Christopher Nolan might be the visionary responsible for the epic "Dark Knight" trilogy, but he didn't do it alone. Without an all-star list of former Academy Award winners and nominees to help him along the way, the current state of Batman films would not be what they are today.
Front and center on that list is Christian Bale, the Oscar winner who brought Bruce Wayne to stunning life over the course of three films. Outside of the comics, Bale stands out as the definitive Caped Crusader, second only to voice actor Kevin Conroy, perhaps. Growl voice and the occasional wonky one-liner aside, Bale's Batman was not the hero we deserved, but he was the hero we needed — and now that hero's journey is at an end.
But before we close the book on his Batman for good, let's just take a minute right now to salute Bale as our Hero of the Week.
Few other actors have ever understood the many different sides to this role. Bale got it perfectly. There's Bruce Wayne the public figure, the reckless billionaire playboy who buys hotels and has a different woman on his arm every hour. There's the real Bruce Wayne, the tortured soul whose smile gives way to something darker when he's alone in the cave. And then there's Batman, the elemental force of justice he becomes at night, complete with a different voice, different facial expressions, and a whole lot of gadgetry and brawn to fuel his ceaseless need to take criminals down. Bale plays each one of these almost as though they're completely different people, because, in their way, they are. It's a genius performance, if you can get past the meme-worthy voice.
But that's not why Bale is our Hero of the Week. This is why. And really, what else needs to be said? The actor's actions speak louder than our words ever could. Instead, we'll close out with this very appropriate tweet from the usually quippy @God_Damn_Batman himself: "Christian Bale is visiting with the victims in CO. Because sometimes, people deserve to have their faith rewarded."
Welcome to Hero of the Week, our weekly salute to the heroes keeping the comic book, movie and television scene something to look forward to day in and day out. From actual superheroes to the actors and filmmakers who bring them to life, you can tell us who your heroes are in the comments and on Twitter!