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Brutally Honest: Should Batman Have Killed The Joker?

Sara looks at the events in Batman #17 and questions whether things should have ended differently.

If you are a true fan of the comic book genre then you likely have, on more than one occasion, engaged in more than one heated debate about a comic character, concept or a theme that you have read. Comics breed a sort of unbridled passion in fans of the medium because we, as readers, all grow up following a particular story and/or character and often, as a result, feel very strongly about the way a story is interpreted. This sort of "unbridled passion" (if you can excuse my flair for the dramatics) erupted in a heated debate on the most recent Comic Vine podcast (which you are more than welcome to listen to here). During the discussion I found myself at odds with Comic Vine's Editor in Chief. He thoroughly enjoyed the final issue of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's 'Death of the Family' story arc while I felt that the story fell sort of flat. You can read Tony's review (and the official Comic Vine review of the issue), here.

Being that Comic Vine encourages dissenting opinions and we are a community that respects that not everyone will agree on everything, I felt this a good opportunity to bring back a segment titled 'Brutally Honest' where I discuss my opinions on a particular subject be they controversial or not in an always honest (although not always brutal) sort of a way. Being that I grew up reading Batman, and the character is the very reason I read comic books today, I felt very strongly about issue #17 of BATMAN and thought it would be good to broach the subject, well, honestly. Batman is both a character and a series I feel very strongly about, and issue 17 was one I was looking forward to. Unfortunately, it is also one that left me feeling relatively disappointed when I reached the final page.

== TEASER ==

Last week Batman fans saw the release of the final issue of 'Death of the Family,' the 17th issue of Scott Snyder's BATMAN series. The story, which followed Batman's first 'New 52' encounter with the Joker challenged the character in ways that we had not seen before. In this series, Snyder questioned the relationship between Batman and the Joker: how deep was it? Do they need one another? Who is the Batman without the Joker and vice versa? The theme was a compelling one that truly questioned the roles of these respective characters in the greater scope of the story. Not only did Snyder touch on the role of the Joker and how it relates to Batman, but he also questioned the role of the family Batman has built for himself over the course of his existence. How important is his family, and, will he do what he can to protect them? What is the role of Alfred, Barbara, Tim, Jason, Damian and Dick? How much do their lives mean to Bruce Wayne?

When we first heard about the Death of the Family we wondered what it could possibly be referring to. Would this be the literal death of Bruce's family? Would it be a metaphorical death? Would it be the final nail in the coffin that is the relationship between the Batman and the Joker and would it, ultimately, lead to the literal death of the family and the dissolution of the relationship between Bruce Wayne and those that mean the most to him? Now that the story is over, it is clear to see the Bruce Wayne has lost everything: everything that actually meant something to him. He has lost the trust of those who meant the most to him. He has placed their lives in danger and risked each and every one of their deaths all because he played the Joker's game. He gave his adversary what he wanted. See, for Batman, there was no way out. If Batman had consented to killing the Joker, the Joker would have won because he would have been the reason Batman would have killed: and Batman "doesn't kill." However, allowing him to escape and endangering the lives of those he loves has ultimately pushed them away, which was the Joker's goal from the very start of this arc. For Batman this was a "lose/lose" situation. No matter the end result, the Joker would have won in the end. The real issue here is, what matters most to Bruce? His pride and moral compass and his promise to never kill, or the safety of his family? How far will he allow himself to be pushed in the end? Evidently, very far.

Batman was born of the murder of his parents. The day that Joe Chill shot and killed Thomas and Martha Wayne was the day that Bruce Wayne died and Batman was born. His entire existence, who he is now, is because of that death. Yes, he has committed a life to fighting crime and not to kill, but even he, being "human" would be pushed to his limits, right? I mean, we all have limits. Alexander Hamilton once said, "I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man," and there is tremendous truth to this statement. Humanity is flawed. Man is flawed. Batman is merely a man; he is not a God, and therefore he is flawed. It is the flaw of man that makes for the most compelling stories. It is the defense of honor, family and love that makes a character interesting. In my opinion, Batman was given the opportunity to question his principles if it meant protecting his family. In the end, he chose his principles. For a man that lost his family once, one would think that he wouldn't risk losing his family a second time. That he would at the very least question whether his principles should come after his family.

