While Batman is undoubtedly the most iconic superhero in the world of DC, the thing about him is that he is often criticized for the one thing that he doesn’t do, which is kill criminals. No matter how despicable and inhuman the criminals of Gotham are, Batman doesn’t kill them. Of course, the Joker is at the top of the list in terms of the worst criminals ever seen on the pages of comic book history. So, if that’s the case, why hasn’t Batman killed Joker?
Batman never killed Joker in the mainline story of Batman because he knows that doing so would allow him to sink to a level that’s similar to the Joker. Remember that Batman has a moral compass, which means he doesn’t want to kill criminals because he needs to do things correctly.
One of the things that people often think about the storyline of Batman is the dilemma between letting criminals live so that they may kill again or killing criminals to ensure that they never hurt others again. Of course, Batman has always stuck with the idea of doing things the right way instead of killing the Joker. So, with that said, let’s look at why Batman has never killed the Joker.
Why does Batman keep Joker alive?
In the world of comic books, Batman has always stood at the top of the ladder in terms of characters that could never be outwilled by any other villain. He may be human, but his strong will and incredible mind allowed him to outthink, outwit, and outlast a lot of different villains and heroes alike. But while he may be as popular as he is, the one thing that many people often wonder is why he doesn’t kill.
Batman doesn’t kill, and that’s a fact when it comes to the mainline story of DC. There may be iterations or versions of Batman that kill criminals, but the main universe has always stuck with Batman’s no-killing mantra. And he doesn’t kill even if the criminal does some of the most insane things.
The Joker, of course, is known for doing the craziest things ever just so he could attack the city of Gotham on a psychological level. He kills for the sake of it and has done some of the worst things ever imaginable because he simply wants to do those things. But Batman never killed the Joker in any of the mainline stories, even though people are beginning to think that he should have killed him a long time ago to stop him from doing all the crazy stuff he did to innocent people. So, with that said, let’s look at the reasons why Batman never killed the Joker.
It’s against his moral compass
Many superheroes have a moral compass that prevents them from doing heinous criminal acts for the sake of their roles as heroes. Batman is arguably at the top of the list because he has always followed his moral compass. And it is due to his indomitable will as a hero that he firmly held on to his beliefs.
Bruce grew up learning how to be a kind, dedicated, and compassionate person from his mother and father. He also saw their deaths in front of his very eyes, as he was psychologically affected by the murder of his parents. However, to honor his family’s memory, he decided to become a vigilante that cleans the streets of Gotham without killing anyone because he understands that neither his mother nor his father would ever want him to go so low just to make a point.
In that regard, no matter how dark or brutal Batman can get, he doesn’t kill people. He always followed the due process of the law when it came to holding criminals accountable for the many things they do. And that includes Joker, who always seems to end up in Arkham Asylum whenever Batman foils
It will never stop with the Joker
Another thing that Batman knows is that killing the Joker won’t ever stop the killings in Gotham. He knows there will always be criminals ready to step up and take the Joker’s spot if he gets killed. As such, Batman knows that killing Joker won’t do much to rid the city of crime.
If that’s the case, why doesn’t Batman stop his vigilantism? It’s because Batman doesn’t fight crime to prevent criminals from committing crimes. Instead, he fights crime to give the people of Gotham hope that they could be better people for a better city. Batman wants the people of Gotham to be the ones to realize that criminality ends with them.
Killing the Joker would only make the people of Gotham think that killing is always an option for stopping criminality. Batman doesn’t want people to have that kind of mindset. As such, he knows that killing the Joker would only lead to more criminals rising up to become criminals as well. It will become an endless cycle wherein he would just have to kill the next crazy criminal that tries to take his predecessor’s place.
Murder is a slippery slope
Murder is a slippery slope that forces a person down a path of endless killings. Any person who has ever killed another would say it gets easier every time you kill someone. So, if Batman were to kill the Joker, that would make it easier for him to kill more criminals in the future. And we all know that Batman doesn’t want to kill.
Nothing would stop Batman from killing another villain if he decided to kill the Joker. Batman doesn’t want that to happen because he wants to give the people of Gotham the impression that killing criminals is never the right way to solve criminality in the city. As such, he doesn’t want to be the one to tell the common citizen that it’s okay for him to pick up a gun and start hunting criminal lunatics running around the city.
That is why Batman would never dare tread the path that leads to the slippery slope called murder. He always flirts with this path but never tries to go anywhere close to the slope because he knows there will be no turning back once he crosses it.
What happens if Batman kills Joker?
In the comics, Batman once said that killing the Joker would mean that he wouldn’t be any better than him. Batman knows he shouldn’t be stooping down to the level of a murdering psychopath like the Joker. And that’s why he doesn’t want to kill him, as he knows that he will only become a true criminal, just like any other criminals around the city.
Killing the Joker would also allow the Joker to win. A crazy psycho like the Joker doesn’t commit crimes because he wants to get rich. Instead, one of the reasons he commits all the crazy crimes he does is to try to break Batman. He has always regarded Batman as the greatest puzzle he could ever solve, but forcing him to kill him would allow him to win the game he never won.
In the ‘Injustice’ storyline, the Joker went after Superman instead and forced him to kill Lois Lane, their unborn child, and the entire city of Metropolis because he felt that Superman was easier to manipulate. The Joker said that he never won against Batman whenever he tried to break his spirit and moral compass, and that’s why he tried to go after the easier target, which was Superman. And we all know that Superman killed the Joker, thus allowing the Clown Prince of Crime to prove his point and claim victory.
So, if Batman were to kill the Joker, that would allow the Joker to prove that Batman is nothing more than just a common criminal as well. Batman knows that the Joker is simply trying to break him mentally and emotionally. As such, keeping the Joker alive is best for them because that would mean that the Joker wouldn’t get what he wants.
Do you think Batman should get rid of Joker once and for all? Let us know in the comments below!