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Depictions of the Joker and Batman's 'no kill' rule

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  • Depictions of the Joker and Batman's 'no kill' rule

    MOD NOTE: This thread was lifted from a tangent in the thread about Buffy killing the Knights of Byzantium.
    --

    I really have no problem with heroes killing in self defense.

    I also hate the whole "if you kill him then you become just like him"trope. In recent years I've really come to hate the Joker. Every Joker story seems to try and top the last one in terms of body count. I actually think that Batman's no kill rule makes him look weak and ineffective(Tim Burton Batman is best Batman). I'm all for giving people second chances, but after Joker's 100th escape from Arkham asylum it's clear that Joker won't change, and Batman really should kill him.
    My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
    I really have no problem with heroes killing in self defense.

    I also hate the whole "if you kill him then you become just like him"trope. In recent years I've really come to hate the Joker. Every Joker story seems to try and top the last one in terms of body count. I actually think that Batman's no kill rule makes him look weak and ineffective(Tim Burton Batman is best Batman). I'm all for giving people second chances, but after Joker's 100th escape from Arkham asylum it's clear that Joker won't change, and Batman really should kill him.
    That rule doesn't make sense within the context of the Nolan movies either. He leaves Liam Neeson his mentor to die in a train crash and pushes Harvey off the edge of a tall building but yet somehow decides to save the Joker

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BtVS fan

      That rule doesn't make sense within the context of the Nolan movies either. He leaves Liam Neeson his mentor to die in a train crash and pushes Harvey off the edge of a tall building but yet somehow decides to save the Joker
      "The Joker is a very loved character and with him, there are more stories for comics. So one of the reasons Batman doesn't kill the Joker definitely in comics is money because they want to sell continuously new comics with this loved character. Not much a moral reason."
      Writers wanted to produce a second movie with the Joker before Heath Ledger died, so they couldn't kill him and used the trite, illogical, and hypocrite message "if you kill him then you become just like him"
      The "no killing rule" of villains in superheroes movies is bullshit done entirely for money in order to create more stories/comics/movies with famous characters or to avoid show harsh realities as direct kills to children

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nothing13

        "The Joker is a very loved character and with him, there are more stories for comics. So one of the reasons Batman doesn't kill the Joker definitely in comics is money because they want to sell continuously new comics with this loved character. Not much a moral reason."
        Writers wanted to produce a second movie with the Joker before Heath Ledger died, so they couldn't kill him and used the trite, illogical, and hypocrite message "if you kill him then you become just like him"
        The "no killing rule" of villains in superheroes movies is bullshit done entirely for money in order to create more stories/comics/movies with famous characters or to avoid show harsh realities as direct kills to children
        From a story perspective I would've saved Two Face not the Joker for the 3rd Movie.

        The ridiculous b/s of the Joker dressing up in a nurses outfit to sneak into a hospital showed that it was just having Heath Ledger do crazy crap at that point. Besides Harvey is grief stricken by his loved one death so he won't shoot the person who did it but instead murder a child like WTF !

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BtVS fan

          That rule doesn't make sense within the context of the Nolan movies either. He leaves Liam Neeson his mentor to die in a train crash and pushes Harvey off the edge of a tall building but yet somehow decides to save the Joker
          Tell me about it. It was ridiculous how the Nolan fantards would act all high and mighty about how their version of Batman was soooo close to the source material.Nolan Batman had a pretty high death count too.

          The Nolan Batman movies are overrated boring movies that feel like they are ashamed of being superhero movies. Also they are the worst things to happen to DC because they tried to copy Nolan's darker story style with Superman Man of Steel.

          Mods I apologize for getting wayyyy off-topic.
          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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          • Stoney
            Stoney commented
            Editing a comment
            You were right it had become a bit of an involved discussion at a tangent so I've moved it into its own thread here. Let me know if you'd like the title of the thread changing at all.

        • #6
          Originally posted by Lostsoul666

          Tell me about it. It was ridiculous how the Nolan fantards would act all high and mighty about how their version of Batman was soooo close to the source material.Nolan Batman had a pretty high death count too.

          The Nolan Batman movies are overrated boring movies that feel like they are ashamed of being superhero movies. Also they are the worst things to happen to DC because they tried to copy Nolan's darker story style with Superman Man of Steel.

          Mods I apologize for getting wayyyy off-topic.
          Well I liked Batman Begins which I thought was a fun movie and I enjoyed the Dark Knight up until a point (when Joker busts out of prison) but then it got boring and like I say Harvey was wasted as a character.