In one of the final scenes in Death of the Family Batman has a grip on the Joker and he is hanging him over the ledge of a cliff. This moment, which should have been the pinnacle moment of this entire arc, the moment that the creative team was leading up to, could have been infinitely more profound if Batman had only asked himself "what if I did kill the Joker? What if I chose to protect my sons and Gordon's daughter?" In that moment, Batman should have remembered Alfred's kidnapping, Barbara being shot at point blank, and Jason being beat with a crow bar. He should have recalled the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the Joker and asked himself whether the life of a psychopath was worth more than that of the innocent. He could have at the very least begged the question 'what if?' He could have been brought to the edge and even pulled back by some external force instead of allowing the Joker the luxury of making the decision for him. He could have killed him because, after all, the Joker would have won in the end regardless of the result.

To me, it is the humanity and flaw in Batman that are some of his most compelling characteristics. I read his stories because I know he's "human" and he can die. He can err just like any man. Yet in that moment, he showed no "unbridled passion," and the story was infinitely less interesting for it.

Writer Scott Snyder is one of the nicest guys working in comics today, and he defends his final issue by bringing up some interesting points. According to him, killing the Joker solves nothing:

As for why he doesn't kill the Joker, I really do believe by Batman breaking his code, Joker would win. Even if Joker claims he himself wouldn't, he would, as Joker would have made himself that special case he wants to be for Batman. That exceptional one.

And deep down, Batman would lose something essential in the killing - he'd be diminished. And I truly truly feel (and again, this is my take) that Gotham would punish Bruce for it, for failing that trial, and to punish him, it would bring the Joker back worse, and/or create someone new who would immediately come along to kill and maim and terrorize to a degree that would demand the same action by most logic. Gotham tests its heroes by trying to break them more than any other home in literature. That's why Batman killing the Joker would be a failure, and he would be punished worse. That's just my two cents though!

So: I think the closest my personal Batman would come is doing what he did at the falls in Batman #17 [and don't read this if you don't want SPOILERS!:)] : the idea is that Batman knows Joker cannot (likely) survive the drop. But - he can't kill Joker without breaking his rule. Should he break his code, no matter what Joker says about winning and losing, Batman knows he himself would lose. Still... this time, he's willing to see Joker die.

So... he plays Joker's own joke on him - claiming to know who Joker is - to get Joker to "kill himself" by forcing Batman to drop him.

Of course, last moment, Batman impulsively regrets it (hence the "no").

Anyway, that's my thinking on Batman killing the Joker. He allows Joker to "die" here, even if he does it with a moment of regret that startles and disturbs himself. This way, he hasn't technically broken his rule, but he has seen the Joker die. Joker dies by his own joke.

And so the title, "Death of the Family" is meant to refer to the death of Batman's relationship to Joker and the rogues - whom joker claims are his true family - as well as to the Bat-allies, who break from Bruce because he didn't trust them with enough in the story.

Again, just my take. Thanks from Gotham. S

In the end (in my personal opinion) we had a lot of build up for an ending that fell a little bit flat. Sure, there were certainly developments and yes, the Joker succeeded, but there was also an opportunity to show Bruce at his weakest point. As a human man defending a family and remembering the feeling of what it was like to lose his parents. That, to me, would compel anyone to at least question their convictions when forced to come face to face with an adversary that caused him so much pain. In that moment where Batman had the chance to drop him, he easily could have, and could have lived with the repercussions of his actions. If not that, then he could have been stopped by members of his family. He could have shown weakness and have been held back by some external force, and I think that would have been more interesting. And what if the Joker had died at his hand? That would be a cross that Batman would have to bear, and it would have made for an an infinite number of compelling stories, would it not? After all, nobody in comics dies forever, right?

What did you think of issue #17 of BATMAN? Do you think that Batman should have killed the Joker? Did you enjoy the issue?

