I dislike his no kill rule because it doesn’t make any sense
A guy with a Redhood user name wouldn’t lol which part confuses you?
In real life, I would agree 100% with a no kill rule. This is comics though and I agree. It is ridiculous. Joker killed Jason Todd, left Barbara paralyzed, and has done how many other horrible things? Batman knows he will get out from Arkham and wreck havoc again. Killing someone that has done this many horrible things makes sense at this point. Rehabilitation isn’t going to happen. It would have happened already if it was going to.
If he killed joker then he’d be no better than Joker. What right would Batman have to decide who lives and who dies? Where does it end? today it’s Joker tomorrow it’s a kid who steals a piece of candy. Batman accepts that his war on crime is a never ending struggle. It’s not as black and white as you murdered someone so I should murder you
I think it’s just how he rationalizes being an extrajudicial fascist nutjob. “I’m not accountable to the people I police without their consent, but I’m no killer!”
@biff_pow Have you ever Batman #51- 53 of Tom King’s run? His accountability to the people he polices is basically what that stories about. Batman’s not above the law
As a vigilante, you’re already investing yourself with a power over others that you arguably shouldn’t have. You’ve annointed yourself. Killing definitely crossing the line. This being comics, however, well the people the Joker kills aren’t real anyways and some even come back!
I can also imagine the ingenuity with which he manages to escape time and time again may complicate actually labelling him as insane in real life, and I could see our justice system, in this extreme example, just executing him. In some states.
For any other character, it would make sense. But batman is not any other character. He recognizes that doing the deed makes him more likely to do it again. He understands this about himself, and so no matter the burning desire to terminate the life, he would not. Whether it be a lowly thug or the clown prince of crime, batman knows once he starts, he won’t be able to stop himself.
Now. HOT TAKE.
If batman was to kill anyone, it shouldn’t be the joker as Gotham was messed up before him and still will be. The ones who have done the most harm to the city are the mob bosses. They’ve devastated the poor of Gotham, and are primarily the reason for Gotham’s troubles. I believe people just tend to think it should be the joker because we are usually attached to his victims, but the millions of other Gotham citizens who are suffering are primarily due to the mob families exploiting the city, using up its resources and paying the right people to ensure change never occurs in Gotham.
Yes. Enough said.
I think it’s what makes Batman so inspiring. Batman has confessed to coming close to crossing the line multiple times over, for a bevy of valid reasons. However, he pulls himself back beacuse, he knows once he takes a life, it becomes easier to justify doing it again and again. It’s his ironclad will to abide by this code that sets him apart from someone like Red Hood or the Punisher. Batman is proof that you dont have to become a monster to fight monsters.
No, I disagree with the rule, it doesn’t make sense to have it as a rule. However, it should still be his intent. He should stand staunchly against murder in all forms, yes absolutely.
I also think that if Batman is in anything aimed at children, a no-kill rule is the way to go. Death and violence are complicated subjects that arent appropriate for the wee ones. That isnt meant as condescending, I also still watch cartoons and love them.
So, the position that “Joker is just going to escape and murder a bunch of people” would not be a reason to kill. Batman’s responsibility is done once his criminal is in custody. Jokers escape would land on the security and staff of Arkham and the murders would be on Joker alone. If Batman kills Joker over it he really would be no different than the people he fights. That would be murder. Say however, KGBeast has a flame thrower aimed at Martha Kent and shes too far to reach without risking her fiery death, but Bats can reach the handgun that some attemted murderer just tried to use on him, he should use it. Obviously, give Beast the option to live, but if he insists that “he’ll do it”… or the way he killed Harvey Dent in Dark Knight.
If its because “he operates within the law”, the law has many different charges for taking a life because of situational context. Taking a life in defense of yourself or others is within the law.
The idea that Batman doesnt kill because everyone can be redeemed kind of runs opposite of his view that “if he took a life he would just start killing more and more criminals”. What is this based on? How is this even a thing. If “He wont come back from that place” why would he believe the Joker or Two-Face could be saved or redeemed? Wouldn’t they be “too far gone” to be helped? It seems to make Batman a guy who WANTS to kill everyone, but made a rule against it. Not heroic.
