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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Default How against are you regarding Batman using deadly force?

    When Batman fights criminals, I’m not necessarily saying he has to kill them to defeat them, but in regards to using deadly force and self-defense in such a way that may possibly be necessary when dealing with especially dangerous and hostile criminals so as to attempt to defend himself, the society he protects, and serve justice to the best of his ability, even at the risk of, if only accidentally, leading to the criminal’s death, then what would your thoughts be on that?
    Last edited by Electricmastro; 05-24-2020 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Usually, writers manage to avoid those situations, or if they come up, his response is controlled and nuanced enough to avoid actually killing them, or the story cashes in on the drama of saving them, or blows by it just insisting he succeeded.

    There have been times where various media have shown him going through extremely dubious “less than lethal”/“genuinely lethal, but he has a backup plan” strategies: Arkham Origins has him flat out stop Bane’s heart before resuscitating him afterwards, the Dark Knight Trilogy had him make hard choices that resulted in deaths (leaving Ra’s on the train, tackling Two-Face off the roof to save Gordon’s son, flat out shooting Talia’s truck), and Under the Hood had him slicing open Jason’s neck to rescue Joker (the movie version realized blocking his gun barrel would make more sense given their history.)

    If he has a specific person to safe that requires more dramatic action, he should take it, but I’ll be honest - unless a writer has a plan to tackle a resulting death as a years long storyline detail and issue and avoid going for anything cheap with an actual death.
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  3. #3
    Incredible Member Bat-Meal's Avatar
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    As a general rule I prefer that he not go over-the-top because I prefer to see him as more of a hero than anti-hero - Red Hood, and occasionally Batwoman, are the black-sheep of the Batfamily who take things further from time to time.

    I'm not overly fussed though, as it depends on the artistic direction that's been taken with the character and setting. As long as they keep it consistent and don't make me hate him, I'm pretty happy.

    But if he does get excessive, there has to be a good reason, not simply to look 'badass' - because that just makes him a psycho IMO.

  4. #4
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    Batman is the one superhero with whom a non-negotiable "no killing rule" still makes sense. He thinks being a killer, even for a 'good cause' makes him no better than Joe Chill. Ultimately, his goal is to be an agent for the justice system, not judge, jury and executioner - the one thing that sets him apart from being a full-blown 'vigilante'. His working with Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD also makes a lot more sense if he's not a killer. You can buy the GCPD working with a costumed crime-fighter in a world full of superheroes - not so much them working with a guy who's a murderer several times over.

    The extent to which I'm okay with Batman causing deaths is if they are a result of collateral damage. Or if he fails to save someone. At most, if he chooses not to save someone. Or if he acts in a way to save other innocent lives. But he shouldn't actively try to kill anyone.

    Then again, there can always be exceptions, as long as the story is compelling.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    I'm listing canon that I know

    Batman knows how to use firearms and he taught the same to Robin so they know the power of the weapon of the enemies, but refuses to use it since it's the weapon that killed his parents. It's personal.

    However, that doesn't mean he won't be tempted from time to time. Such as when he used Joe Chill's gun to hunt The Reaper since he couldn't beat him with his training, though he decided against it in the end, or actually shooting Darkside since the fate of the universe is at stake.

    Batman is also very emotional when it comes to people closest to him. He's always tempted to finish off his enemy whenever his lovers or family's life is on the line.
    He actually wanted to kill Joker after Jason died and only stopped by Superman and the fact that their chopper was heading towards the ocean anyway.
    He's about to shoot Alexander Luthor, beat up Lex Luthor without holding back, and leave KG Beast with only a really slim chance of survival, all of them when Dick almost died.
    He wanted to kill Joker when he thought he shot Tommy Elliot and remembering everything he did, to Jason, Barbara, and Sarah Essen, only stopping after Jim, who suffered as much as he did in the hands of Joker, stopped him.
    He left Mad Hatter to drown for torturing and killing his love interest Natalya Trusevich and only came back after Alfred begged him.

