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Should Batman Kill?




Recently, I been combing over some statements made by director Zack Snyder in regards to his point of view of Batman being allowed to "kill" criminals rather than just incapacitate them until the authorities arrive. One of his quotes are as follows. “People are always like, ‘Batman can’t kill.’ So Batman can’t kill is canon. And I’m like, ‘Okay, well, the first thing I want to do when you say that is I want to see what happens,'” Snyder continued. “And they go, ‘Well, don’t put him in a situation where he has to kill someone.’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s just like you’re protecting your God in a weird way, right? You’re making your God irrelevant.'” Credit - Variety.com Now, there is a lot packed into that statement, but I'll try not to go too far off in a tangent on this because I want to stay focused on the original-question. The crack he made about equating people agreeing what has already been established by the creators of the character as canon with idolatry, to me is a little bit of a red-herring and a lot of Ad-Hominem. We all know that at various points in history, creators that have used the Batman character in numerous publications and forms of entertainment have had some measure of creative license with the character. Batman has killed before. However, it is a huge leap to go from Batman has killed before to saying Batman SHOULD kill from now on. Or, to suggest that Batman is predisposed to kill simply because he often finds himself in situations where that option is available to him, and him not doing so makes him "irrelevant." It's a very obtuse point-of-view to be quite honest. 85 years into Batman's existence, I think Batman not killing hasn't hurt him very much. Just sayin'... The thing that made Batman so elite in the first place and separated him from other comic book characters was the fact that he perfected the science of incapacitating criminals in the most efficient ways possible WITHOUT killing them. It's not hard to kill. Anyone can do that. To me it's like comparing pro-wrestling to real-life fights. In real-life fights, you are in a situation where anything goes. There are no rules, and it can all end abruptly. A REAL fight with a martial-artist is over in less than 10 seconds. You train to be able to end a fight before it begins. It takes tremendous discipline, perseverance, dedication, and hard work to achieve that. In pro-wrestling, you are giving the illusion of real combat between competitors. It also takes tremendous discipline, perseverance, dedication and hard work to achieve that. While the imminent threat of "death" is greatly diminished, it is NOT eliminated and putting on the performance of the illusion of violence is far more dangerous and harmful to the body in the short-term and long-term than the vast majority of real-life fights. It is human nature to make excuses for things that we wished to be true, and I suspect that Zack Snyder WANTS Batman to be a killer, and he is trying to find ways to bring his desires into justification and even trying to make that justification retroactive. Not to say that he is insinuating Batman was always a killer, but that he SHOULD have been. When you look at the dark, cold, and dystopian feel of his films, he certainly resembles that remark. There is a place for that, and I have to admit that I liked the Batman portrayed by Ben Affleck in the Zack Snyder DC movies. Did I like the killing by Batman in the movies? No. Did, it rob me of any enjoyment of the films? No. Does that mean Batman should kill going forward? NO. If he wants to do that with Batman in his movies and he is allowed to do that, I have no problem with it. However, you can miss me with the suggestion that Batman killing does not go against the canon of the character, because it does. Or, suggesting that not wanting to see his character kill is being inflexible. As I stated before and as I close here, Batman NOT killing is a virtue that goes very deep. There are those to fault Batman for not killing and in particular The Joker and have blamed him for all of the people that The Joker has killed afterwards. Batman is not a government official (e.g. CIA, FBI etc.,) a police officer, or a military solider. He is a civilian. Therefore, killing criminals is murder punishable by law. Also, how many times has Batman turned in literally every villain in Gotham to the police only for them to be back out on the streets. If the justice system in Gotham cannot "kill" these criminals, why it is Batman's responsibility to do so? Isn't it the fault of the justice system that these criminal are not executed? Thank about that. Batman not killing is one of the major reasons why Superman and others in the Justice League respect him so much, because they know that he can easily do it with no one ever finding out it was him. Even in that act, he is leaving the door open for redemption for each criminal he apprehends and rehabilitation (if possible) is more useful than execution. Having Batman kill just makes him like every other vigilante and in turn that.......is what truly would make him "irrelevant." Nah, you missed the mark on this one Zack.

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