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Should Batman kill?


#1

We were talking about this on Twitter recently when I was horrified Wonder Woman now carried a sword. My 3 year old kid was freaked out by this because, as you put it, she must be hurting people with that thing.

I reckon superheroes generally shouldn’t kill as that’s what separates them from regular heroes like James Bond, Indiana Jones and Eggsy. There’s some nuts like Punisher and Hit-Girl and it’s part of their charm, but Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all so ingrained with peace to their core it seems utterly off and missing the point to have them take ANY life, human or animal. Batman would break every bone in his body before he saw a mouse killed I reckon.

MM


#2

He already does, quite a lot, in the movies… which are the most famous versions I suppose…


#3

I broadly agree. The neck snapping incident in MOS killed that film off for me. To be fair, it was on life support before. Byrne showing Supernan kill what must be 20’years ago was handled well. That story and the stories that followed dealing with Supermans remorse and guilt made clear why these characters aren’t killers. I also remember reading Batman explaining why there weren’t guns on the Batmobile. Simpler times?


#4

I think for all-ages superheroes like Batman that a no-killing policy is pretty important. To be honest, as I’ve been starting to read superhero comics to my kids, I’ve been noticing the casual nature of the violence in general a lot more, and trying to favour stories where problems are resolved through methods other than a punch.

Classic superheroes like Batman, Spider-Man and Superman are escapist fantasies where we want to see the good guys win without having to stoop to killing. They operate on a different logic to something grounded like Bond, where I think it would look a bit silly if he got away without killing anyone.


#5

No, Never. Batman would rather risk his life running for ten minutes with a fizzing bomb than allow it to blow up a bar full of criminals. Because the criminals might one day be redeemed.

That should go double for Wonder Woman, who actually states that her primary objective is peace.

And triple for Superman. Because he’s Superman.


#6

@Mark_Millar

The no kill topic is always a controversial thing to bring up in any comic community, it’s sparks many opinions, I’m also quite scared to bring up my 2 cents on this topic. My view on this situation is that I’m in the middle, constantly being swayed to each side, they should kill or they shroud never kill. it’s a frustrating topic for me even writing my own comic at the moment.Whats even scarier is that there have already been some famous examples of Batman killing, even the others in the DC trinity.

Something people quite some seem to forget is that Batman has killed, In the Golden Age. This is by the original creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane.

He actually did it quite a bit, Batman was a character inspired by the gritty age of the pulp magazines at the time.

Superman even killed Zod in the 80’s which I was completely shocked to find. Apparently this also started a story line where he banished himself from earth over his gross action.

The no kill rule is a very sacred trend to Superhero comics, hearing your story of telling your daughter that Wonder Woman kills must be devastating, I can’t imagine telling someone with innocence in their soul that. That’s gotta be hard as a parent to tell your child that.

Apparently from what I’ve researched, Wonder Woman’s been killing since the George Perez 80’s run. Growing up I though she was an amazon warrior, It was normal for me to see her and her people with weapons. It made sense to me since Diana led a group of amazon warriors.

The “No Kill” code has been a very murky thing to look at when I see the examples I’ve seen.


#7

Yes, with the right story.

I get the all-ages argument but Punisher and Wolverine regularly show up in Marvel cartoons and books aimed at kids. They’re not written as psychopathic weirdos in fetish suits, they’re written for the appropriate age.


#8

maim yes, kill no… :wink:


#9

Oh god I just thought of this situation.

Doctor: Batman! You’ve beaten this guy senseless, from what we can tell he’ll basically be a vegetable his entire life with the damage to his brain! :open_mouth:

Batman: Eh, he’s alive. :wink:


#10

I love Batman, but at the end of the day what is he?

He is an anger boy, who deals with his issues by beating up on clinically ill people.

:smiley:

He occasionally saves people too! :wink:


#11

Haha yea, well at least cleans up Gotham!(Which is depressing since they have a police force that’s semi corrupt)…


#12

The Golden Age Superman killed, too. But I think you have to look at it in the context of the time. In 1941, it would have looked really bad to say to kids, “You should never kill whatever the justification”, when you were just about to send a million men overseas to do just that. There’s a panel OneCreator posted above that sums up how we wanted people to think in 1941:

“Much as I hate to take human life, I’m afraid THIS TIME it’s necessary!”.

That is how we wanted people to think in 1941.

So I’m not sure when the shift specifically happened, but let’s generically say the “silver age”. That’s a time where the world’s consciousness was different. In the real world, people were on the streets protesting at the government sending men overseas to kill others. At the same time, Batman’s character changed to someone who would no longer kill, no matter what the provocation.

So Batman reflects the time he was written in. Today, Batman seems reasonably happy with killing again. What does that say about our time?

What you have to ask yourself (punk :wink: ) is what kind of time do you want this to be? If you’re cool with your heroes reflecting a “kill or die” “war mentality”, then your heroes will act like Batman did in 1941. If you hope the world is better than that now, then your heroes will act like Batman did in 1961.

My personal feeling is that if we’re not in a better world than we were in 1941, then what were those million Americans fighting for?


#13

With all that money and resources, Wayne could do more than Batman ever could.

He could Run for office (even buy his seat if need be, talking about corruption) and put an infrastructure in place that could do more than one man, rather than dressing up and saving one person at a time.


#14

I completely understand the shift thing! In the Golden age of comics(In he beginning before that prick Wertham :frowning: ). there really wasn’t any regulations on Golden age comics, when EC comics came along with the graphic horror and crime stuff is when Wertham created the stupid comics code. Writers were forced to make much regulated stories in the 60’s(Silver age). Comics became much more restrained and crazier, Silver age Batman was now a much more innocent and light character, but his sales were suffering. This was when Marvel came in with there much deeper characters like Spider man and Fantastic 4 who were much more relatible, Silver age changed everything.


#15

From what I know he try’s both, he also attacks organized crime to cripple it in Gotham.
Green Arrow actually became a mayor at one point :smiley:


#16

You know that Wertham lost his case, right?
The industry still saw an opportunity to cripple their most successful competitor: EC comics. Thus the comics code was created.
These were the days when DC would beat its competitors with lawsuits (Captain Marvel was the best selling comic book of the 1940s until DC took legal action), or buying rival companies (Charlton comics).
Everybody give it up for the comic book industry! :unamused:


#17

@KandorLives still chukle over the lawsuit about how Dc was afraid of Captain Marvel, I own the golden age volumes, very fun stuff.
I screwed up with the Wertham thing :frowning:, I just remember him as one of the factors of the comics code, sorry! :smiley:


#18

Short answer: no.

But Wonder Woman should definitely have the option to kill.


#19

It really depends on the story. I’m OK with Batman killing occasionally, if it fits into the story and the way the writer writes him.


#20

I’ve never had a strong opinion on this but nowadays I sort of feel that once superhero violence entered the real world (through the movies), and you get a glimpse at what superhero violence might really look like, it doesn’t really matter if the superheroes kill or not. Whatever suspension of disbelief was once on the page is irrelevant now—it’s ultimately pretty brutal stuff when you see it rendered in our world. In fact, when they wanted, the comics could downplay that it was violent at all—it’s just “action” there.

The Raimi Spidey movies are probably the only ones that have succeeded at showing superhero violence in the real world while keeping it cartoony and somewhat innocent.