Batman / Batman Joker

Did Batman Finally Kill the Joker?

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Did Batman Finally Kill the Joker?

If you’re a fan of the Batman comics or movies, you may have wondered at some point whether the Dark Knight would ever cross the line and end his arch-nemesis, the Clown Prince of Crime. After all, the Joker has caused countless casualties, including Robin, Commissioner Gordon’s wife, and countless Gotham citizens.

He has tortured and traumatized many people, including Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Jason Todd (Robin), and Jim Gordon himself. He has also challenged Batman’s moral code and sanity like no other villain.

However, Batman has always resisted the urge to kill the Joker. Despite his rage and frustration, he has upheld his vow to never take a life, even if it means sparing his worst enemy. He has argued that killing the Joker would only make him a murderer like him, that it would not bring back his victims or prevent new ones from emerging, and that it would undermine his mission to protect Gotham from all threats without compromising his values.

Moreover, some versions of Batman have suggested that the Joker actually wants to be killed by him. In Alan Moore’s landmark graphic novel “The Killing Joke” (1988), the Joker says that their conflict is like a “bad joke” that can only end with one of them killing each other.

He also claims that he used to be sane until “one bad day” transformed him into a madman who sees life as a meaningless farce. By pushing Batman to break his rule and kill him, he hopes to prove that anyone can snap under enough pressure.

The Controversial Scene

Despite all these factors against it, there was one recent comic book issue that seemed to suggest that Batman had finally killed the Joker for good. In “Batman: Three Jokers” #3 (2020), written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Jason Fabok, Batman confronts three different versions of the Joker who have been plaguing him and his allies for years.

In the climactic scene, Batman is shown standing over a bloody Joker with a batarang lodged in his chest. The Joker has a twisted smile on his face and says “Finally.”

Batman looks grim and silent. The next panel shows the Joker’s lifeless body lying on the ground with a pool of blood around him. Batman walks away without saying a word.

At first glance, this scene could be interpreted as Batman breaking his rule and killing the Joker in a moment of desperation or revenge. However, there are several factors that complicate this interpretation:

  • The Joker in this story is not the same as the one who killed Robin or paralyzed Batgirl. He is actually one of three clones created by a mysterious machine that amplifies trauma and turns it into energy.

    Therefore, he is not technically the “real” Joker who has tormented Batman for decades.

  • The batarang that impales him is not lethal by design. It’s actually meant to trigger an explosion that would destroy the machine that created the Jokers and prevent it from causing more harm.
  • The scene ends abruptly without any clear resolution or aftermath. We don’t see what happens to Batman, the other Jokers, or any other characters involved.

The Authors’ Intention

Given these factors, it’s unclear whether “Batman: Three Jokers” #3 actually depicts Batman killing the Joker or just incapacitating him temporarily while destroying a dangerous device. Some readers have argued that it’s open to interpretation whether Batman intended to kill him or not, or whether he even knew what would happen when he threw the batarang. Others have criticized the scene for being too ambiguous and lacking emotional impact.

However, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Geoff Johns clarified that he and Jason Fabok did not intend to show Batman killing the Joker. He said that they wanted to create a “cathartic” moment where Batman finally confronts his trauma and grief over losing Robin and Batgirl to the Joker’s actions. He also said that Batman’s silence at the end was meant to signify his acceptance of the fact that he can’t change the past or undo his mistakes, but he can still move forward and try to do better.

In conclusion, while there has been a lot of discussion and debate over whether Batman finally killed the Joker in “Batman: Three Jokers” #3, it seems that the authors did not intend to depict it as such. Whether you agree with their approach or not, it’s clear that the dynamic between Batman and the Joker will continue to fascinate and challenge audiences for years to come.