Why does Batman not like Joker
Why didn't Batman just kill Joker when he got the chance?
The longer, more elaborate answer is, "Batman almost never kills anyone". Batman's entire raison d'etre is his aversion to killing, which began when his parents were murdered before his eyes as a child. He became a crime fighter, especially because murder was so heinous to him; He's a vigilante, not an executioner.
Chris Sims, Senior Writer at Comics Alliance, has done a lot of research on this topic.
Q: Batman's no-kill policy: when did it start in the comics and what do you see as the limits of that?(Kill vs. "Don't Save") - @ELB_Brian
A: ... Until Batman # 4 from the 1940s, Batman reminded Robin, in a story by co-creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane that is as definitive as possible, that “We never kill with weapons of any kind. ”
... For me it is "Batman doesn't kill" one of the character's constant, immutable traits, as well as an inherent and necessary part of him as anything else.There are a lot of metatextual reasons for this - from the superhero's nature as something that appeals to kids, to the fact that if Batman actually killed the Joker, we wouldn't get any more Joker stories and that would suck - but there are also equally valid reasons for it.
And again, they are often misinterpreted, both by readers and by the creators. There's a scene in Judd Winick's run where Jason confronts Todd with Batman and asks him with all his might why he doesn't just kill the Joker - which all in all is a pretty fair question - and Batman responds by telling him that it would be so too easy and that it's a slippery slope that, similar to Pringles', he can't stop once he's surfaced.
This is nonsense.
Batman is a guy who trained to be the world's best martial artist and managed to solve crosswords in his head while pointing to criminal places with Italian clown operas. Coming back from a broken back out of sheer willpower, he overcame a poison addiction in one weekend by locking himself in his basement and growing a beard. I'm pretty sure that if he killed the Joker and then stopped committing murders, he could probably make that happen.
Actually, I like the scene up to this point and the portrayal of Jason Todd's pretty legitimate beef with Batman's politics, but it's the half-hearted, slurred "Oh, but I do!" Exploring why Batman doesn't completely kill tanks for me. The only reason Batman should brag about why he doesn't kill is because the Batman doesn't kill.That's all there is to it.
But there's a reason for that that the above scene doesn't touch on.And it all depends on the idea that Batman is a crimefighter.This is a very specific word that is applied to Batman for a very specific reason and that sums up the very specific aspect that sets him apart from other characters.At its core, the idea of Batman is extremely oppositional and is directed not only against evil in general, but also against the concept of the Capital C crime.
It seems contradictory as Batman is in many ways a criminal himself, a vigilante who uses methods outside of the law that are certainly illegal. Fleisher's encyclopedia even includes a two-page list of Batman's "particularly blatant violations of civil liberties and due process". And those are just the notable ones in a book published 30 years ago.
But if we are to accept Batman as a hero - and I think it's pretty clear at this point that I have it - there has to be a clear line that separates the idea of Batman from the idea of crime.And that's the easiest thing in the world to find out.
Batman's entire conception of crime, his entire perception of what it means to break the rules set by society, stems from exactly one moment: the murder of his parents.That one act, taking a life, is the defining moment of his life and defines what he swears to fight against.The act of killing another person is what he has worked all his life for, and it is utterly anathema to him.
It is these levels of symbols and concepts that are literally translated into characters that make Batman so compelling as a character and what defines his existence on a metaphorical level.For Batman, crime kills, and the opposite of crime is Batman.
As for the limits of this rule, that's more of a gray area. There's a common interpretation of Batman as someone who just doesn't want anyone ever to die, and while this is certainly a valid interpretation up to a point, I think it's much more about the act of murder than criminal offense . For me, there are two simple concepts set in stone: Batman doesn't kill, and Batman doesn't let one person kill another.Those two rules apply to everyone from Commissioner Gordon to the Joker, and as long as they are in place, I believe the portrayal of Batman is valid.Anything beyond that is just tightened.
