View Poll Results: Should Batman kill?

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  • Yes

    1 1.47%
  • No

    49 72.06%
  • Depends on the circumstances

    14 20.59%
  • Who cares-they won't stay dead anyway

    4 5.88%
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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    I do hate when they make him a hypocrite about it though. The Nolan movies were especially bad about it. He made a point of telling people he didn't kill. Except for all those ninjas that were asleep when he set fire to the building there were in. Those don't count. Also he's fine standing there and letting somebody else kill, like Catwoman. As long as HE doesn't do it physically with his own too hands.
    I totally agree. In my opinion, the worst take on this was from Tom King.

    In Tom King's story, Batman leaves KGBeast totally incapacitated in the snow to die. Or Batman almost broke Bane's back, because that would worse for Bane than killing him.



    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    That said, I'm okay with there being grey areas around some of his actions and the potential lethality of them. I'm okay with something like ''I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you'', especially if it's an early Batman or a Batman who's really pushed to the brink. If Batman's on a Justice League mission where he literally has to fight off an alien invasion and he blows up some Parademons, or at least doesn't care too much about whether they'll survive his attacks or not, I'm fine. If Gotham is under siege, and he has to unleash some serious firepower from the Batmobile or Batwing that could potentially kill some mooks as collateral damage, I can see him not losing too much sleep over that. And I'm okay with an interpretation of his crusade wherein some of the criminals Batman beats to an inch of their lives could succumb to their injuries eventually...which is what Montoya believes in ''The Other History of the DC Universe''
    Honestly, I have problems with the way writers handle "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you''.

    If you are the person who directly put the other person in mortal danger, then you let this person die. How could this not be considered murder?
    Last edited by Konja7; 01-24-2022 at 07:37 AM.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    Why does this keep coming up? Batman doesn't kill. It's a huge part of his thing and that hard rule makes him more interesting.

    I swear, this isn't a recurring topic on the Superman or Spider-man boards. Heck, I can't remember that last time it was asked about Daredevil or Flash or Vixen or Archie.

    I get that US movie audiences need the closure of killing the bad guy to end a story and so comic book movies routinely kill off the villains, but that doesn't work in comic books. The genre requires recurring villains to function. Seriously, who of note has Punisher ever killed? He has a recurring arch nemesis in jigsaw!
    ^Possibly, because when you look at the damage Joker (specifically) has done, it is difficult to fathom why he has not been put down/ an exception hasn't been made.
    Purely from an in-universe perspective (and not a marketing/ real world one).
    Even if the no killing rule is a fundamental part of Batman's character, after a while, it stops making sense.

  3. #18
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    I think another reason it comes up a lot is that since the '70s at least, Batman has been portrayed as a darker-and-edgier superhero, which makes the no-kill rule seem like a more awkward fit than it does with Superman or Spider-Man. He has the moral code of an old-school superhero even though in most other ways he's portrayed as not an old-school superhero.

    Which, I think, is a good thing. I think without that rule, creators would be tempted to just forget that Batman is an old-fashioned superhero. He can never completely lose touch with his past because that little piece of his history is attached to him at all times, the idea that you can just stop all the bad guys with gadgets and non-lethal force.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konja7 View Post
    Honestly, I have problems with the way writers handle "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you''.

    If you are the person who directly put the other person in mortal danger, then you let this person die. How could this not be considered murder?
    Yeah, in the big picture... how much difference is there between tying someone to a bomb and leaving them to die when the bomb explodes, and tying them up and leaving them to die of hypothermia? Well, legally the second would probably be charged as negligent homicide, unless evidence existed to demonstrate it was intentionally killing them. But... that's about it really.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. White View Post
    ^Possibly, because when you look at the damage Joker (specifically) has done, it is difficult to fathom why he has not been put down/ an exception hasn't been made.
    Purely from an in-universe perspective (and not a marketing/ real world one).
    Even if the no killing rule is a fundamental part of Batman's character, after a while, it stops making sense.
    Or just shot by the GCPD... I mean seriously....

  5. #20
    Mighty Member marvelprince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konja7 View Post
    I totally agree. In my opinion, the worst take on this was from Tom King.

    In Tom King's story, Batman leaves KGBeast totally incapacitated in the snow to die. Or Batman almost broke Bane's back, because that would worse for Bane than killing him.
    I mean KG did just shoot his son in the head so I think that’s justifiable. It was meant to further accelerate Bruce down the dark and ruthless path he was on. Still in terms of “letting someone die” I think that’s pretty tame for comic standard. No one really thought he was dead.

  6. #21
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    The answer, for me, is "No, but not for any reason I've heard articulated in the comics, movies, or most fans".

    I think Batman SHOULDN'T kill because it means he's given up hope that Gotham can heal, become a better city. He's declaring himself the king of Gotham, the person who decides who lives and dies. This is NOT because "you'll be just like him." That's ridiculous. Are Montoya, Harvey, and Gordon "just like them" because they've used lethal force in the line of duty? Absolutely not. The point, for me, is that Batman needs to hope that Gotham can one day be free from the corruption and crime that caused him to put on the mask in the first place, and in that hope, he refuses to become its king.

