10 quotes proving that Batman is the best hero in the animated DC universe

In a world filled to the brim with interconnected cinematic universe content in pop culture, DC Animated Universe continues to be one of the biggest efforts in using this narrative device. Since Batman: The Animated Series, the titular Dark Knight has been a part of several memorable stories and provided equally unforgettable dialogue.

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As such, he has also had his fair share of the limelight across the various DCAU shows and has delivered plenty of iconic lines in all of them. Several of these quotes do a good job of highlighting various facets that make Batman one of the best superheroes in general, let alone DCAU.


Without a doubt his most iconic line

“I Am Vengeance. I Am The Night. I Am Batman!”

Shared image of Batman standing on top of a building lit by lightning and delivering his iconic line in BTAS

Kevin Conroy’s portrayal of Batman across the media is still a favorite of many fans, even when compared to the best of the superhero’s live-action appearances. And without a doubt, Conroy’s most iconic and defiant quote came in the first season Batman: The Animated Series. So much so that this line exceeds the medium it was delivered in as it is a great insight into how the Caped Crusader works.

Despite being under the influence of Scarecrow’s fear toxin, Batman eventually manages to break free of his control through sheer willpower. He overcomes the fear of disappointing his father and declares that he is the physical manifestation of Gotham’s revenge on crime. While there are others who can admirably wear the mantle like Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne is that Batman.

With Batman’s age comes experience

“How to interrogate someone.”

Old Bruce Wayne meets his younger self with Terry McGinnis' Batman in the background

Age is by nature not equal to wisdom, but the older Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond days proved that he has acquired valuable skills as a hero and detective. He and Terry McGinnis / Batman travel to the future to thwart the time-traveling villain Chronos, where they meet the younger but veteran Bruce Wayne / Batman.

While the younger Batman tries to interrogate a henchman to get information about Chronos, the older Bruce takes his target from him and immediately makes him confess. Bruce’s genius at being used on criminology and detective work is one of the character’s greatest – yet underrated – assets.

Respect and admiration under Stoicism

“Gentlemen, it has been an honor.”

Martian Manhunter and Flash are tricked by Batman into fleeing without him

Admittedly, Bruce has a problem with being too stoic, as he lets his fear of endangering people prevent him from being more personal. But even under the thick guard that Batman covers himself with, there is a deep sense of friendship and admiration for his allies. In it Justice League animated series, Batman, the Flash and Martian Manhunter, are desperate to prevent an invading army of Thanagarians.

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The two are led to believe that they have managed to escape them with an escape capsule, but Dark Knight had no intentions of escaping. Batman tricked them into boarding the only escape route so he himself could crash the Watchtower against the army. What he thought was his last farewell was a good example of the care he sometimes hides.

Batman’s friendship with Superman

“… I had nothing but respect for you. I hope you knew – by that. You showed me that justice does not always have to come from the dark.”

Batman and Superman are fighting side by side in DCAU

While certain circles fixate on putting the two up against each other, the dynamics of Superman are one of Batman’s most important friendships in comics. Batman’s aforementioned weariness can be troublesome for his various relationships, but admiration for Superman is there as well.

Batman deals with an onslaught of villains, including Deadshot and Livewire, but stops to say a few words at Superman’s memorial. He admits his mistake by not saying this when he should have done so, but he gives a touching insight into Batman’s humanity. They are a kind of “opposites attract” kind of situations, which even though Batman broods and Superman is cheerful, each brings something to the table that benefits them both.

He always comes prepared

“Call it insurance.”

Shared image of Batman holding kryptonite and talking to Hawkgirl in Justice League

Part of the reason Batman is one of DC’s greatest superheroes is his mind for strategy. And while the “prep time” argument has become a trope in the fan base, it holds more than just a core of truth.

IN Justice League, Hawkgirl asks Caped Crusader if he always has kryptonite with him, and the latter replies that it’s his insurance policy under extreme circumstances. He may be a superpowerless superhero, but Batman has proven time and time again that his brain can do more than just compensate for the lack of meta-human strength.

Batman’s friendship with Commissioner Gordon

“He’s a friend. More than a friend. Jim Gordon is the same age my father would have been if he had not …”

Batman and Commissioner Gordon consume their traditional coffee in The New Batman Adventures

Given the inherently brooding character of the character’s most acclaimed incarnations, Batman has delivered some iconic, yet depressing dialogues. This heartfelt line about Commissioner Jim Gordon is on the bittersweet side, but yet another testament to Bruce’s compassion when he’s not cold or self-ironic.

A popular misconception about Batman is that he is a lone wolf, but even though he manages a lot on his own, he was never really alone for long. When he discovered he needed friends and allies to succeed, Gordon was one of the first besides Alfred.

Gratitude for Batman Beyond

You’ve honored Batman’s reputation many times, and I thank you for that.

Terry McGinnis as Batman with an older Bruce Wayne

This quote by Bruce to Terry is at the same time a representation of his greater judgment and his toughness. IN Batman Beyond: Return of the JokerBruce tells him he wants the suit back despite the good he has done with it. In the end, he asks Terry about this for fear of putting him in even more grueling circumstances, but knowing Bruce and telling the young Batman that he has done the cloak incredible justice was certainly sincere.

His feelings are genuine, and the pain of his Bat family from the past is understandable, but it certainly shows his stubbornness in believing that this is really what Terry wants. Of course, Bruce would rightly make room for him eventually.

Batman’s hero

“I used to look at you with my father. The gray ghost was my hero. And he still is.”

Shared image of Batman with Gray Ghost in BTAS

The death of Thomas and Martha Wayne was the main catalyst for forging Batman, but the episode of BTAS with the gray ghost in the lead role showed another important inspiration for Bruce.

The episode itself was healthy and inspiring, with Batman helping the former TV star find the desire to live his life with optimism. Batman gives credit where there is credit, and he will gladly build up those who have given him so much. This gesture becomes even more touching when you consider that Kevin Conroy’s Batman said this line to Adam West’s Gray Ghost as a handover of the torch.

His Ability to Empathy

“I know how it is.”

Batman offers to hold Ace's hand in her final moments in Justice League Unlimited

It’s a simple line, but it resonates in sizes. A powerful young psychic has been exerting his powers after spending his life being used as a weapon. Ace threatens to use these powers on a much broader scale, and Amanda Waller instructs Batman to infiltrate her enchanted fortress to kill her. However, she is already dying and Batman never intended to kill her.

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Instead, Dark Knight sits with Ace and comforts her until she passes by. While it sounds like a superficial piece of dialogue on paper coming from Batman (and the fact that Ace can read minds), it couldn’t be more sincere. Batman was not there to kill her or even become poetic about justice; he just wanted to make a young girl deprived of her childhood a kindness no one gave her.

The symbol of Batman

“The mission always continues, and whether in form or in spirit – there must always be a Batman.”

The shadowy silhouette of Batman looming over Gotham in BTAS 'opening

Bruce is not as self-righteous as some might think, as he has demonstrated that he understands the importance of Batman beyond himself. This quote is the embodiment of it, as Gotham – and the world – need the symbol he gives.

He did an admirable job of creating one that could at the same time ward off those who seek to prey on the innocent and serve as a beacon of hope for the timid. Terry McGinnis is yet another proof that Bruce recognizes when a more dignified is next door to wear the cloak.

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