The idea of "killing" rather than "not saving" is much more metaphysical and really depends on whether your personal philosophy equates inaction with evil.The infamous "I won't kill you but I don't have to save you" scene is my least favorite part of Batman Begins, but at the same time stories where Batman does more than the bare minimum and leaves his way to the Joker with great personal Saving risk always sounds really wrong to me.
The same question popped up on Quora and also produced some good answers:
Put simply, Batman does not commit murder because he deliberately refuses to lead a life with his own hands and become an executioner.The basic answer is easy to articulate.But the reason for this is very complicated.
Bruce Wayne witnessed the simple power to take one's own life as he watched his parents die as a child.The plot itself is simple, something anyone can really do if they want to, but the effects of murder are complex and monumental because the effects of an execution last forever.
Joe Chill shot Bruce's parents in a moment of fear and despair, just to make some money and with no intention of killing anyone - but his simple act of reflexively pulling a trigger in a split second changed the world forever by the waves it sent out, took the Waynes from the world and ended Thomas Wayne's medical practice and parenting philanthropy, and of course sent Bruce on a path which inevitably led to becoming Batman.
Bruce is aware of this with every fiber of his being.He relives this murder in its darkest moments and it is in the memory and honor of his parents that he struggles to make their city a better place.He can never become what knocked her down, a killer who walks the easy path that sends out those endless waves.Purposefully taking another human life to take the power and responsibility to end a life forever is the defining event that Batman rose to resist.The moment he takes his own life, he has lost his reason for existence because he has become exactly what he was born for.
Bruce accepts that he has to be a criminal, a vigilante, to get his job done. But in doing so, accepting as an inevitable element of his mission - to oppose the peculiar and very particular set of corruption in Gotham, which extends to the highest levels of government and affects the judicial system and law enforcement, Batman would necessarily have to operate outside the legal system. To be free from outside influences and accountable only to yourself and your mission, one had to be an outlaw.
But this lack of accountability is also a burden, and it means that he must carefully weigh his actions and the police himself while monitoring the city - and he is aware that he is limiting himself to actions without any other accountability or authority it must go too far and that is outside the ultimate goal of advocating the ideal of the rule of law as a social contract. A man who is accountable only to himself may be able to excuse actions that can be corrected or changed if he is wrong, but when he is accountable only to himself, the temptation to weigh the lives of others and the judgment as God to fell who decides the ultimate fate of the victims is too much. A line must be drawn, or at some point there will be no line at all and no restriction on his own actions because he ceases to be accountable to himself unless he is responsible for the irreversible and absolute exercise of authority over life and death makes .
It's easy - too easy - to believe that the Joker killed so many victims and fled so many times. The only way to stop him from killing innocent civilians is to just kill him.In Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, there is a great moment when, after the Joker detonates a hidden bomb in an apartment complex, Batman thinks he's going to stay and help the police pull people out of the rubble and do the best he can, and then he counts the dead and adds them to the list of all the people he himself murdered by letting the Joker live.So Batman doesn't understand the terrible math, the terrible moral trap that arises the moment he begins considering the possibility of killing the Joker in order to save future lives.
[Let me take a moment to comment on this last point, to be very clear: just in the context of preventing future alleged murders, of course, we can even begin to talk about the moral dilemma, "why not?" Batman kills the Joker "because the thought of killing the Joker in revenge or making him pay for his past crimes doesn't go into the equation.Punishment is not what Batman is about, it is not his mission, it is not his mental frame of reference for what he does and why he does it. And he, in some ways, realizes that the madness and psychosis of the Joker are so absolute and pure that "punishment" itself is an irrational response to someone who exists beyond such concepts as the Joker. So it is just the idea of killing the Joker to get other lives in the future that we are talking about here.]