    I think Batman CANNOT kill because his villains are a huge part of his franchise's sales, and if he kills them, they will either be brought back or imitations will show up. I don't see a lot of people really excited about The Next Joker. I do see people happy when the Joker shows up (even if there's a lot of Joker fatigue, too).
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
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  7. #22
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    all the Live Action versions have killed I dont have a problem with both Superman and Batman killing although i see more realistic Batman killing than Superman and for me Batman killed Joker in the end of Killing Joke

  8. #23
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    I think questions like "why can't they just sentence him to death without any sort of complication that he gets out of it coming up" (I'm looking at you, Devil's Advocate) or like someone else said, why doesn't some rando cop pull the trigger on him are just as valid, imho. Like, you can literally write any scenario where Joker bites it, whether that's the system actually working or some corrupt cop who - instead of working for the crooks - decides to kill one himself. It doesn't have to be on Bats.
    Keep in mind that you have about as much chance of changing my mind as I do of changing yours.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by phonogram12 View Post
    I think questions like "why can't they just sentence him to death without any sort of complication that he gets out of it coming up" (I'm looking at you, Devil's Advocate) or like someone else said, why doesn't some rando cop pull the trigger on him are just as valid, imho. Like, you can literally write any scenario where Joker bites it, whether that's the system actually working or some corrupt cop who - instead of working for the crooks - decides to kill one himself. It doesn't have to be on Bats.
    The answer to those questions would be "they aren't the main protagonist" or "The GCPD is corrupt and incompetent, so we don't expect anything of them".

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    The answer, for me, is "No, but not for any reason I've heard articulated in the comics, movies, or most fans".

    I think Batman SHOULDN'T kill because it means he's given up hope that Gotham can heal, become a better city. He's declaring himself the king of Gotham, the person who decides who lives and dies. This is NOT because "you'll be just like him." That's ridiculous. Are Montoya, Harvey, and Gordon "just like them" because they've used lethal force in the line of duty? Absolutely not. The point, for me, is that Batman needs to hope that Gotham can one day be free from the corruption and crime that caused him to put on the mask in the first place, and in that hope, he refuses to become its king.

    I think Batman CANNOT kill because his villains are a huge part of his franchise's sales, and if he kills them, they will either be brought back or imitations will show up. I don't see a lot of people really excited about The Next Joker. I do see people happy when the Joker shows up (even if there's a lot of Joker fatigue, too).
    I don't see how killing reprehensible villains means that Bruce has given up on Gotham. No one is saying he should kill every villain, which seems to be what people against him killing think will happen. Furthermore, Bruce already acts like he's the king of Gotham what with him being so territorial and controlling when it comes to other superheroes operating in Gotham.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    The answer to those questions would be "they aren't the main protagonist" or "The GCPD is corrupt and incompetent, so we don't expect anything of them".
    Why not, though? During one of my favorite Detective runs (Rucka's first run), they were practically the co-stars and the book was all the better for it. So many big things happened that only barely peripherally had to do with Batman and it was an absolutely great read.

    Also, I don't recall in recent memory a story where Bats has had to take on cops who go out of their way to kill criminals. And the criminal being the Joker? That makes it an even bigger story. If written well, there'd be ripple affects all over Gotham.

    I'm actually dying to read that story the more I think about it.
    Keep in mind that you have about as much chance of changing my mind as I do of changing yours.

  12. #27
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    No.

    And I liked how Garth Ennis twisted the "No killing" rule in Batman: Reptilian.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I don't see how killing reprehensible villains means that Bruce has given up on Gotham. No one is saying he should kill every villain, which seems to be what people against him killing think will happen. Furthermore, Bruce already acts like he's the king of Gotham what with him being so territorial and controlling when it comes to other superheroes operating in Gotham.
    I think it's because of how corrupt and awful Gotham has become that the idea of killing one would probably just set Bruce off on doing more because of how bad the rest is.

  14. #29
    Extraordinary Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    The answer to those questions would be "they aren't the main protagonist" or "The GCPD is corrupt and incompetent, so we don't expect anything of them".
    at a certain point that becomes ridiculous. The idea the cops do NOTHING is absurd... Especially since we have at least three who are Batman's allies.

  15. #30
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I don't see how killing reprehensible villains means that Bruce has given up on Gotham. No one is saying he should kill every villain, which seems to be what people against him killing think will happen. Furthermore, Bruce already acts like he's the king of Gotham what with him being so territorial and controlling when it comes to other superheroes operating in Gotham.
    Batman being territorial is usually portrayed as a flaw, but it's nowhere near the same kind of flaw him running a "kill who I decide to kill" lethal dictatorship would be. There really isn't a comparison.

    And you're ignoring my second point, which is really essential. Batman can't kill the villains because the villains sell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think it's because of how corrupt and awful Gotham has become that the idea of killing one would probably just set Bruce off on doing more because of how bad the rest is.
    No, that's just Loeb and Winick's terrible reasoning in Hush and Under the Hood. If Bruce started killing, there would be fewer killers. The problem is that the disincentive and enforcement of that improvement of the city would be because of Bruce, completely subverting/replacing the elected authorities and laws. You can argue that Batman does function outside the law, but there's a very intentional attempt to portray his vigilante activity as being in the service of the people and cleaning up the system so that eventually (which will never happen because Batman sells, so he can never win) Gotham can function without him.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
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