From what’s been said here, I can see why the current arc can be problematic.
To me it’s all very well to say the aim is to make the villains more villainous, but if that goes too far, it ends up undermining the hero - so, if you have the Joker and Riddler on a murder spree, with Batman helpless to stop them, it raises the Q of what Batman is needed for? If he can’t do anything, why bother?
At the same time, if the villains are being such total psychopaths then, regardless of Batman not killing, why hasn’t Gotham simply executed them? As, at some point, the ideal of taking the risk of trying to rehabilitate the Joker or Riddler is going to have to be set against the potential threat they pose to the population.
To keep a series like Batman going, some restraint on the villains is needed. King does seem to be aware of this, as the I Am Gotham arc has Waller intervening in Gotham because there’s been too many crises in too short a timespan for the government not to, that Batman may have been reactive and dealing with events as they happen, but that in itself isn’t enough. So maybe there will be an overall plan to this arc that also manges to answer the questions it raises.
re: Violence / darker content
It’s kind of interesting how this works as it isn’t a consistent thing. Some years back I read the first volume of Torpedo. didn’t go any further because the story was viciously nasty, very well executed yes, but also nasty. I reviewed it on a predecessor of the Trades Thread and a couple of others commented their experience matched mine. Yet, at the same time, there had been no shortage of messed-up stories we’d enjoyed, say Preacher. Some things are just going to grab you in a certain way, maybe they wouldn’t have years before, but they do now.