177 Comments Refresh
Posted by Batnandez

I can understand why batman doesn't but I would like to see someone in the family do it. Seriously how has Jason not killed the Joker yet? As far as in this arc, I don't think it would have been appropriate just because of how screwed up continuity is. This is only 6 years in and everyone in the bat family is alive and kicking. If it were pre 52 and this arc came out I would have liked to see some sort of ambiguous ending where it's sort of left to the reader to see if batman really killed the joker.

Posted by KnightRise

I wouldn't have been upset if the fall itself killed Joker. Or at least put him in catatonia

Posted by bunkerbuster05

I'm really torn on the issue. I always want change in comics, to keep them interesting and inspiring. Take Superior Spider-Man. It's a drastic change, but it's something new and daring.

At the same time, I agree with Tony and Scott. If Batman did kill Joker, someone would come next and be worse. Batman would be forced to do it again, and then we have a character who doesn't resemble the guy we love.

In all honesty, this was a huge undertaking to conclude and make everyone happy. I still think this issue, and the whole arc, is masterful. Issue 13 and the cop precinct scene? I've never been more tense reading a comic before.

I'm also glad we as a community can care so much about comics, enough to bring out this kind of discussion.

Posted by darkrider

no definitely not because batman knows if he kills the joker he will lose himself and the readers

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

No, he did the right thing.

Posted by NightFang

No, there are enough heroes/anti-heroes that kill their villains off already.

Posted by Tev18

I really wanted Red Hood or Batgirl to kill the Joker

Posted by JamesKM716

I agree mostlly. I wish that Batman had killed Joker, just as the family arrives, that'd actually drive a real wedge in the family.

On another note, I never thought of Snyder's take; that the Batman was attempting to get Joker to kill himself. Smart Snyder, Smart.

Posted by Yung ANcient One
Life is precious until proven otherwise. There is just a line you don't cross, and jokers picked it up, and has been using it as a jump-rope. I think Bats for Brains not killing Joker is more of a flaw than if he did. Overcompensating for trying to be the good Guy. I want to know why hasn't anyone killed Joker yet? In LA the pigs shot innocent civilians because they thought it was the infamous cop killer. Plus a cabin got burned down.... somehow. Anyways... Why hasn't Joker been executed? (+)
Posted by Barkley

that would be the best batman story of all time ....The Day Batman Killed The Joker

Posted by Phaedrusgr

Snyder says:

"And deep down, Batman would lose something essential in the killing - he'd be diminished. And I truly truly feel (and again, this is my take) that Gotham would punish Bruce for it, for failing that trial, and to punish him, it would bring the Joker back worse, and/or create someone new who would immediately come along to kill and maim and terrorize to a degree that would demand the same action by most logic. Gotham tests its heroes by trying to break them more than any other home in literature. That's why Batman killing the Joker would be a failure, and he would be punished worse. That's just my two cents though"!

Snyder does his homework. Keep writing, Sir. In Snyder we trust.

Edited by Danial79

In my mind, he essentially did kill the Joker. Knowing him so well, Batman would have known how the Joker would react when he told him what he was about to. So although he didn't physically kill him, he set the wheels in motion. It would be like taunting someone you knew was depressed and suicidal.

EDIT: I probably should have read the article before replying as I just saw that that's exactly what Scott said :P

Posted by csl316

My concern is that even if he kills The Joker and Batman has to deal with the repercussions... how long before The Joker just gets resurrected?

As great as it would be to see Bats off Joker, there's always gonna be that lingering thought of "well, he'll have to come back eventually" that may diminish the impact to the reader (although the change it could cause in Batman would sure be an interesting thing to explore).

Posted by jkma68

Sara, I liked your idea from the podcast...have a flash where Batman pictures what it would feel like to let the Joker die and then watch him mentally go down that road of killing off more and more. G-Man talks about "of course he thinks about it" but we never get to see him think about it. I think that would have been awesome...and G-Man, I love the passion, but I don't think that that would diminish who Batman is. In fact, if we see him think about it and NOT follow through, I think that bolsters who he is and what he stands for. Great back and forth from the podcast! To each their own...

