The Worst Batman Is Not George Clooney

Christian Bale is the worst Batman because his character is too realistic.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

christian bale the flash batman
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Christian Bale

To put it bluntly, Christian Bale was the worst Batman. Worse than George Clooney even. You may think I’m simply trolling, but I can prove it.

To start, Christian Bale’s voice as the Caped Crusader sounds like he’s gargling hot gravel. But that alone isn’t enough to give him the title of worst Batman. Let’s move on to Bale’s bat suit. It looks like BMX gear. The Dark Knight suit looks like after Batman gets done with the Joker, he’s going to enter the X-Games.

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Christian Bale’s batsuit

Compare that to George Clooney’s suit. Yes, I know it’s got nipples, but at least it looks like a superhero suit. It’s not my favorite live-action bat suit (that would be Batfleck’s suit from Batman vs. Superman), but it’s leagues better than the one worn by the worst batman.

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George Clooney’s batsuit

There’s also no competition when comparing fighting styles. Clooney and Bale are the only two Batmen to ever square off against Bane, and the worst Batman fought the roided out giant in the dumbest way possible. In The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale stands toe to toe with Bane and trades punches like a boxer.

You might wonder what’s wrong with that but see, Bruce Wayne is a work smarter, not harder kind of guy. He would quickly see that taking Bane on face-to-face is futile and switch to another tactic like the one Clooney uses, swinging around a giant steel pipe. It’s not elegant. He still kind of stands there (the live-action version wouldn’t be as athletic as the hero is supposed to be until Ben Affleck wore the cowl), but at least he doesn’t just keep punching him like the worst Batman.

I can keep going. George Clooney has a sweet batmobile with cool fins and everything. Christian Bale has the “tumbler,” like the unholy offspring of a tank and an SUV. George Clooney fights in a highly stylized Gotham. The worst Batman fights in a real city that just looks like Chicago.

Sure, Christian Bale’s franchise may be more realistic, but we are talking about a comic book character. That realism is what makes Bale the worst Batman.

The Dark Knight has no superpowers. He’s always going to be a more grounded superhero than Superman or Spider-Man, but he’s still a comic book character. If you introduce a character called Batman that wears a pointy-eared cowl into the “real world,” it’s just going to highlight how ridiculous the concept of the character is.

George Clooney’s Batman knows what he is and embraces it. Christian Bale’s version looks like he calls comic books Graphic Novels to appear sophisticated. That’s why he’s the worst Batman.

In real life, a billionaire becoming a superhero because his parents died is absurd. He’d more likely become a cop or donate money, not swing around rooftops with a little cartoon bat on his chest. Batman only makes sense when he’s the most grounded person in an otherwise fantastical world full of colorful heroes.

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Christian Bale as Batman

Christopher Nolan’s movies are so steeped in realism it makes the character the only fantastical element in an otherwise normal world. He sticks out like a sore thumb. The realistic version is the worst kind of Batman.

I could go on about how Batman and Robin captures the family dynamic lacking in most other Batman media or how The Batman managed to be grounded and heightened enough to still feel like a comic book movie, something Nolan’s films do not. But I know that if I haven’t convinced you that Christian Bale is the worst Batman yet, I probably never will.

George Clooney’s rendition may not be the best, but at least with him, we get a character that feels like the beloved hero. A goofy, campy one, but a Batman nonetheless. Christian Bale is the worst Batman because he never actually feels like Batman.