Comics Creators

Should heroes kill?


Arkham Knight proves you can kill and then cremate the Joker and he still ain’t gone!


Never read it Todd.
What’s the gist?


Superman vs Authority analogs and how his worldview clashes with theirs.


So similar to supes vs the Elite .


That’s the story that it was based on actually.


That was the first appearance of the Elite.


I wouldn’t want certain superheroes killing–Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, the FF–but others I’m okay with. The X-Men, for example, became okay with killing under specific circumstances during Claremont’s tenure and it worked. They’re fighting for the survival of an entire, oppressed species, so they have to follow different rules than heroes like the Avengers.

That said, I don’t like it when heroes kill gratuitously. That goes for my avatar, too.


I think you’ve nailed it. There should be differing points of view on it with all of the heroes, and that means that some of them would see it as a line that could never be crossed.


Granted, not all of them end in death:


The xmen do have quite the body count. OK most of them come back. But still when they go down that road it’s seldom first choice.

I think the semifinals in zero tolerance was one of my favourite plots. When we discover they are using homeless and badly hurt people and making them sentinels by force.
Some hard choices had to be made that arc.

I think one of my favourites was possibly when Multiple man is fighting a lizard like Mutant called carnivore whom attempts to bite his arm off. And in his panic Jamie creates a dupe and pops his head apart. (Technically Carnivore was Risen. And not really alive) The look on his faces was great. Eve if one was covered in scales or grey matter.


I think it entirely depends on what sort of story you’re telling, the tone of it, the intention of it, the message behind it, etc…

I don’t think there is, nor should there be, a “rule” of any sort, dictating how a chartacter should behave.

Simple as that :stuck_out_tongue:


It’s far too simplistic to say that heroes should or shouldn’t kill. James Bond, Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones are all heroes who kill. Even if you want to limit the conversation to Superheroes you’ve got Wolverine, The Punisher, the old Wildstorm characters and so on.

It’s all about the mieliu the hero inhabits, and their established pattern of behaviour. There are characters who shouldn’t kill, or if they do it should be the final resort and a source of drama in the aftermath.

Leave Superman and Batman aside for a minute. Imagine if Kitty Pryde killed somebody, or Squirrel Girl?


Don’t have to… She did, and was pretty evil in Age of Apocalypse (The Gen X book), and it was (imo) a pretty strong and poignant story.


OK, imagine if 616 Kitty Pryde killed somebody.


I wouldn’t mind if the story justifies it and that was my point. I think it all depends on the context of the story (and obviously if the story is well written, but that goes without saying, if a writer just does it for “shock value”, it could be “bad and wrong”, sure). I don’t see a reason why she shouldn’t ever…


And that’s my point as well. In an alternate universe which is deliberately grimdark it’s not exactly uncommon for characters’ morality to be different.

And I also didn’t say that a character who doesn’t kill should never do so:


Well then we agree…

Furthermore, I think 616 Kitty specifically would kill without hesitation, if she needed to, in order to save the students from certain death for exemple. I can see her sacrificing her morals and more in order to spare others because she IS very heroic and good like that.


Almost as some sort of… last resort?


Not necessarily…

Like, let’s take a scenario where, I dunno… maybe Piotr had to kill Illyana because she went a 100% evil and there’s no coming back, and it was his fault and it’s killing him to have to do it… I could see Kitty do the deed to spare Piotr from doing it himself. That’s not really a “last resort” sort of scenario, becauss she could always stand back and let Piotr clean up his own mess… You get what I mean?


That seems insanely convoluted to me.