Posted by the_fallen11

I completely 100% agree with Sara. When is enough enough? I also feel like from here on out Batman will have to shoulder even more responsibility for the lives Joker takes being that he had such a prominent chance to do it this time.

Posted by Trevel8182

100% agree with Sara!

Posted by bjmorga

If Batman kills Joker and they do end up bringing him back, he's put in an awkward position. "Well, you killed him once..." It pretty much makes it to where Batman has to carry through each time and off the Joker!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Its an issue of complexity, just like the story arc in general. Truth of the matter is when I first read into the issue to see the conclusion, I will admit I was rather disappointed. But fortunately now with more insight like this article, and Snyder's justifications, it makes me see that the story ended doing just what it was going to do with a "Death of the Family." If there is disappointment I think it just stems from what people's expectations were going into the arc, at least that is my understanding. Could the conclusion have been better? Absolutely, but did it set out to do just what it was supposed to? I think the answer to that is yes as well.

Posted by SavageDragon

Wow great article . I enjoyed your writing and also enjoyed you Tony's and Corey's take on the events in Batman #17.

I have 2 different oppinions on the issue and the events.

I enjoyed the issue. Ive read that others share my response that reading it a second time really helps to appreciate the conclusion a lot more. The second time I really tried to savor the issue, there was a lot of buildup and I think it was easy to rush through it. Now my other point is I liked the issue, and i liked the ending (the last page was great) but was it the end I wanted?

I wanted to see a different ending yes, but was I disappointed with the ending?, not really. I totally understand the argument about Batman finally ending the Joker. Hes a man, and any normal man or (even abnormal) man should be pushed over his limit and the definition of insanity according to some is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. I think Batman is afraid of the monster hed become if he went over that cliff and, well dropped joker well over the cliff. I think Batman for all his strengths anbd will power is a bit insane, because his unwavering devotion to his code makes him lose site of humanity sometimes. Hes all about sacrific and maybe he should sacrifice his code to stop the Joker once and for all. I dont have a definite answer but I think overall DOTF was a good read. One of the best Batman stories ever? Not really but the art was great and the story was interesting and compelling. Sometimes the end of a story doesnt live up to our own expectations because our own wants are unbeknownst even to ourselves.

Posted by Pokeysteve

The short answer is "yes". Another short answer is "Don't effin save him the next time someone else tries to kill him".

Batman wants to save Gotham so bad. Eliminating the Joker would be a massive step towards that. He doesn't even have to kill him. He could probably just cripple him. See how Joker does without his legs and then if that's not enough go full on. Ok that might be a little extreme lol but still. Just do it Bruce. Quit bitching and preaching and just do it. The city will thank you.

Posted by weenman1

The Batman is not a vigilante. He stands for something. The only reason any reader would want to see Batman kill is because we haven't seen it before. If you want a character to murder for justice go read the Punisher.

Posted by daredevil21134


Posted by Phantim555

To paraphrase Batman Forever: "So you want to take a life? Ok, then this is what will happen. You will find him and you will kill him but then there stands another figure in the darkness and you kill it too until you find yourself covered in so much blood you don't even recognize yourself anymore."

Jason's even told Bruce before You don't have to kill everyone, not penguin, freeze, not even Two-Face, but that Joker deserves it but this is what makes Batman better than Jason or even the Joker. Joker wants Batman to break his one rule and even if he does die than he still wins but in what world is it ok to kill people? Even the stark raving mad lunatics like Joker. I understand that by not killing Joker that yes Batman could be considered "responsible for anything he does later." But why does it have to be him. Jason could shoot Joker point blank with no problem, Commisioner Gordon could take him to a dark room at the GCPD and not a single officer would care. The point of it all is that Batman can say I'm better than he is and THIS is what makes me a hero. Not that I CAN'T kill him, God knows there are probably 6 billion ways he could but that he WON'T because if he did he can't be Batman anymore. Batman isn't a murderer in any sense of the word and by killing Joker he destroys everything he's built himself to be.

