During The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event last month, legendary voice actor Kevin Conroy -- best known for about 25 years of various Batman-related projects -- finally appeared in the fleash as Bruce Wayne for the first time in a live-action production. Of course, Conroy isn't 28 anymore, and so they had him trussed up in a metal exoskeleton, depicting the Batman of "Earth-99." Morally compromised, miserable, and spouting wrongheaded dialogue from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Batman-99 tried to murder Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and eventually dove at Batwoman (Ruby Rose) before being killed by a freak accident when a transformer in the Batcave electrified his exoskeleton.
Both the "Earth-99" designation and the voice that Conroy used -- a variation on his usual Bruce Wayne -- were intentional nods to Batman Beyond, the animated series that Conroy starred in from 1999 until 2001. In that series, he played an older and gruffer Bruce Wayne in a colorful and violent future, with Boy Meets World star Will Friedle appearing as a new Batman, Terry McGinnis.
"I don't think people age as much vocally; I think he can still do Batman Beyond," Conroy told ComicBook.com. "He could do Terry McGinnis as a voice job. I don't know how young he can make his voice sound, but you know Lauren Lester, who still does Robin sometimes, is a lot older than Will Friedle, so it's just a question of how your voice ages. I would love to work with Will again, because we worked so well together. He's a great guy."
Conroy is not the only one. While Friedle conceded ahead of "Crisis" that he wouldn't look as convincing as a 20-something as Conroy does an older man, he, too, told reporters that he would be up for another round in Neo-Gotham.
"I'm hoping the next version they write is called 44-year-old, slightly-out-of-shape Terry McGinnis," Friedle told me (with a laugh) at New York Comic Con in October. "And if they do that, I could nail that part tomorrow, where it's like he could run for a bit, but needs to stop because he's winded? That would be great. But no, I doin't see it happening. Every day on Twitter, I get, 'Are you doing the live-action crossover?' It'd be great, but I think I'm probably past my window to play Terry."1comments
In addition to Conroy, the Crisis brought together heroes from various eras of DC's TV and film adaptations, including Brandon Routh's Superman (originally seen in Superman Returns), Burt Ward's Dick Grayson (originally seen in the 1966 Batman series), Tom Welling's Clark Kent (originally seen in Smallville), Tom Ellis's Lucifer Morningstar (currently appearing in Lucifer), and Ezra Miller's version of The Flash, who first appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and has his own solo movie coming up from the director of IT.
Fans can get caught up by watching all five parts of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover on The CW's website or app now, or buying them through video on demand platforms.