Is Batman in the Nolan Batman films a murderer?

#1 Posted by JasonTodd13 (423 posts) - - Show Bio

In the Dark Knight Rises, near the end Talia al Ghul claims that Batman murdered her father. Looking back at Batman Begins, Batman lets Talia's father Ra's al Ghul die on the train refusing to rescue him. Does anyone consider what Batman did in Batman Begins murder? I read a lot of batman comics and i havent seen one comic yet that shows that Batman lets someone die without attempting to rescue them. Im in half a mind of thinking what Batman did was right or wrong or considered a murder. What do you think? Does letting Ra's al Ghul die without attempting to rescue him considered to be murder?

Liam Neeson Batman Begins
#2 Posted by mhanuroth (208 posts) - - Show Bio

if you see knightend batman fought azrael because he left someone to die and batman think of him as a murderer

#3 Posted by TheCowman (461 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty much. Batman could have saved him and purposefully chose not to. That's at least man-slaughter if not murder.

I mean, I'm not gonna get on his case about it cause..... y'know, it's frickin' Ra's al Ghul. But it kinda IS technically murder.

#4 Edited by r3d_rob1n (541 posts) - - Show Bio

Of course it was murder. Batman cut the brakes to the train and then blew up the track. Although it was for the greater good, it was still murder. The REAL Batman would have saved Ra's and given him over to the police.

To look at it another way: What if the monorail been packed with people during rush hour as the microwave emitter headed towards Wayne Station and Batman blew the tracks. Should Batman fail to save those people, then his heroism would certainly be brought into question. I see no difference with Batman failing to save Ra's. Is this mistake acceptable for a normal man, yes. Batman is not a normal man though, he placed those higher expectations on himself when he went outside the law in order to enforce it.

#5 Posted by tupiaz (2180 posts) - - Show Bio

No. He isn't. The tricker is this as Batman put it himself (maybe not a direct quote but damn close and on top of my mind): "I don't kill you, but I don't have to save you life either". There is a difference between doing and allowing. Batman is doing and not allowing in this chase. Russ Landau has in his book discuss the chase in Batman: Begins in his book the fundamentals of ethics (page 214-219). If this goes a against the Batman mythos is a must more doubtful. here I don't have a clear answer.

#6 Posted by JonSmith (3996 posts) - - Show Bio

Given Ra's Al Ghul's claims of being immortal, it could be seen less as murder and more as... obstruction.

#7 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1613 posts) - - Show Bio

I see it in the same vein as the old argument that all evil needs to triumph is for good people to sit by and do nothing. Nolan Bruce was perfectly capable of saving Ra's, but he made a conscious decision not to. He made a decision to let him die instead of saving his life. The reasoning that he didn't have to save Ra's is just another way of saying he wanted him dead but didn't want to do it with his own two hands. In a way, I find leaving him to die to be far worse than if he'd just shot Ra's in the head with a gun.

#8 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

@r3d_rob1n said:

Of course it was murder. Batman cut the brakes to the train and then blew up the track. Although it was for the greater good, it was still murder. The REAL Batman would have saved Ra's and given him over to the police.

To look at it another way: What if the monorail been packed with people during rush hour as the microwave emitter headed towards Wayne Station and Batman blew the tracks. Should Batman fail to save those people, then his heroism would certainly be brought into question. I see no difference with Batman failing to save Ra's. Is this mistake acceptable for a normal man, yes. Batman is not a normal man though, he placed those higher expectations on himself when he went outside the law in order to enforce it.

It was a justified killing, it's not murder.

#9 Posted by TheCowman (461 posts) - - Show Bio

@JonSmith said:

Given Ra's Al Ghul's claims of being immortal, it could be seen less as murder and more as... obstruction.

Were this the comic universe, that'd be a valid argument. But Nolan's Ra's was clearly speaking about immortality in the metaphorical sense. It's a bit tricky since Batman has no official standing with the Gotham's government, but morally I think he can't dodge blame for this.

