Does Batman Ever Kill Joker in the Comics?
The age-old rivalry between Batman and Joker has been one of the most iconic conflicts in comic book history. The Dark Knight, known for his strict moral code against killing, has faced off against his arch-nemesis, the Clown Prince of Crime, countless times. But given Joker’s heinous crimes and constant threat to Gotham City, many fans have wondered if there ever came a point where Batman broke his rule and killed the Joker.
The No-Kill Code
Before delving into whether or not Batman ever killed Joker in the comics, it’s important to understand why he has always stuck to his no-kill code. The character’s origin story details how Bruce Wayne became Batman after witnessing his parents’ murder at the hands of a criminal. This trauma instilled in him a deep sense of justice and a desire to protect Gotham City from criminals like the one who killed his parents.
However, unlike many other superheroes, Batman refuses to take lives even when faced with the most dangerous foes. He believes that taking a life would make him no better than the criminals he fights against and that killing goes against everything he stands for.
The Many Lives of Joker
Throughout their long-standing feud, Joker has been responsible for countless atrocities including mass murders, bombings, and torture. Despite this, Batman has always managed to bring him to justice without resorting to lethal force.
In some storylines, it is suggested that Joker may have died at Batman’s hands or as a result of their battles. For example, in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns,” an aging Bruce Wayne seemingly kills the Joker after years of conflict. However, this interpretation is left up to reader interpretation as it is unclear if Joker actually dies or not.
In other storylines, Joker has been resurrected or revealed to have faked his own death, making it clear that Batman never actually killed him.
The Final Showdown
One of the most significant moments in the Batman-Joker rivalry came in the 2019 comic book series “Batman: Three Jokers.” In this storyline, it is revealed that there are actually three different iterations of Joker that have plagued Gotham City over the years.
Throughout the story, Batman is forced to confront each of these Jokers and ultimately comes face-to-face with the one responsible for killing Jason Todd, his former sidekick Robin. In a moment of intense emotion and anger, Batman appears to kill this Joker by breaking his neck. However, it is later revealed that he merely incapacitated him and handed him over to the authorities.
While there have been instances where it appeared as though Batman may have killed Joker in various comic book storylines, the fact remains that he has always adhered to his no-kill code. Regardless of how evil or dangerous Joker may be, Batman has always found a way to bring him to justice without resorting to lethal force. It is this unwavering commitment to morality and justice that makes Batman one of the most beloved superheroes of all time.