Posted by th3jok3r

I agree with Scott in the sense that Batman didn't kill The Joker by his own hand, but did see Joker fall and (presumably) die.

It reminded me of the scene in Batman Begins. On the train when Bruce and Ra's are fighting and Bruce blows out the train. And he says "I'm not gonna kill you, but I don't have to save you." Those last few pages were very reminiscent of that scene, at least for me.

Posted by VaizD

Reminds me of the end of Batman Begins. "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you".


Posted by weenman1

Anyone know which tray the Joker showed to the Penguin and others?

Edited by Decoy Elite

Having Batman kill would be a betrayal of a fundamental aspect of the character. Yes he killed in the Golden Age days, but the character was less defined then than he is now. Batman out of any character in comics I think should never kill. Ever. Seriously, the entire character revolves around not allowing others to die, he's only a hero because he doesn't want to see someone else go through what he did and what he went through was death. Death is Batman's arch nemesis and by giving into his darker urges he let's death win. If he kills he stops being Batman. Simple as that. Death of the Family was a flawed story in many ways and I think the ending fell flat as well, but having Batman not kill the Joker is not why.

Seriously having Batman kill in a cannon story is just fundamentally wrong and the fact that people take issue with him killing the freakin' God of Evil highlights that fact really well.

Posted by AlexDragon

This story touches on one of the problems with corporate characters. The writer has to preserve the intergrity of the charcter for future stories and writers. Batman can't kill the Joker for various reasons. First and foremost because that's not what the character does. But even if we got Batman having a moment of weakness I don't think the story would've been that much better. I think the problem is that we got this grandious story that in the end the payoff just wasn't there. To say "Oh my, now the 'family' can never trust Batman again" isn't all that impressive because Batman should never be the type of character that's easily trusted in the first place. In the end there isn't anything that's a harsh reminder of this encounter. Everyone walked away fine except for "oh no, we can't trust Batman" and/or Batman thinking they don't trust him but he did it for the right reason. Eh...Big deal. After a few issues it all goes back to status quo. I would've liked to have seen what Joker did have some sort of much bigger consquences that leaves a real reminder of what happened.

Posted by cc1738

Yes. I don't like the Joker and it would have been cool.

Posted by TheHeat

Joker probably has to be my favorite villain (besides Magneto), but Batman is a fool for not killing Joker yet. Perhaps one day, Red Hood will do it instead.

Edited by roboadmiral

I am very firmly in the "kill the Joker" camp. There's always this talk about how if it happened the Joker would "win." And the Joker is totally right when he calls BS on that in the issue. So the way Batman wins is to not kill the Joker so the Joker can go on killing people and destroying lives? That makes no sense at all. Joker loses when Batman decides he's nothing, that what he thinks and says doesn't matter, when it stops being about winning and losing, and Joker is nothing more to him than an evil that needs to be stopped.

Maybe Gotham does lash back harder and punish Batman, but they discussed that in the Nolan films a bit. Batman is there to take the punishment and the hardship. He makes the hard decisions. He's the only one who can.

Making the Joker make himself fall to that Batman didn't "really" kill him felt like a copout.

A point to keep in mind when the no-kill is treated like an essential, invaluable part of Batman, remember that it was not Bob Kane or Bill Fingers idea. Their editor, Whitney Ellsworth, told them that they had to do it.

Posted by dondave

Red Hood should kill him

Posted by spinningbirdcake

I would have no problem with the Joker being killed by Bruce, Jason, Damian, Alfred, etc. I think I have come to the conclusion however, and I think it's a reasonable one, that once Batman took the vow to never kill anyone, and that became what he, as an archetype, stood for, he was never going to kill. Neither writers, nor DC editorial is ever going to let Batman kill anyone. They'll kill him, because then he'll just be a martyr for what he stands for, but if he kills he essentially won't be Batman anymore. For 70 years he's been arguably the same character, and for 70 more he shall stay the same. I'm not saying he shouldn't kill his villains, with or without prejudice, I'm saying we shouldn't expect it as readers. If Damian dies in Batman Inc 8, or something else horrible happens, we shouldn't expect him to "cross the line" in any of the upcoming Batman issues. It'll never happen guys.

