Comics Creators

Should heroes kill?


Monsters and to a lesser degree aliens don’t count, of course.


I don’t think she’d kill either and don’t thinks he did for first 50 years.



Thanks. I was wondering which comic the armoured Batsuit and those slo-mo shots from the shell-casings and Bruce’s mother’s pearls came from. I really like Mark Millar’s DARK KNIGHT version of Batman. It shows the real consequences of Batman’s attacks on criminals, just short of killing, with all the crippling and the electrocuting, etc.

Empress should be good because he created such an iconic character with Elektra.

Hard to believe the same guy wrote Sonic the Hedgehog.


Are you sure you’ve got the right Miller? :slight_smile:


Of course. He doesn’t like series 2 of Daredevil because he’s not getting enough recognition for his writing. Right? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT - not Miller’s the Dark Knight Returns. Dent says, “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Bruce later takes that to heart when he decides to take the blame for Dent’s crimes. Bruce decides to pay the price to let Dent remain a hero to Gotham which, ironically, in the audience’s eyes makes Bruce the real hero, of course. Again, even though A TALE OF TWO CITIES is directly references in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, THE DARK KNIGHT actually uses the theme of that book to better effect.

And I think that’s what WB was looking for in MAN OF STEEL and probably BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. At heart, MAN OF STEEL approaches Philip Wylie’s GLADIATOR, that may or may not have been one of the inspirations for the original Superman (Doc Savage, John Carter and Tarzan are more obvious influences, of course). In Gladiator, Hugo Danner is the son of a genius scientist who is also severely subdued by his overbearing wife. As a result, he only asserts himself in his science and discovers a way to make a person superhuman - a “like a man made of iron instead of flesh.” He drugs his pregnant wife and injects her with his super-serum and their son grows into an incredibly strong being easily able to lift thirty tons and withstand any explosive power known to mankind.

Nevertheless, he wanders through his life aimlessly trying to find a place for his superpowers. However, even in war, he’s stymied by the basic fundamental weaknesses of our social disorder and baser human instincts. Ironically, the only place his powers do fit is when he performs as a circus strongman where his feats of strength are believed to be stage tricks. Finally, he realizes that there is nothing he can do that many men working together could not do. Instead, if he shares his father’s scientific discovery, the only outcome in this world would be a devastating war between superhumans that would probably erase human civilization from the planet.

The book was more a socialist commentary than a science fiction adventure, but it does provide a literary counterpoint to Clark’s struggle in Man of Steel that they could have emphasized a bit more. Jor El in the movie reveals that he believes the human race wants to be better. That they just need an example to follow. However, that’s been the motivation behind every bad political leader in history. Clark’s lived in the human world and should know that if we really did want to be better, we don’t need a godlike superhuman to show up to do so.

At this point, Man of Steel makes sense, kinda. It’s still poorly plotted and not too well written, but you can see why Clark would not really want to be Superman or go public even after Jor El’ speech. But the motivation in the movie is a little too self-centered. He doesn’t trust the human race. Instead, he really shouldn’t trust himself. The human race is fine without him. His existence is just gonna cause a lot more problems than it solves.

Then, of course, the bad plot takes over, throws Zod and the surviving Phantom Zone Kryptonians into it making any further debate on getting involved ridiculous. Of course, he’s gonna have to take action. From then on, it’s just a dumb action movie.


I could do with a special font for when I’m in a snarky, narky mood to give you all fair warning. I wasn’t clever or funny and I’m really sorry for that. Not one of my finer moments. I’m a nice person really.

I like those parallels with Dickens. All the references to orphans, under-funded public services, the desperate need for social justice and the dangers of mob rule. Catwoman is essentially the Artful Dodger, especially when she betrays Batman to Bane, and there’s the echoes of the Defarges in Talia and Bane. The contrast with how Talia reacts to the world compared to Bruce as Darnay and on and on.

Acting as the scapegoat makes him more heroic so, yes, he does remain good even in that world. It’s just how he’s perceived that alters. In allowing Gotham to regard him as the enemy he makes the ultimate sacrifice.

The Nolan films are ultimately a less cynical and more positive view of the world than the recent Superman films. A little heavy-handed with the references but not to the same extent as how Synder bashes you over the head with allegories. More Dickens than Dostoevsky, I suppose.


I haven’t read all of the WW2 Wonder Woman but I’ve just flipped through the first Golden Age Archive (Sensation Comics 1 - 12) and can’t see a single instance of her killing.


It would be interesting to compare how long after various characters first appeared did they kill, especially Golden Age ones.


Actually, that character’s name was Seamus Mellencamp.


I believe that he started off as Seamus Cougar, changing to Seamus Cougar Mellencamp for a few years, before finally setting on Seamus Mellencamp…and being killed by Madrox obviously. :wink:


Obviously, Snyder does have a point with Superman and Batman. With Iron Man and Captain America killing people from the very beginning, WB’s heroes would look like wimps if they didn’t kill.


According to John Byrne, Jim Shooter kinda softened this moment:


No, they would look like better men.


I’m quite OK with the occasional killing. There is a kind of person that really doesn’t deserve life, if superheroes go against them than I can see how putting them out of their misery is justified. Especially if they do it to save other lives.

It’s another question wether those stories are good superhero stories. That is the “grim and gritty” vibe I guess, against which there was a backlash. I understand why some people don’t want to read those stories. Personally I don’t have that “Superman shouldn’t kill” relation to the character.


I don’t believe in the death penalty, and Superheroes shouldn’t either, unless theyre in a state where the death penalty is accepted, then they can probably skip the trial process.



Didn’t they pretty much kill right away? The pulp heroes and detectives killed like crazy. The only reason superheroes stopped killing was when the comics code forced them to appeal to this idealized and totally wrong view of innocent children (these little creatures are bloodthirsty psychos behind those cute smiles).

It’s not like they are really killing anybody. It’s fiction. Especially superheroes, it says nothing about what people should actually do in real life whether that’s about killing or putting on a mask to terrorize poor urban males.


No, Batman really kills people.

He’s Batman.

He’s coming for you Johnny.


Should the police kill?