Everyone knows the live-action actors who have taken on the role of Batman and Superman. From Adam West and Christopher Reeve to Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, there are plenty of actors to leave their mark on the DC characters. Just like James Bond, the character will live on with many new faces to come.
However, there are even more actors who have taken on the voices of Superman and Batman in various forms of animation. Whether it’s cartoon shows, animated movies, or video games; there are so many voice actors out there but which actors are the best to have portrayed the World’s Finest?
Updated on March 28th, 2022 by Melody MacReady: The world of animation and video games based on the DC multiverse continues to expand. As a result, more actors have shined as the voice of Bruce Wayne AKA Batman and Clark Kent AKA Superman. For example, a longtime fan-favorite choice for Batman actually came to fruition with Dean Winchester’s Jensen Ackles.
Also, there have been so many voices for Batman and Superman alike over the years that stopping at five for each was not enough. Each voice actor brings something unique to the table, helping make that version of the character their own. Even if they don’t get enough credit, they still excelled at putting their own unique stamp.
The Best Superman Voice Actors
In the new DC animated universe, the first entry featured Superman as a young man getting his start in Metropolis and trying to balance out Superman and Clark Kent life. Darren Criss portrays the titular character in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow and he’s an interesting new take.
Man Of Tomorrow focuses on Superman being young, inexperienced, and is less than perfect from the start. Criss portrays that youthfulness and lack of confidence with grace, making Superman feel more grounded and human, similar to Henry Cavill’s portrayal.
Over the last twenty years, Nolan North has done countless voices in many genres and big franchises. Nolan North is most famously known for his video game roles such as Nathan Drake of Uncharted. In the beloved Young Justice series, Nolan provides the voice of Superman as well as his clone brother Superboy.
Sadly, Superman is never really the focus of Young Justice but whenever he appears, Nolan North portrays many layers of him. There’s the hopeful side who leads the Justice League but he’s also a loving family man and he understandably is conflicted by his clone at first.
Doom Patrol was actually not Matt Bomer’s first DC role as he was one of many actors who auditioned for Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel. Though he lost to Henry Cavill, he did get to play Superman in animation.
In the animated film Superman Unbound, Matt Bomer portrays a much grittier and more serious take on the character. However, Bomer still retained many of the admirable qualities of Superman while adding a new flavor to make his Superman unique.
Fresh off his hit sitcom Wings, Tim Daly had a large shadow cast over him by the star of Batman: The Animated Series as well as the likes of Christopher Reeve’s Superman. Fortunately, Tim Daly pulled the role off in Superman: The Animated Series for all three seasons.
Though left the role, Tim Daly has returned to the role in several animated movies. Each time, Tim Daly brings a humble and down-to-Earth performance to the character that makes his Superman very likable. Daly also perfectly brings the same amount of intensity and emotional depth that Batman: The Animated Series brought to Batman.
He began as a replacement for Alan Tudyk’s Superman in the DC Animated Movie Universe but over the course of several movies, Jerry O’Connell proved to be even better than his predecessor. Jerry O’Connell shined in the double feature of The Death Of Superman and Reign Of The Supermen with some of the DCAMU’s best scenes.
O’Connell’s Superman is an interesting case where he evolves with every entry of the DCAMU changing even in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. By the end, O’Connell perfected his Superman and always gave a dedicated performance.
Based on Darwyn Cooke’s graphic novel, Justice League: The New Frontier is one of the most overlooked gems in the DC animated world. It’s dark, mysterious, a beautiful period piece, and tackles some great themes. In The New Frontier, Superman does not have a huge role but it is an important one.
Superman is the moral compass trying to keep his friends and the government on the right path when they are the most divided. Kyle MacLachlan perfectly portrays that inspirational figure of hope, especially when he gives a speech in the final act that feels fitting for even a modern Superman movie.
After Tim Daly left the role of the DCAU Superman, George Newbern was brought in to replace him. Over the years, Newbern would play Superman in movies, shows, and video games, and each time getting better and better.
In many ways, he provided the same stellar performance that Daly did but simply expanded upon the performance to make it even better. Newbern’s brightest moments actually come from his villainous performance in the Injustice games; his Superman was dark and very terrifying as a villain.
The Best Batman Voice Actors
Not every Batman show was a big hit as shown with Beware The Batman, one of DC’s most underrated shows. In the show which took a more modern noir approach, Anthony Ruivivar played the Dark Knight. His voice was much more subtle, only slightly gruff akin to Michael Keaton or Robert Pattinson.
If Beware The Batman had survived passed one season, Ruivivar could have gone on to be one of the most iconic voices. Sadly, he’s more of a cult-favorite Batman, much like the show that he represents.
Ben McKenzie is an actor who only voiced Batman once. He portrayed Batman and Bruce Wayne in the animated adaptation of Batman: Year One. McKenzie performed well in bringing that dark and methodical Frank Miller version of Batman to life.
Fans might recognize Ben McKenzie from another DC project he did later on; he was Jim Gordon on Fox’s Gotham for all seasons.
In the two-part animated adaptation of Batman: The Long Halloween, Jensen Ackles excelled as Batman thanks to his naturally gritty voice. Jensen fit the detective noir crime thriller style, managing to fit Batman without ever sounding like a copy of someone else or simply rehashing his Dean Winchester voice.
Over the years, Troy Baker has played many superheroes and villains alike; Hawkeye, Bruce Banner, The Joker, Jason Todd, Two-Face, and even the Big Bad Bat himself. Troy Baker began his tenure as Batman with LEGO Batman across games and animated movies.
Over time, Troy Baker took on more serious versions of Batman in the Batman: The Telltale Series games and Batman VS The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He openly admits his admiration for Batman: The Animated Series and used that as inspiration but never feels like a copycat.
Roger Craig Smith
Known for voicing Sonic The Hedgehog in the games and Mirage for Apex Legends, Roger Craig Smith was treated unfairly by fans at first when it was announced that he would be taking over Batman in Batman: Arkham Origins.
Over the years, fans have come to appreciate Roger Craig Smith for effectively portraying a young and rash version of the Arkhamverse Batman. Roger Craig Smith provided a lot of emotion, especially with his relationship with Alfred; conveying his struggle of dealing with supervillains for the first time remarkably well.
Bruce Greenwood was a decorated Hollywood actor already, so it was such a surprise that such a big-name actor provided the voice of Batman for a straight-to-video film. A welcomed surprise as Bruce Greenwood provided a stoic performance with many subtle layers of emotion.
Batman: Under The Red Hood allowed Bruce Greenwood to shine since most of the movie is from his perspective and he shines very brightly. Greenwood would then return for the Young Justice animated series, the Gotham By Gaslight movie, and the recent Death In The Family movie.
Since his debut in Batman: The Animated Series, Kevin Conroy for many fans has been the Batman of Batmen. Kevin Conroy brought new depth and portrayed Batman differently than anyone had ever done it before. For over thirty years, Kevin Conroy has been the go-to voice for Batman.
The DCAU shows, the Arkham games, animated movies, the Injustice games, and so much more. Even if the project itself is not a fan favorite, Kevin Conroy will always be perfect in the role. He’s even the first Batman voice-actor to make the leap to live-action after his appearance in Crisis On Infinite Earths.
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