Off THEIR Minds: Should Batman Kill The Joker?

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Posted by G-Man (18921 posts) - - Show Bio
Almost a year ago I asked the question whether or not Batman should kill the Joker. The easy answer is no, Batman is not a killer. But Batman swore an oath to his deceased parents that he would wage a war on all criminals. What is the Joker's death toll these days? How many innocent lives have died at his hands? 
 
There's also  the personal lives of many close to Batman that have been affected by the Clown Prince of Crime. Barbara Gordon was shot, paralyzed and humiliated in front of Commissioner Gordon. Gordon's second wife, Sarah Essen was also killed and let's not forget about Jason Todd (even if he was brought back from the dead). Batman doesn't kill but this was a question that even Jason asked Batman. 
 
Since I already addressed this issue, I thought it would be interesting to hear from comic book creators. Here's what's on their minds about Batman finally putting an end to the Joker once and for all. == TEASER == 
 

 Should Batman just finally kill him? Would it completely change who Batman is? Would making this sacrifice against his no-killing rule be worth it to ensure no one is ever harmed by the Joker's mad schemes again? What did you think about the creators' thoughts? 
 
This ends the Off THEIR Minds videos from last October's Long Beach Comic Con. Let me know if you've enjoyed these videos and I will continue to ask creators the questions that are on my mind.
#1 Edited by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio

It is a classic philosophical question, of deontology vs utilitarianism.  Deontology says its every action must be judged on its own merits, whereas utilitarianism argues that any action is justified as long as it satisfies the greatest good for the greatest number of people.  Batman may be a utilitarian on some moral principles, for instance he feels breaking and entering or assault or justified, but he is a deontologist when it comes to the important stuff - he won't kill nor will he torture to get information

#2 Posted by Raul_The_Man (67 posts) - - Show Bio

I have enjoyed these videos. Please keep them coming. It's fun to see what the creators think about these questions.
#3 Posted by Ice Zero (41 posts) - - Show Bio

It was already proved that the Joker is too dangerous to be kept alive ...

#4 Posted by superboyrocks13 (1070 posts) - - Show Bio

kill him and have super man throw his body in to the sun if there no body those larzazz pits (sorry i cant spell) cant bring him back
#5 Posted by JHags (29 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for these articles G-Man. I enjoy hearing what others think, especially creators/writers who will possibly, at some point, have the opportunity to shape the characters we all care about. Good stuff! 
#6 Posted by MikeDanger1 (16 posts) - - Show Bio

Everyone knows he should and in the real world the FBI or SWAT or whatever would have done him in already.  
 
But he's such a good character they will never do it unless it's an Elseworlds story. Every serial killer that has ever lived has been sick in the head and most of them hit the electric chair. It's an eye for an eye world, and everyone knows everything has it's limits. I actually got mad when Jason Todd let him lived and his excuse was verry lame I knew Joker wouldn't die in that mini series but I thought somebody was gonna stop him or something not chicken out. 
 
Now that Dick is Batman I wonder if he thinks he should kill the Joker or follow the same dark path as Bruce.
#7 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio
@MikeDanger1: Dick actually did kill the Joker once, but he was revived
#8 Posted by MikeDanger1 (16 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz:  What issue was that if I may ask? I would love to read it :D
#9 Posted by jakob187 (988 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the greatest story arc that could ever be written in Batman would be Bruce killing The Joker. With Bruce being so against killing, I think it would be the ultimate test of his resolve and character.

#10 Posted by darkrider (463 posts) - - Show Bio


 
 
no no no bad  idea
#11 Posted by KasadyCarnage (313 posts) - - Show Bio

HELL YES! Joker MUST die!
#12 Posted by leejunfan83 (123 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is doing a great  public disservice by letting the joker live as much harm as the joker has done he can not justify letting him live because of his personal moral stance. He's enabling the Jokers behavior by constantly intervening. Batman should step aside and let the real authorities handle the joker as he needs to be handled. His beef isn't with madmen like the joker it's with the criminal justice system and he may be fighting on the wrong side of the law. 

#13 Posted by Bestostero (5590 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Batman has a lot of interesting villains that I wouldn't miss Joker...but I don't know.  If he ever is killed, he needs to stay dead and not come back though.