    He locked KGBeast to die the first time because he couldn't beat him, and though he came back on second thought, it's explained as him still emotional over Jason. That he no longer cares.

    All of those make sense to me. So emotional compromise is the main reason. Running out of option is another.

    He will not gleefully shoot or kill people.
    Batman Returns throwing that huge circus guy strapped with dynamite to the sewers is a big no.
    Batman Begins he will capture Ra's instead of leaving him in a runaway train and expose his crime

    He will not deliberately kill people if he can avoid it.
    Batman Forever throwing coins to distract Two-Face he will do, but he will catch his foot with his grapple before Harvey hits the bottom, similar to how he saved Joker at the end of The Dark Knight. Although he may run out of grapples after saving Robin and Dr. Chase Meridian.
    The Dark Knight assuming he's wounded and without grapple, it's acceptable to push Harvey off since James Jr.'s life is on the line.

  6. #6
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    I'm not against it. It's just a relic from the old Comics Code. I mean, I'm not saying Batman should kill, I'm saying I wouldn't give a fudge.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Batman shouldn’t kill.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member John Venus's Avatar
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    My ideal preference would be that he uses the necessary amount of force to take down opponents and only escalates based on threat level. I don't like him beating on people who stands no chance against him.

    Batman doesn't like killing, there might be times where he loses control and almost crosses the lines but he doesn't. He also doesn't like guns. However, he isn't so caught up in his cape that he doesn't understand why someone like Gordon or other GCPD would use guns or that there are situations where death was unavoidable. He would rather things didn't come to that and while he would hate it, it would be a wrestle between his ID and his more logical deductive side. He is supposed to be a detective albeit one who struggles with his own demons.

    The Zero Hour issue that recounted Batman's origin summed up the code perfectly; Bruce realized that if his parents lives were so valuable and important to him then so was every life.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riv86672 View Post
    Batman shouldn’t kill.
    And that’s interesting, because I made a post elsewhere regarding Bruce helping kill Nazi soldiers in The Brave and the Bold #84 (June, 1969), and someone replied saying Bruce was justified in doing what he did because it was war, and that doing so wouldn’t make him the same as an immoral killer since there were also American soldiers who risked their lives in killing Nazi soldiers on the battlefield in the cause of preserving America and such. It can really make one think if Batman killing, at least in war, really makes him objectively the same as the killers he fights against in the cause of justice.





    Last edited by Electricmastro; 05-25-2020 at 04:11 PM.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    And that’s interesting, because I made a post elsewhere regarding Bruce helping kill Nazi soldiers in The Brave and the Bold #84 (June, 1969), and someone replied saying Bruce was justified in doing what he did because it was war, and that doing so wouldn’t make him the same as an immoral killer since there were also American soldiers who risked their lives in killing Nazi soldiers on the battlefield in the cause of preserving America and such. It can really make one think if Batman killing, at least in war, really makes him objectively the same as the killers he fights against in the cause of justice.





    Ah. This is pretty much New 52 Helena Bertinelli's justification of killing. Secret agents, espionage agents, and soldiers are justified in killing to prevent further injustice, stops the war, and protect the people they love from becoming further victims.

    Something that Dick Grayson still refused to do, which is why she told him this.

    Current Batman is like that. In a war zone, he still won't shoot to kill. He uses Batplane to scatter the army, deliberately missing, tear gas to incapacitate or panic, then jumped down, throwing batarangs to disarm or more tear gas, followed by martial arts to finish the fight, tying them up once they're done.

    Dick does the same, without Batplane, he just jumps from the plane to the middle of the camp and starts disarming and incapacitating them with his batons.

    If Jason's there, Batman allows him to use guns, but to kneecaps only or to disarm.