It would be like a police officer not saving a criminal he's pursuing when said criminal trips and almost falls off some great height. Or a firefighter leaving an arsonist to die who was caught in their own fire. Whether you consider them in the wrong or not; the responsibility placed on them by their jobs would mean they'd get in trouble for allowing those things to happen.

Again, Batman isn't employed by the state, so legally I don't suppose he's any more at fault than any other normal citizen who doesn't go out of their way to stop a crime. But morally, I think he IS sorta a murderer.

Unless Gotham has the Good Samaritan law. Then he's at fault in any case.

#10 Posted by Onemoreposter (4032 posts) - - Show Bio

@JasonTodd13: He's absolutely a murderer. The whole, "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you," scene is BS. Ras died because A)He was unable to stop the train because the controls were destroyed and B) The monorail tracks ahead of him were blown up. Who destroyed the controls? Batman. Who ordered the destruction of the monorail? Batman. Batman was directly responsible for Ras Al Ghul's death.

#11 Posted by r3d_rob1n (541 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheCrowbar: We disagree on that. When a police officer shoots a man in the field, there is an investigation done to see if that killing was absolutely necessary given the conditions. In this instance, Batman's "justified killing" was not justified in the least. He had time to save Ra's and he had him incapacitated. His line of "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you" is complete BS. If you place a man in a car and then dump that car into the ocean, you have killed him.

A better argument could be made for whether or not Batman is responsible for the countless number of people who were bound to have been killed when the League of Shadows lair was destroyed by Bruce, all because he didn't want to kill a single murderer.

#12 Edited by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@r3d_rob1n: @JasonTodd13: The short answer is "Yes, Nolan's Batman is a murderer." The last time Bruce saved Ra's, Gotham was almost destroyed. Batman didn't have the skill to restrain Ra's. Blackgate wouldn't have held Ra's. Killing Ra's would have been easier. Instead of giving Ra's what he wanted, Batman spared his life. Did that spell out Ra's death? Probably, but it arguably the lesser of two evils. Nolan's Batman appears closer to the Batman of Detective Comics #27 - less polished or morally upright.

#13 Edited by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

It's different in the movies. I think Nolan decided to do that because a lot of non-comic fans don't understand Batman's refusal to kill. If he had decided to save Ra's, viewers might not have reacted well. Sure, comic-fans don't like the fact that he let someone die, but Nolan was trying to appeal to all the majority of viewers.

I don't understand how directors choose to make these decisions, but look at Iron Man. He killed all those people in the Middle East, but everyone still thinks of him as a good guy. I guess in the modern age of super hero movies, refusing to save someone is the same as refusing to kill them.

#14 Posted by Pokeysteve (8266 posts) - - Show Bio

"I won't kill you. But I don't have to save you."

Said comic book Batman NEVER. Nolan couldn't even get that right.

#15 Posted by batshrine (994 posts) - - Show Bio

@gotwillpower: Killing someone in the Middle East in America is not murder, thats hero worthy duh!

But for real though I would call the Batman from Nolanverse one of Batman's most criminal depictions. He willingly didn't save Ras, he tackled Two Face off a building, and last time I checked he is the one that killed Talia as well. But in Nolanverse all those deaths were "excusable" but if this was any animated, comic, or more fantastical incarnation of Batman, it would not be cool at ALL!

#16 Posted by TheCrowbar (4286 posts) - - Show Bio

@r3d_rob1n: It's a justified killing, if someone is a direct threat to the safety of others and there's no other way to put him down, you're okay to kill him. At least in the US.

#17 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1613 posts) - - Show Bio

@batshrine said:

@gotwillpower: Killing someone in the Middle East in America is not murder, thats hero worthy duh!

But for real though I would call the Batman from Nolanverse one of Batman's most criminal depictions. He willingly didn't save Ras, he tackled Two Face off a building, and last time I checked he is the one that killed Talia as well. But in Nolanverse all those deaths were "excusable" but if this was any animated, comic, or more fantastical incarnation of Batman, it would not be cool at ALL!

Just pointing out:

He tackled Two-Face to save a kid, after he'd stopped the Joker earlier and been injured. He was pretty much at the end of his rope and didn't have anything left in the tank. I don't think it can be called criminal, especially when if it was a cop or really anyone else who'd done it it'd be seen as heroic and worth some kind of award I think.