Posted by GothamRed

Brutally Honest: How many times has this question been asked?

Posted by mightypug78

batman shouldnt kill joker, if he killed someone, he wouldnt be batman no more.

Posted by frozenedge

Out of all his villain, Joker is the one who really should've died a while ago. Bruce continues to just throw the mad clown into Arkham knowing full well he'll break out in about a month or two after getting bored tormenting the guards. Then he'll end up killing a dozen or so more people and Bruce will just throw him back into jail. Bruce basically keeps Joker alive because without him, he'd be out of a superhero job seeing how his former sidekicks could more than likely handle his other villains

Posted by K3vinkha0S

No he shouldn't

Edited by shackle

This seems to pop up all the time. The answer is "yes." But Batman will never do it, because it is out character. The funny thing is, if Batman and the Joker existed in real life, he WOULD have killed the Joker by now. Batman can justify sparing the Joker time and time again in the comics, because the price of his "code of honor" is fictional lives; real lives outweigh any "code of honor."

Posted by Teerack

He should have.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Its an issue of complexity, just like the story arc in general. Truth of the matter is when I first read into the issue to see the conclusion, I will admit I was rather disappointed. But fortunately now with more insight like this article, and Snyder's justifications, it makes me see that the story ended doing just what it was going to do with a "Death of the Family." If there is disappointment I think it just stems from what people's expectations were going into the arc, at least that is my understanding. Could the conclusion have been better? Absolutely, but did it set out to do just what it was supposed to? I think the answer to that is yes as well.


Edited by mcbean

There is only two people that should kill joker and it's not Batman

  1. Red Hood
  2. Batgirl
Posted by SimonM7

There's something to be said for the returning implication that Batman/Bruce has a fundamentally skewed sense of self to begin with. In the end, not killing someone doesn't have to be rational in the case of Bruce, it only has to be the linchpin which holds the Batman persona together.

I always liked the notion of Batman as a symbol elevated above a mere "man", something more than a man as he puts it in Batman Begins. I think as much as that sounds like that separates Bruce and Batman - Batman becoming a symbol divorced from Bruce, imbued with those properties - I think the reality of it is that you can't separate the two. There's no way Batman could just hang his cape up for the day and go back to being "just a man". If he is indeed "just a man" who doesn't live up to those stated convictions, then he's a man who never truly created Batman in the first place.

Even aside from compromising the idea of Batman - ie: "he can't kill because then he wouldn't be Batman! - I don't think he's psychologically able to kill. I think the closest thing to an actual super power he has - a defining physical trait he doesn't share with regular people, is the psychological machinery that propels the very IDEA of Batman.

You could argue that seeing him fail would be more interesting, more relatable, but Bruce Wayne and Batman is fundamentally difficult to connect with by design. Letting him kill out of desperation, or hate, or fear, would allow you to connect with Batman on a human level, but the way he's able to think in absolutes doesn't seem like he's "just a man" TRYING HIS DARNEDEST to me. It seems like that's what he is.

Batman, as it were.

Posted by fartvader

I think Batman knows to himself that in his battle with the Joker in the Death of the Family, Joker already won. And Batman knows also that the Joker wants to be killed with Batman's hands. So killing him would definitely destroy him (wedge within the Family plus breaking his code.) At least what he did in the conclusion made the Joker think Batman won. But yeah crippling the Joker would be ok with me though.

Posted by thveej

I really do think what Snyder did for the ending was almost picture perfect. I would have liked to actually have known joker's origin, that would have resulted in a Batman victory and his domination over Joker in my opinion . It is the one thing that is unknown about the joker, and I think as it was portrayed, Joker can not handle the truth. 
I think the explanation that Bruce gave about Gotham sending him something worse than Joker if he killed the Joker is the best explanation why he does not kill the Joker. I know its the kind of thing that people roll their eyes at, but I really like that explanation. It also fits well with stories such as Kingdom Come where Joker's death was the catalyst for some nasty stuff. 
I was holding out hope for Cassandra Cain to make the last second save (and her entrance to new 52, they could have started explaining how bruce knew about a rift in reality and that he remembered having a "daughter", due to that letter from his dad..)and Bruce giving Jason the go ahead to kill Joker. That way it would have shown that the Bat family complete each other, and Batman is capable of dealing with situations that he would never be able to handle alone. But that's the difference between fanfiction and a thought out well written story by a great comic writer. 

