The question of whether or not Batman kills the Joker has been a topic of debate among fans for years. Some argue that Batman’s moral code prohibits him from taking a life, while others believe that the Joker is simply too dangerous to be allowed to live. Let’s take a closer look at the evidence and see if we can come to a conclusion.
Does Batman have a no-kill rule?
First, it’s important to establish whether or not Batman has an established no-kill rule. The answer is yes – in most versions of the character, Batman refuses to take a life, even when facing the worst criminals Gotham has to offer. This is often seen as one of his defining traits – he operates outside the law, but still adheres to a strict moral code.
What about the Joker?
The Joker is perhaps Batman’s most infamous foe, and for good reason – he’s responsible for countless deaths and acts of terror in Gotham City. Despite this, however, Batman has never killed him (at least not in canon).
There are several reasons why Batman might choose not to kill the Joker. One is simply his belief in non-lethal justice – he sees himself as above killing, even when dealing with someone as evil as the Joker.
Another reason might be that he knows killing the Joker would make him no better than his enemies. After all, if he starts killing criminals, where does he draw the line?
Does he start killing lesser villains as well? The slippery slope argument is often used here – once you start down that path, there’s no way back.
Finally, some argue that Batman keeps the Joker alive simply because their conflict defines him as a hero. Without an enemy like the Joker to fight against, what purpose would he serve?
So does that mean Batman will never kill anyone?
Not necessarily. While Batman is typically portrayed as having a strict no-kill rule, there have been times when he’s been forced to take a life. In the graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns,” for example, Batman kills the Joker in a moment of desperation.
It’s worth noting, however, that this is an alternate universe story and not part of mainstream canon. In most versions of the character, Batman still adheres to his no-kill rule.
So where does this leave us? While there have been instances where Batman has killed (in alternate universe stories or one-off issues), in mainstream canon he adheres to his no-kill rule – even when dealing with someone as dangerous and evil as the Joker.
While it’s certainly possible that Batman might one day be pushed to breaking point and take a life, for now it seems that he’ll continue to stick to his non-lethal methods of crimefighting. Whether or not this is the right approach is up for debate – but it’s clear that for Batman, killing is not an option.