#14 Posted by DarkShadows (741 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker should die, but we all know that somehow he is going to come back alive. P:

#15 Edited by weaponxxx (424 posts) - - Show Bio

The real question is why hasn't joker been given the death penalty yet? I feel like the court system would have learned it's lessen by now. Batman is handing him over to the proper authorities day in and day out. Batman shouldn't be at fault for saving lives and seeking justice as opposed to more spilt blood. A judge should have iced the guy like twenty years ago.
 
And let me stress that I actually do not favor the death penalty. I just think that Joker's continued existence isn't solely the Batman's problem. It's all of Gotham's and he needs to have been dealt with as such.

#16 Posted by GrandSymbiote94 (11724 posts) - - Show Bio

why dont batman just try to make him sane again. (I kno that sounds dumb as f**k) But batman can give it a shot but if it doesn't work yea put bullet in his head, a knife to the throat or whatever he should at least try everything else before he kills him.

#17 Posted by Sydpart2 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio
@MikeDanger1: last laugh, the issue number was either five or six, might have been spread out, don't remember. 
But no, he shouldn't. The main argument everyone is presenting is that Joker will keep killing people, if he's allowed to live. A number of people have already called Bruce selfish for not doing it. The idea that this is a personal moral point of view is wrong. Fact of the matter is that Joker want's Batman to kill him, at least in the modern continuity. And if bats does, then Joker wins. A lot of people don't get it but it comes down to a matter of consistency in reason from the Kantian sense.
#18 Edited by Psykhophear (251 posts) - - Show Bio

You should ask Jerry Robinson, the creator of the Joker. Let's see what he thinks. 
 
Personally, I love the Joker and I love seeing his face on every comic book page that he's in so to finally see him meeting his end is a pretty strong and bold move. I can't imagine reading a comic book issue and knowing that he's gone forever (well, maybe not). However, I am a believer of the concept of characters that can't live forever and must die in some shape or form so if they'd want to do something with the Joker, they should take something off of him that he loves the most like his face, one of his limbs or his insanity. Make him lose his face through a horrifying accident and make him wear a mask in the remainder of his life like No-Face, or make him live through a life support or something. Sure, he's still alive but he is no longer the same person that we knew before. That makes him look like a dead person to the readers.
 
Like anyone would say, it takes a good writing to pull it off and if they were ever gonna kill the Joker, it has to be spectacular, memorable and define.

#19 Posted by entropy_aegis (15470 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:
" @MikeDanger1: Dick actually did kill the Joker once, but he was revived "

He was'nt killed ,he was under cardiac arrest. 
it was clinical death not brain death.hope i'm not mixing up medical terms.
#20 Posted by Midnight Monk (225 posts) - - Show Bio

J.T Krul telling it like it is, "We all know he come back", so yeah we could kill the Joker but then BAM! He's back because either fans demanded it  or some writer misses him

#21 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Just lock him up and wait for him to break out again. 

#22 Posted by Outside_85 (10316 posts) - - Show Bio

In reality; yes. 
 
In comics, no. Bruce simply isnt going to be able to look at himself in the mirror afterwards and remain the same if he did.

#23 Posted by Son_of_Magnus (15040 posts) - - Show Bio

If Batman kills The Joker than The Joker wins and Justice loses. What needs to happen is all the politicians in Gotham need to be put out of office. Than allow Batman to pick the new officials. Than take away prisoner safety laws and let Batman rig Arkham and Blackgate with super security without the humane societies interfering. That will stop prison breaks in Gotham. Criminals in Gotham are to smart and officials are to corrupt and the prisoners as evil as they are still are protected 

#24 Posted by thecheckeredman (288 posts) - - Show Bio
@DarkShadows said:
" Joker should die, but we all know that somehow he is going to come back alive. P: "
yup
#25 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio
@KasadyCarnage said:
" HELL YES! Joker MUST die! "
You just want Harley all to yourself :p
#26 Posted by Black Lantern Mar-vell (2011 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce should have killed that psycho decades ago, it's long over due.

#27 Posted by weapon154 (335 posts) - - Show Bio

neuter the joker???