          I do have issues with Nolan movies like in Dunkirk why doesn't Tom Hardy land his plane near the British forces ? Landing near the Germans where he'd get captured seems really stupid imo

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          • #7
            In the comics, the reasoning varies a bit. A somewhat lesser known interpretation is Bruce knows he's not really mentally well/stable. His reaction to his parents being murdered was to dress up like a bat and stop criminals at pretty much the exclusion to all else in his life. If he lets himself slip and kill even the Joker, he'll snap and he's already the guy with the contingency plans to take down every hero in a non-lethal manner. He snaps, it's not good for the world. And part of him perhaps hopes deep down if any of his worst villains can get "better" maybe some part of him hopes the same.

            Joker's worst crimes on the Bat Family:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJCAAETRfc0
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIvz0KjzCx8

            Different cartoon canon but this does actually end the Joker and it's shown this does start the dissolution of the Bat Family in later stories. (And technically that knife probably would have killed the Joker if he didn't move).
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXMxRDpopoo
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etst4t3ES8Y

            And Batman's rebuttal to killing, which I understand more in the the first paragraph context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgW7pBKcU4k

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by DanSlayer View Post
              In the comics, the reasoning varies a bit. A somewhat lesser known interpretation is Bruce knows he's not really mentally well/stable. His reaction to his parents being murdered was to dress up like a bat and stop criminals at pretty much the exclusion to all else in his life. If he lets himself slip and kill even the Joker, he'll snap and he's already the guy with the contingency plans to take down every hero in a non-lethal manner. He snaps, it's not good for the world. And part of him perhaps hopes deep down if any of his worst villains can get "better" maybe some part of him hopes the same.
              Yep, the rule not to kill people is there because Bruce is really not that different from his rogue gallery: traumatised, mentally unstable and often rather childlike. It's his rule because he believes that this will stop him from becoming like his foes. And as a person but also as a father, he can't let that happen. One of the most positive things about Bruce/Batman is how well most of his children are doing. He is a mess, but keeps it together for his children (most of the time). And living by the "no killing"-rule is one of his ways to do that.


              Live Action Batmans are a bit different since they are not a lot like comic!Batman. Most of them are mentally in a better place and don't have children (DCEU!Batman is probably the only exception). But they are still tied to the rule. Which does raise certain questions about morality and these remain unanswered.




              But in that sense Batman is no different from the other super heroes. Pretty much every (super) hero is bound to the same rule.


              edit:
              I should have said that Batman is no different from the other super heroes in movies.


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              • #9
                Originally posted by Nina View Post

                But in that sense Batman is no different from the other super heroes. Pretty much every (super) hero is bound to the same rule.
                To an extent, the JL is famous for their no-kill policy which is part of why there was such an uproar about the Snyder films. Marvel is a bit looser with it (outside of Spider-Man) so it's not really a big deal in the MCU.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by DanSlayer View Post

                  To an extent, the JL is famous for their no-kill policy which is part of why there was such an uproar about the Snyder films. Marvel is a bit looser with it (outside of Spider-Man) so it's not really a big deal in the MCU.
                  As far as I know Wonder Woman does kill from time to time in the comics. Which makes sense considering she is a warrior. MCU Comics I'm less familiar with, but it makes sense since most MCU!heroes are more grounded than the DC!heroes (minus Batman).



                  The movies are a different kind of beast though (except the Synder ones I think?). Nobody explicitly kills in those and especially since the MoS-backlash they all try hard to limit the damage done to cities/innocent bystanders. Which does create this idea that super heroes never kill and always try to prevent the death of innocent bystanders. Which makes it harder to tell stories where super heroes make different calls, at least on the silver screen. Because the audience no longer accepts that. So I suspect we'll be stuck with the "no killing"-rule in pretty much all super hero movies for now, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense.



                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by DanSlayer View Post
                    In the comics, the reasoning varies a bit. A somewhat lesser known interpretation is Bruce knows he's not really mentally well/stable. His reaction to his parents being murdered was to dress up like a bat and stop criminals at pretty much the exclusion to all else in his life. If he lets himself slip and kill even the Joker, he'll snap and he's already the guy with the contingency plans to take down every hero in a non-lethal manner. He snaps, it's not good for the world. And part of him perhaps hopes deep down if any of his worst villains can get "better" maybe some part of him hopes the same.