With Talia, I don't see that as any different than a soldier killing an enemy during a war, and what's more Bruce wasn't even trying to kill her. Only stop her from getting away with a nuke. Talia died as a result, but that's simply an unfortunate result.

Out of them all the Ra's situation is the only one that I say stands out with an easy answer for it. Murder. A cop out. End of story.

#18 Posted by batshrine (994 posts) - - Show Bio

@Nathaniel_Christopher: So you bring up very valid points for Nolanverse, however you forget in comics and animated incarnations we are dealing with a Batman with prep. He always finds a way to not kill.

#19 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1613 posts) - - Show Bio

@batshrine said:

@Nathaniel_Christopher: So you bring up very valid points for Nolanverse, however you forget in comics and animated incarnations we are dealing with a Batman with prep. He always finds a way to not kill.

This is true, but of course i'm not saying that Nolanverse Batman is equal to Comic book Batman as he exists today. I'm simply pointing out that the deaths of Two-Face and Talia are understandable and can't exactly be called criminal, even if they happened in the comics or a tv show I wouldn't call them criminal. Ra's on the other hand is again simply murder with no excuse save Nolan Bruce wanted him to die but didn't want to get his hands dirty.

#20 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

@batshrine said:

@gotwillpower: Killing someone in the Middle East in America is not murder, thats hero worthy duh!

lol, so that's how Rush Limbaugh thinks the Dark Knight Rises is a conspiracy.

#21 Edited by sinestro_GL (3132 posts) - - Show Bio

Didn't he kill Two-Face as well?

#22 Posted by havoc1201 (502 posts) - - Show Bio

does it really matter. Nolans Batman is not the same Batman from the comics Nolan said that himself so we cant keep comparing the comic and movies because i for one get irrated with things in Nolans movies as well but i have to remind myself that it is a elseworld Batman. Maybe the reboot will give us a true adaptation of the Batman we all love.

#23 Posted by JasonTodd13 (423 posts) - - Show Bio

I probably agree that batman is a murderer in the nolanverse, letting Ra's die triggered the events in TDKR, if he saved Ra's then Talia wouldnt have gone after him seeking vengeance. In the comics, batman refused to let the joker die even though Commissioner Gordan told him to leave the joker to die. I was thinking WTH, when i first saw batman leaving Ras to die.

#24 Posted by WaveMotionCannon (5387 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nathaniel_Christopher

I see it in the same vein as the old argument that all evil needs to triumph is for good people to sit by and do nothing. Nolan Bruce was perfectly capable of saving Ra's, but he made a conscious decision not to. He made a decision to let him die instead of saving his life. The reasoning that he didn't have to save Ra's is just another way of saying he wanted him dead but didn't want to do it with his own two hands. In a way, I find leaving him to die to be far worse than if he'd just shot Ra's in the head with a gun.

This. It's called Negligent Homicide
Online
#25 Posted by MuyJingo (1677 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, it is without a doubt murder.

For some reason people try to excuse it, but it doesn't need to be excused. It is clearly not the Batman from the comics, so this Batman kills, as have all movie Batmans. Fine.

The reason, it is without a doubt legally murder (speaking as a law student), is that Batman created the situation that caused the death of the man, and didn't opt to save him when he could have.

What he did was akin to cutting the brakelines in a car, getting in the car with the person driving it, and then bailing before driving down a steep hill not telling the driver the brakelines are cut.

I posted about it here: http://www.comicvine.com/batman/29-1699/can-we-all-agree-the-nolan-batman-is-a-murderer-after-tdkr/92-736833/

But yeah. The film acknowledges batman is a murderer, but the nolan fanbois can't.

#26 Posted by JasonTodd13 (423 posts) - - Show Bio

@MuyJingo: Totally agree on that.

#27 Posted by Yung ANcient One (4776 posts) - - Show Bio
I just want to know why Bats lets Rah die, but goes out his way to save Joker...  I mean really Bats for Brains  Go figure... you're obsessed with Mr. J (+)

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