Batman’s other foes, the Man Who Laughs proved to be immensely popular.
“Everyone loves monsters, and the Joker is a monster in human flesh,” Capullo explained.
Snyder loved The Clown’s adaptability. “He kind of sees what you think is true about yourself and are afraid of, and he goes about showing you how that thing is true. And that, to me, is purely…evil and terrifying; he’s not crazy, he’s just evil.”
“I’m a bit biased towards the Joker,” Conroy said, explaining that Mark Hamill, the voice of his Batman: The Animated Series nemesis, consistently gave performances that were among Conroy’s favorite. He did note, however, that the character tends to bring something incredible out of those who portray the Arkham regular.
“I didn’t think anyone could do it better than Mark [Hamill], until I saw Heath [Ledger]’s performance,” Conroy said, referring to Christopher Nolan’s sequel ‘The Dark Knight.’
The two outliers, writer Neil Adams and DC co-publisher Jim Lee, chose Ra’s al-Ghul and Catwoman, respectively.
“I didn’t think I’d make it down [to the end of the table]…with this choice intact,” Lee said of the Batman on-again-off-again flame.