                    Joker's worst crimes on the Bat Family:
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJCAAETRfc0
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIvz0KjzCx8

                    Different cartoon canon but this does actually end the Joker and it's shown this does start the dissolution of the Bat Family in later stories. (And technically that knife probably would have killed the Joker if he didn't move).
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXMxRDpopoo
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etst4t3ES8Y

                    And Batman's rebuttal to killing, which I understand more in the the first paragraph context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgW7pBKcU4k

                    In the early Batman comics he did kill but that was back in 39/40's and views changed since then.

                    Nina the closest to Batman in Marvel I would argue is probably Daredevil. Matt Murdock like Bruce is an emotionally scarred man after the murder of a parent. This leads him to vigalante crime fighting. Like Bruce he has a love interest in a female anti hero Electra/Catwoman and like Batman his main villain Bullseye/Joker is a guy who pushes him to edge and delights in doing so

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Nina Yeah, Wonder Woman has killed and Batman, Superman etc. are instantly disgusted with her even given the circumstances being quite extreme and in part to save them. (They reconcile in the end, but the judgment is still there). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwel...File:WWMax.png

                      Considering Endgame ended with Tony turning all the bad guys to dust, they're probably still willing to do that. The Disney+ shows are a bit different...but mainly because they seem to have future plans for those villains so they won't actually kill them off.

                      BtVS fan, true though most interpretations stick with the no-kill rule and slipping even once is the start of some sort of hell-scape Elseworlds story.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by DanSlayer View Post
                        Nina

                        Considering Endgame ended with Tony turning all the bad guys to dust, they're probably still willing to do that. The Disney+ shows are a bit different...but mainly because they seem to have future plans for those villains so they won't actually kill them off.

                        I never watched Endgame, but that was Thanos right? The "no killing" rule in movies is usually about human villains or very human-like villains. So killing General Zodd caused a backlash despite Superman not really having another option. While the JL killing Steppenwolf wasn't an issue for the audience as far as I know, while there was another option (sending him back to Darkseid through the portal).

                        Same happens in the Buffyverse: demons you can kill without any consideration while evil humans shouldn't be touched, even if there is no other way to stop them.




                        Which is terribly arbitrary and honestly can't really be defended if you think about it.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Well the Winter Soldier killed Tony Starks parents and I'm sure thats not the only Marvel character to do so.

                          Black Widow got 'offed' permanently.

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                          • #15
                            I have to admit that I prefer a Batman who doesn't kill. Not even the Joker. It would probably help if Arkham Asylum had better locks and less of a revolving door, but that's what happens when you create a villain that's just so iconic. Everyone wants to play with the toys.

                            Superhero fiction is an odd thing. Superheroes like Superman and Batman were mere saplings when moral concerns were raised about comics, and by the early 1940s, they had a clear no-kill policy and were pardoned by the police.

                            It does lead to an interesting duality. The legally-sanctioned vigilante.

                            When Commissioner Gordon deputizes Batman in Batman #7 (Oct-Nov 1941) he says:

                            I speak for the Batman, friend of the people! Yes -- he works "outside the law" as you call it, but the legal devices that hamper us are hurdled by this crime-fighter so he may bring these men of evil to justice.
                            (I did a multi-part article on Batman's sidekick Robin and his relationship to Robin Hood. That quote of Gordon's stuck in my head since I first read it in the Encyclopedia of Comic Book Superheroes when I was a kid.)

                            Here is a cop praising the fact that Batman gets hurdle over the legal devices that keep cops in check. Think about in today's world. Things like the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. And a Batman that kills without oversight plays into that truly frightening prospect. Especially when Batman knows all the martial arts in the world and has the money for the best toys. Add killing to the mix and he truly becomes the ultimate bully.

                            I prefer Mark Waid's description of Batman from Kingdom Come:

                            More than anyone in the world, when you scratch everything else away from Batman, you're left with someone who doesn't want to see anybody die.
                            I don't mind Robin Hood killing, but that's a reflection of the difference between the Middle Ages and now. And while the Gotham Police Dept may be corrupt at times, there are still laws and systems in place that are different than those of the Middle Ages.

                            P.S.: I know some professors who have written on the idea that Batman withdrew his protection from Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins and that's not the same thing as killing him. Maybe but I thought blowing up the monastery -- which surely cost lives -- will protesting being asked to kill someone might have been meant to show Batman as a self-delusion psychotic. And that did not sit well with me. I accept that it's a trope of adventure fiction that heroes are going to do things that should not be allowed to get away with in the real world. But I thought lines were crossed there that shouldn't have been.
                            Last edited by PuckRobin; 14-08-21, 02:32 PM.

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