While Batman recognizes the implications of the math calculations, refusing to perform the Joker almost certainly means more innocent deaths if the Joker escapes again (and he always does, in the end), but he also realizes that the Joker's life is not, when it comes to Not as precious as the lives of its victims - so much so that the mere CHANCE of more victims is enough to justify the Joker's murder - a single innocent life should be enough to justify the Joker's murder. It cannot be a matter of weighing the number of innocent lives. If innocent life is so precious that it justifies murder, even one should be too many, since the equation is one life (of a victim) versus one life (that of the joker).
And if an innocent life is too valuable and warranted the life of a murderer, then the same equation applies to most of Batman's other arch-villains.And it applies to the gangsters.And it applies to all murderers.And if the equation is one where the likelihood and chance of future victims are sufficient to justify the murder of a person to stop the potential / likelihood of future victims, then rationally chronically drunk drivers, armed robbers, and many also qualify other.
Where the absence of a prohibition means the absence of a clear line, what the absence of ANY line means, what the absence of any accountability other than yourself means, necessarily - irresistibly and inexorably - leads to a lack of accountability to yourself to yourself.He becomes absolute and anyone's murder is justified.Because once you have substantiated the above examples, you are placing a guess of moral certainty in your own hands (which you MUST adopt, you MUST feel with absolute certainty, or you can never count on it to start murder based on it who you believe it should be murdered) which will ultimately lead to the same certainty about your best guess, your gut instinct, and the basic minimum standard becomes so arbitrary that there is no longer a minimum standard.Once the idea occurs to you that a person should die, your absolute moral authority, without any accountability whatsoever, means that you can find a reason to kill them if you so wish.
This is the logical progression in the context of a man who goes beyond all accountability and outside authority and allows himself the leeway to judge when it is acceptable to murder other people.The math is a trick, a distraction, to try and allow that first taste of blood, that first deceptively simple step across a line that disappears forever once you cross it.If the loss of an innocent life is reason enough to lead another life that is judged not to be innocent, then an innocent life becomes reason enough to lead another life that is judged to be less innocent.
Batman knows this because he lives it every day - he lives it by watching it in Gotham, by fighting it when it is daily in the bad guys and in the hearts of ordinary citizens and in the minds of cops with a badge and one manifested weapon and a creeping feeling that it is so easy to justify a life to stop future wrongdoing.Most of all, though, he lives it because it rests in his own head every day when he has to remember that terrible moment as a child when he saw another man bill the lives of Bruce's parents for a few dollar bills.And he lives it because he hears that little whisper in his own heart that leads him to cross the line, with the Joker or with the penguin or with the gangsters or with a serial killer.
That's why he refuses to become a murderer because he knows that murdering the Joker will result in everyone being murdered, which makes each killing easier than the last.And that casts him off as exactly what made him than what he's fighting, because at this point the only difference between Batman and the Joker would be that Batman believes he can justify his own murders.
From a different angle:
Because the Joker wins if Batman kills him.That is what the Joker wants.All he does is mock Batman, kill him.In fact, the interesting part of their relationship, the real conflict of any story, isn't seeing if Batman will stop him (he will), but watching Batman fight not to kill him over everyone else than Batman would of course kill him.That self-control is Batman's superpower.
The Joker and Batman are each trying to prove a point for society - and really for us, the readers.The Joker wants Batman to kill him because he embodies chaos and anarchy perfectly, and wants to prove to everyone that people are basically messy rather than orderly.That's why he's so scary: we fear he's right.If the joker is right then civilization is a trick and we are all real monsters inside.If the Joker can prove that Batman - the neatest, most logical, and most self-possessed of us all - is a monster inside, then we're all monsters inside, and that's terrifying.
The Joker is terrifying because we fear that we are deeply like him - that he is us. Batman is what we (any average person) could be at our best, and the Joker is what we could be at our absolute worst. The Joker claims that deep down we are all terrible and only the law and our misguided sense of justice keep us informed. Since Batman is not restricted by law, he's a perfect test case to make him "break". The Joker wants Batman to kill one person, any person, but he knows that the only person Batman could ever consider remotely has to be a terrifying monster. Therefore, he is ready to do so and sacrifice himself to prove this macabre point.Batman has to prove that it's not just laws that keep us informed, but basic human decency and our natural instinct not to kill.