#28 Posted by Alphaproto (349 posts) - - Show Bio

Somebody could just fly him to the farthest region of space and leave him there.
#29 Posted by superzero93 (27 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman can't kill the Joker he is his Moriarty his greatest nemesis, I mean don't get me wrong he could kill him and carry out his war on crime but who will be his nemesis then penguin or two face I don't think. The Joker is the ultimate embodiment of evil and Batman is the ultimate embodiment of good so I think they balance each other out if he kills the joker you upset that balance, and I think that it could make the batman comics less interesting because if he does kill him its like well that's it then, plus if he does that means that batman has given into his basic instinct and that's not batman he makes the hard choices and in this case that hard choice is not to kill the Joker because it will be going against his own moral code. 
 
p.s. if he kills the joker what's to stop him becoming like the punisher and killing all his enemies 

#30 Posted by Static Shock (47330 posts) - - Show Bio

No. He shouldn't. It would make him just like the Joker.
#31 Posted by El_Derrico (41 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman respects the law too much to kill someone if not in self defense. That's why he doesn't carry lethal weapons, that and he hates guns. If he can justify killing the Joker, he can justify anyone else. Plus, if he did, he would become an outlaw.

#32 Posted by sora_thekey (8185 posts) - - Show Bio

Like Palmioitti said... Don't kill him, just punish him, and I don't mean to go and put him in Arkham again!

#33 Posted by Commisar123 (15 posts) - - Show Bio

Easy awnser no Batman just is not that kind of hero, should he?  probablly yeah but thats not the point if Batman killed Joker the Joker wins in corrupting Batman the real question for me is why hasn't somebody else done it? 
#34 Posted by ironshadow (1455 posts) - - Show Bio
@commisar123 said:
" Easy awnser no Batman just is not that kind of hero, should he?  probablly yeah but thats not the point if Batman killed Joker the Joker wins in corrupting Batman the real question for me is why hasn't somebody else done it?  "
Because the Joker is an asset and DC won't stop using him. Personally I think Jason Todd or maybe Deathstroke should kill the Joker.
#35 Edited by leejunfan83 (123 posts) - - Show Bio

There are a lot of great villains in Gotham I don't think it would make much difference if Joker died or didn't. I think it's kind of cheap that people feels he's necessary for the existence of Batman its become a crutch and a gimmick. Batman can and needs to grow beyond Joker it can be done. 
The Jokers legacy is sustained he's doesn't need to do anymore. Let batman get some blood on his hands it will add an extra layer of depth to the character. The Joker can live and haunt the Batman in memory proving that Batmans greatest struggle is ultimately from within. 

#36 Posted by Billy Batson (58380 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmmm

#37 Posted by sladewilson30 (207 posts) - - Show Bio

no , cause thats what the joker wants him to do

#38 Posted by Xenozoic Shaman (404 posts) - - Show Bio

This makes me wonder...  Besides the whole reality vs fantasy thing, why are policemen often viewed as heroes when they sometimes kill people in the line of duty, and not Batman?  In a hostage situation, a cop might kill a criminal to save the lives of the innocent, but if Batman does, he is thought to have done wrong.  Policemen don't generally become criminals the second they are forced to kill.  Why the double standard?  Is it because Batman is more capable than the average officer of the law, and therefore is judged by a higher standard?

#39 Posted by joshmightbe (24767 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman should have superman toss joker into the phantom zone, it'd save lives and let bats keep his morality 

#40 Posted by Tainted-Cell (299 posts) - - Show Bio

My sentiments are with Amanda Conner, but I agree with Jimmy Palmiotti. Kill the mechanism behind the character, not the character himself.
The Joker paralyzed Barbara Gordon, killed Jason Todd (even though he came back, it still represents a danger), killed Sarah Essen, and of course, all the countless others who aren't really linked to Batman.
In stories like Salvation Run, I thought he was incredibly annoying. He is there only for Batman. Take him out of Batman's life and Batman still has plenty of interesting villains gunning for Gotham.
 
Paralyze him. Chop his hands off. Chop his feet off. Give him irreparable brain damage so that he's drooling in a wheelchair all his life.
 
I think the philosophy behind it is stale. This is a character who supposedly couldn't even make it in the real world before he became the Joker. Given his history, all of his chances, and his life of violence, I don't think Batman should lose sleep over taking his "life" away, if it is to save so many other people. Batman doesn't need the Joker to be Batman. Is it really crossing the line? Yes, but I don't think it would make him that "murderer" Gordon/Loeb said he'd be. And if Gordon tried to arrest him because of it, well, let him try.

