Fan Expo Canada wrapped on Sunday with a rather historic panel: ‘Batman & Joker Live’ featuring Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill together on stage. While the two have appeared together at previous conventions, this marked Hamill’s first Canadian appearance. Thousands upon thousands of fans flooded into Room 105 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to see the voices of their childhood together on stage. Afterall, Conroy and Hamill are the definitive voice-actors of Batman and the Joker, respectively.
Conroy introduced himself to the explosive crowd with, “I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman.” The cheering quickly became laughter, however, when Hamill replied with, “And I’m another person in the room.” Yes, it was definitely an iconic panel. The two discussed their process together, their (nearly) 25-year careers as The Dark Knight and The Clown Prince of Crime, and their future as the characters.
Both men originally brought their characters to life in 1992 with BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Since then, they have gone on to embody the DC icons in video games (most recently the Batman: Arkham trilogy), numerous animated TV series, and several animated films including this year’s BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE. And what about all the controversy surrounding the recent film? After years of lobbying DC to adapt Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke, Hamill’s response after finally seeing the finished product: “It just weirded me out.” Both men agreed that the R-rating was the best way to tell the story, but the newly-written prequel in the film that featured Batman and Batgirl in a sexual relationship just seemed to be too much. Hamill, noticeably uncomfortable while discussing the film, said that section wasn’t even in the script while he was reading his lines.
Nevertheless, both Conroy and Hamill continue to love their legacy of playing Batman and the Joker. “Mark is someone who understands that the better I am, the better he will be,” Conroy said at the conclusion of the panel. Hamill replied with, “He’s my Batman. There’s Kevin and then there’s everybody else.”
Photography exclusively provided to HDN by James Livitski