Posted by travmadison

This whole Death of the Family Arc started off great with hopes of Scott giving us a Court of Owls like feel and vibe but with the Joker thrown in, but instead of giving a good ending like in Court of Owls the ending to this was totally lackluster and not fitting to how the start of the story was playing out.

Edited by blackcobalt

I've always looked at the Batman Joker issue like this: Batman won't kill the Joker because of his code. So he gets to keep his conscience clean at the cost of hundreds (thousands?) of innocent lives. He's supposed to be a hero, and sometimes that means sacrificing your own spiritual well being for the sake of the greater good.

Posted by TerryBogard2014

Yes i agree with babs and i listened to the podcast and tony was acting a tad childish and butt hurt over her opinion lol.Something has to just can't be the same status quo over and over again.Batman just looks like a masochist running around in tights.Not saying he should turn into the punisher.but they could of found something.Jokers body count is higher then any number i could nail with nico in GTA.Maybe he has a moment of weakness and paralyzes him by accident or creates a a device that mind wipes him or something.or step aside and let someone with the Testicular fortitude end it while he gets the sand out of his mangina.someone like wonder woman.It was still a good story and Solicits indicate that something dark might befall the bat family yet again so that might lessen the let down by some.and this really doesn't have anything to do with the comic but i can't be the only one that raised an Eye brow when he walked out of the theater in Arkam city with joker instead of Talia

Posted by saoakden

If I was in Batman's shoes, I would have beaten up the Joker to a bloody pulp. I may not be a father but I'm a big brother. I care for my younger siblings and I know if anyone hurt them in any shape or form the person who did it is going to be in trouble. If I was a father, I would want the person who hurt my kid to go away, forever.

I honestly think Batman should have killed Joker because look what Joker has done to his family. He kidnapped Alfred, killed Jason, shot Barbara, put Dick, Tim, and Damian through hell. I get it that if one evil is taken out, something worst will come of it, but does that mean someone like Joker should be able to run around and kill people as he pleases? Does Batman believe that Joker can somehow be saved? I think someone close to Bruce has to ask, When is enough? What will take for you to take care of the Joker for good? Are you going to wait til one of his sons die by his hand again or Alfred, or Gordon? Are you going to wait to take action when its to late to save the person you love? If I was Batman, and Joker did what he did in Death of the Family, Joker would have been as good as gone.

Posted by War Killer

While I understand why people want this kind of story, why they want to see Joker push Batman to the point that he would be willing to kill his greatest enemy. I can't help but wonder why we keep asking "why won't Batman just kill Joker?" over and over again. Because, if we all were honest with ourselves, it would never work. The REAL reason why Batman doesn't kill Joker is simple, but the one that fans hate to hear, is because if Joker were dead, we'd lose Batman's greatest foe and thus lose any and all stories we could have with those two iconic characters. Ultimately, even if Batman DID kill Joker, the fans would eventually want him back because we would miss having stories about him. Thus, Batman breaking his rule of "no killing" would be meaningless and pointless, because we all know that DC would bring him back eventually.
Batman doesn't kill, that's the point. The idea that Joker wins either way is what makes the story so compelling because if Batman breaks his rule, he loses what makes him respected and admired by fans. But instead, seeing Batman push through the constant temptations of "what if's" and dealing with the consequences that follow in keeping his rule, to me, is far more compelling than any story where Batman just offs Joker because he "pushed him too far."

Posted by MrShway88

"And so the title, "Death of the Family" is meant to refer to the death of Batman's relationship to Joker and the rogues - whom joker claims are his true family - as well as to the Bat-allies, who break from Bruce because he didn't trust them with enough in the story." - Synder

Didn't think of it like that