If Batman can prove this, then others will be inspired by his example (the citizens of Gotham, but also the readers), just as we are all inspired every day to keep civilization running smoothly and not fall into violence, anarchy and violence Chaos.This ability to be decent in the face of the horrors and temptations that reign all around us is the superpower of humanity, the superpower of each and every one of us.The battle of Batman and the Joker is the inner battle of each of us.But we take inspiration from Batman's example, not the Joker, because Batman always wins the argument for not killing the Joker.
This basic logic applies to all superheroes who don't kill, but the Joker-Batman conflict is the most perfect example. There are many other good answers on this page, and they are all different but correct views of the question, but to me the philosophical and thematic reasons above are more resonant than the plot and character reasons contained in the logic of the story.
Recommended Reading: The Killing Joke (1988) of course, but also Legends of the Dark Knight Annual # 1 (1991, which the above image is from, by Denny O'Neil and Jim Aparo) if you can find it. Excellent. And of course The Dark Knight too. Nolan and Ledger made the Joker perfect.
And a more philosophical answer:
There are literally hundreds of possible explanations and reasons to consider when trying to unpack Batman's no-kill rule. One of the more interesting analysis I've read on Batman's no-kill rule comes from the book Batman and Philosophy in a chapter entitled Why doesn't the Batman kill the Joker? by Kantian ethics expert Mark D. White.
In a nutshell, White discusses the differences between utilitarian and deontological ethics, and how this applies to Batman.The argument is that what is useful to Batman is killing the Joker as it would bring the best to most people.Not killing the Joker may even be a very selfish thing as the needs of the individual (Batman) are put above the needs of the community (Gotham).Batman, who doesn't want to kill because he doesn't want to "get his hands dirty", is not a fair argument from a utilitarian standpoint.Interestingly, this is a claim made multiple times by both Hush and Jason Todd (and maybe even the Joker).However, Batman is apparently very well read of his Kant as he seems to believe that the ends never justify the means;instead, the means must be a morally defensible act in itself.Hence, Batman works with a deontological rather than a utilitarian ethical background.Dressing up like a bat, scarring the living crap from bad guys, and whipping them to a pulp when necessary is morally acceptable to Batman, but killing isn't.After all, the Joker could reform tomorrow and take up origami. Who is Batman making such a call?Wouldn't killing make him better than Joe Chill?
I would argue that the Batman books even present us with a clear utilitarian model a la Ra's al Ghul. If Batman is our Kant, then Ra's al Ghul is our very twisted Jeremy Bentham. In other words, if Batman eliminated all moral issues in his war on crime, he would be no better than the villains he is fighting. Ra's, for example, has no problem with killing and even wants to depopulate the majority of humanity in order to "rebalance" the world. Unlike Batman, the ends always justify the means, no matter how brutal.
Wouldn't it be the most logical and useful tool for Batman to eradicate the crime in Gotham just to blow up Arkham Asylum?Maybe, but that would require Batman to cross an ethical and moral line that he doesn't want to cross.This is why we call Batman a hero and Ra's al Ghul a villain.
Unsurprisingly, the topic comes up a lot in the comics, and Batman's answer is usually more or less the same:
Finally, the phenomenal graphic novel The Killing Joke treats this as follows:
Batman says to the Joker:
I've been thinking lately. About you ... About me. About what will happen to us in the end. We're going to kill each other, aren't we?Maybe you kill meMaybe i'll kill youMaybe earlier.Maybe later.I just wanted to know that I had made a real attempt to discuss things and avert this outcome. Once only. Are you listening to me It is life and death that I am talking about here. Maybe my death ... maybe yours. I don't quite understand why our relationship should be so deadly, however I don't want your murder in my hands.
The conversation continues on the last pages:
Rand al'Thor ♦
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