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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member
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    Default Why Doesn't Batman Kill?

    So I am new to the comics as some of you might have seen me comment on. At present my source of Batman characterization are various movies and cartoons.

    Needless to say, they paint a somewhat contradictory picture of our hero. I'm sure the same is no less true in comics, of course. Decades of characterization with dozens of writers, you're bound to get some inconsistency.

    But even still, is there any consistency to why Batman has his no kill rule? In terms of films, The Dark Knight presents it as a sign of nobility. Batman doesn't kill because he's just that much of a paragon. Meanwhile, Under the Red Hood offers a far more compelling reason. Batman refuses to kill because if he slips, if he crosses that line, he'll become everything he fights against.

    So, which is it according to the comics? Does he refuse to kill as a sign of what an amazing hero he is, or to show how incredibly screwed up he is?

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Caivu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NK1988 View Post
    In terms of films, The Dark Knight presents it as a sign of nobility. Batman doesn't kill because he's just that much of a paragon. Meanwhile, Under the Red Hood offers a far more compelling reason. Batman refuses to kill because if he slips, if he crosses that line, he'll become everything he fights against.
    It's both of those.
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  3. #3
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    Batman just catches the criminals. It isn't his job to kill them. The real question should be why does the state that Gotham City is in have no death penalty? Is there anyone left that thinks the Joker can be rehabilitated?

  4. #4

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    Because Batman is first and foremost a Detective in the same cloth as Sherlock and his best stories follow that path, the only real great story that kind of deviated from that was TDKR which had the luxury of not having to adhere to the Ouroboros.

  5. #5
    Spectacular Member Fearless Heart's Avatar
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    It's both. Batman lives with so much self-control in such darkness. If he allows himself to kill, he might start rationalizing other killings. It would be interesting what would happen if Bruce Wayne went to war after being Batman for years, and then came back. I'd be interest in how he'd operate. Or maybe he'd refuse to be Batman.

  6. #6

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    Why should he have to stain his hands with someone's blood? The death penalty is a proven failure as a crime preventative, so even if Batman were to kill, it would make no difference. He might as well choose the least damaging option.
    Retired poster. You can't ban me, I quit

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member FishyZombie's Avatar
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    I think his first experience witnessing death and murder, was just so traumatizing for him, he simply refuses to go there.

  8. #8
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    To increase his marketability to children.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    To increase his marketability to children.
    Parents. His marketability to parents.

  10. #10
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    True.
    .....

  11. #11
    Knows some stuff thefiresky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    To increase his marketability to children.
    Best answer. /thread
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome men don't lose fights View Post
    Why should he have to stain his hands with someone's blood? The death penalty is a proven failure as a crime preventative, so even if Batman were to kill, it would make no difference. He might as well choose the least damaging option.
    Some how, I don't think the friends and families of Joker's victims see it as the least damaging option.

  13. #13
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    Much more fun to maim criminals and leave them (further) unable to support themselves instead.

  14. #14
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    If he kills his enemies, after a short time, he would loose his iconic enemies. From a writers perspective not really a great option.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishyZombie View Post
    I think his first experience witnessing death and murder, was just so traumatizing for him, he simply refuses to go there.
    Ignoring the real world reasons, I think this is the best option.

    The whole "I'd be no better than them" is a fine reason for him to not go on a Punisher style killing spree (because that is actually wrong), but it really doesn't cover the fact that he won't even kill to directly save lives - like police do.

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