#41 Posted by The Impersonator (5620 posts) - - Show Bio

Jason Todd would have killed the Joker since he had the chance. But Batman wouldn't allow him though.

#42 Posted by AskaniSon295 (429 posts) - - Show Bio

Kill the Joker that's stupid who would he fight every year. what he should do Is get a leash and keep him as a pet and make him attack badguys (like AOA Sabertooh and Wildchild) and have a cage for him in the batcave so batman can allways monitor him.

#43 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1033 posts) - - Show Bio
Palmiotti brings up an interesting idea. I mean there are heroes like Punisher (or Green Arrow now... eff you Cry for Justice) who kill, and heroes like Batman who never kill… why don't we have heroes who mutilate? Where are the heroes who would lobotomize the Joker, or cut off Hush's trigger fingers, or pull out Killer Croc's teeth (one at a time, with a pair of rusty pliers) I think that would be a great story to tell. A vigilante who doesn't live in the absolutes of "kill em all" or "just round them up for the police" but one who actually DOES make the punishment fit the crime!
 
… or does this exist and i look like a moron?
#44 Posted by Tainted-Cell (299 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fantasgasmic:  I think Moon Knight (for a time) did something similar, but I don't think it went further than returning to carve more crescent shapes into the criminals' skin.
#45 Posted by DEGRAAF (7918 posts) - - Show Bio

I would hate to see the Joker die but i think Damien should kill him or call out a hit on him by Ra's Al Ghul's men. He is smart enough to fool Ra's goons in to thinking Ra's called out the hit, and it would go with their idea of clensing the city. Damien could say he did it for his father, to finish something his father never could. 
 
I think it should be years before he does though. I think he needs to be about Tim's age before he takes on this task. He will be a darker hero then even Batman and although he would refuse to kill (by his own hands) he would understand the need to do a lesser of two evils (kill him, and save hundreds; just keep capturing him and left hundreds maybe even thousands die) 
 
I think he would learn from his encounters with the prince of crime and would ultimately come up with a plan to stop him. Even if it was'nt killing him, i could see him leaving him on a deserted island for dead or in an empty 10'x10'x100'(high) room as his own personal prisoner
#46 Posted by ImperiousRix (1050 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually with Palmiotti here. 
Don't kill him, but kill his means for being a nuisance.  That could work in three fold by making it that Batman has actually graduated to a new level of thinking, he eliminates the threat of the Joker for a while, AND there needs to be a clever work-around for Joker to overcome a debilitation and get back to the chaos. 
Like Dustin Nguyen said, with good writing it could work.

#47 Posted by kevin88wk (42 posts) - - Show Bio

i think Joker shouldn't die because hes an important character to the comics but from a comic perspective batman should make an exception and kill him because by not killing him batman is sacrificing other lives, not killing joker is basically like killing 100 ppl

#48 Posted by Trodorne (2499 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he should be beaten to the point of unconciousness, then he should take a bullet in the spine. then give him medical attention to keep him alive. best part is now if he escapes he can only commit crimes where there is a wheel chair ramp. :)

#49 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fantasgasmic said:
" Palmiotti brings up an interesting idea. I mean there are heroes like Punisher (or Green Arrow now... eff you Cry for Justice) who kill, and heroes like Batman who never kill… why don't we have heroes who mutilate? Where are the heroes who would lobotomize the Joker, or cut off Hush's trigger fingers, or pull out Killer Croc's teeth (one at a time, with a pair of rusty pliers) I think that would be a great story to tell. A vigilante who doesn't live in the absolutes of "kill em all" or "just round them up for the police" but one who actually DOES make the punishment fit the crime! … or does this exist and i look like a moron? "
Moon Knight during his 2006 run before "Vengeance Of The Moon Knight" basically mutilated criminals. Though he didn't make it so they couldn't commit crime, he'd just beat the holy hell out of them and carve a crescent shape in their forehead. 
 

 Bashing a thug's head with a wooden plank.


 Yes. That's a chain hook. In his face.
#50 Posted by Vance Astro (91416 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman shouldn't kill him but he should at the very list paralyze him.

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