That brings use to the “heroic” rhetoric. Study the term and its meaning. Hero is a literary term for a character with a specific set of characteristics, none of which involve a no-kill rule. Sure, by the virtues of temperance and compassion a hero will have a strong aversion to murder, violence, and cruelty. But by the virtue of courage will stand up to tyrants and madmen in defense of the weak and innocent, and by the virtue if selflessness he will drop his hesitation to harm. It’s called examining moral conflict.
If he has a no-kill rule he must be making an exception for manslaughter because hundreds of people die from physical altercations every year. Batman is in peak physical condition, aka strong enough to knock you out permanently. I get he’s a ninja and he pulls his punches, but isnt he also supposed to be human? Is he flawed or perfect?
It also forces dues ex-machina plot choices and forces stories to play out in a convenient way as opposed to a convincing way. One that happens as a result of the “hero” characters actions.
The no-kill rule is meant to infantalize an originally noir character. It worked for it’s intended purposes, but the audience has grown and adapted for the better half of a century now. All the rule does is prevent Batman stories from covering a litany of relevant and poignant moral conflicts that could come with a one man war on crime.
Digital high five if you read it all.
Yes, I agree with it 100%. Nobody “deserves” to die, and Batman as a vigilante certainly does not have the authority to make that call (not that anyone should).
Batman’s no-kill policy what separates him from the more trigger-happy vigilantes such as The Punisher. Batman is better than that.
I think it’s the one thing that separates him from every other crazy person in a suit running around Gotham. Now the no kill rule may not make sense, but it’s a device used to tell some great stories, so I don’t want it to go away. There are plenty of other characters without the rule that people can read about.
Like Awesome_Squid said, the no kill rule has led to so many amazing stories. Its a plot device thats covered in a lot of iconic Batman stories, thats why I think its a definitive part of the character.
In real life, 1000% Batman should kill, but in comics, no I dont think so. Its a genuinely recognized part of his character at this point. The first 2 movies in the Dark Knight trilogy revolved around Batmans “one rule”. And they were extremely well recieved.
Its a valuable plot device that differentiates Batman from other heroes like the Punisher.
The Under the Red Hood storyline, the whole basis for Jason Todds anger is that Batman chose not to kill the Joker when Joker killed Jason, that Jason’s death didnt mean enough to warrant killing the Joker.
The Death of the Family story, Batman never killing the Joker and their long relationship led the Joker to believe they were “destined” for eachother. By not killing the Joker, Joker has convinced himself that only he and Batman matter. And so he plots out to destroy the Batfamily because he thinks they are “distractions” for Batman.
Even Frank Millers Batman, who was credited for turning the character signficantly darker and more mature, was adamant about the no killing rule. In stories like the dark knight returns, it emphasizes Batman using rubber bullets.
I think the no kill rule is as a definitive trait of Batman as not trusting anyone is. Its apart of who he is as a character. Every character has quirks and flaws, thats what makes them interesting.
I think it makes sense in terms of being able to allow these characters to continue having compelling villains to fight, but I think @Zombeady has a really good point on how it somehow infantalizes the character and makes him sound like a bigger psychopath at the same time.
See, the thing is, I think the argument actually gets represented backwards most times. To me it seems as though people feel like the comics should be an ideal, while the real world should have to deal with real stuff and we should put those people who do the unspeakably horrible things down.
But even before the whole disconnect between whether or not we uphold our ideals in the real world there’s the fact that in comics the villains are never truly punished. So we, the readers are never truly satisfied with our ideal to begin with. Leaving some of us, even unconsciously, a bit jaded to the whole process before even closing the book. To have an ongoing narrative Lex Luthor always has to get off through legal maneuvering and Arkham Asylum has to have a revolving door. Say what you will about the the Nolan trilogy but it was satisfying in that regard at least. When Batman caught the Joker (Heath Ledger’s tragic passing notwithstanding) he was caught! He didn’t break out next week to kill again, he was imprisoned forever and he was never mentioned again.
This happens to the majority of major violent offenders in the U.S. The system is by no means perfect, I am going through something personally right now where someone close to me lost a case involving some despicable behavior. Justice was not served. Lives are in shambles.
Even still, the willful taking of life is murder. If an elseworlds Flash with telepathy decided to lightspeed across the world reading everyone’s mind in a single instant and killing every murderer they found, his quest would ultimately end with suicide. Killing killers for killing is the height of hypocrisy, disguised as nobility.