    Of course they can't do this against a large army, but against one group or small encampment, two of the Batfam is enough.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 05-25-2020 at 04:33 PM.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    Ah. This is pretty much New 52 Helena Bertinelli's justification of killing. Secret agents, espionage agents, and soldiers are justified in killing to prevent further injustice, stops the war, and protect the people they love from becoming further victims.

    Something that Dick Grayson still refused to do, which is why she told him this.

    Current Batman is like that. In a war zone, he still won't shoot to kill. He uses Batplane to scatter the army, deliberately missing, tear gas to incapacitate or panic, then jumped down, throwing batarangs to disarm or more tear gas, followed by martial arts to finish the fight, tying them up once they're done.

    Dick does the same, without Batplane, he just jumps from the plane to the middle of the camp and starts disarming and incapacitating them with his batons.

    If Jason's there, Batman allows him to use guns, but to kneecaps only or to disarm.

    Of course they can't do this against a large army, but against one group or small encampment, two of the Batfam is enough.
    Interesting, though I still wouldn’t hold it against Batman using especially deadly force in being surrounded by enemy attackers when disarming them and tying them up just isn’t enough, at least when hundreds upon hundreds of them keep trying to pile on top of him.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    And that’s interesting, because I made a post elsewhere regarding Bruce helping kill Nazi soldiers in The Brave and the Bold #84 (June, 1969), and someone replied saying Bruce was justified in doing what he did because it was war, and that doing so wouldn’t make him the same as an immoral killer since there were also American soldiers who risked their lives in killing Nazi soldiers on the battlefield in the cause of preserving America and such. It can really make one think if Batman killing, at least in war, really makes him objectively the same as the killers he fights against in the cause of justice.
    Well, as a Soldier myself, and speaking only for myself, I’m of the opinion that taking a life in War is different than going out and excecuting criminals.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riv86672 View Post
    Well, as a Soldier myself, and speaking only for myself, I’m of the opinion that taking a life in War is different than going out and excecuting criminals.
    I think this plays a part in the sensible reasons why Batman has no problem with official authority figures using lethal force - whether soldiers in war or most police action.

    One of the things about Batman, other superheroes and the no-killing code is it allows them to respect civilian government’s authority over the ultimate sanction - something that governments exercise through the court process or declarations of war. Batman, and other superheroes, are neither soldiers nor police officers, and don’t claim that authority.

    To be honest, given their powers and skills, it kind of gives them a way to break apart from the fascistic overtones of lethal vigilantes. Honestly, I think that gives especially Batman’s crusade something to help set it up as something definitively different from the corrupt aspects of Gotham City before he arrives. It gives him a separation from corrupt cops executing bookies and witnesses who know too much, and gives him some moral leg to stand on when he, Gordon, and Dent start trying to reform the Justice system - because it’s still the Justice system they actually deposit the criminals before.

    If Batman weren’t in a world where the medium both needs criminals to escape and references their numerous escapes, his successful capture of most criminals would make him even more admirable - which I’d say is one of the reasons why something as short in content as the Dark Knight Trilogy arguably works better in the area of his rules than the comics.
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  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    I'm not against it. It's just a relic from the old Comics Code. I mean, I'm not saying Batman should kill, I'm saying I wouldn't give a fudge.
    Batman abandoned the use of guns and I believe killing in general before the Comics Code even came into effect.

    He was going on weird adventures with Robin fairly quickly in his career.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Batman abandoned the use of guns and I believe killing in general before the Comics Code even came into effect.

    He was going on weird adventures with Robin fairly quickly in his career.
    Yeah, and those Nazi killing pages I had posted earlier were probably the first time he had been willing to use especially deadly force in a long time, which was quite a change in direction I’m sure. It was also around that time he had been willing to:

    Shoot an arrow through a vampire’s heart (Detective Comics #455, January 1976):



    Use the living bodies of others to defend himself (Batman #288, June 1977):



    And throw the villain into electrified cables (Batman #290, August 1977):


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