By about_faces 10 Comments
A couple months back, I got into yet another debate with someone about why I hated Batman using a gun in Final Crisis. At the time, I meant to post the following as a canonical response, but got distracted with IRL stuff and general geekery (we've got a li'l fanboy/girl on the way) at my Two-Face fanblog. Besides, I figured this might be controversial, since it's a controversial real-life topic combined with a controversial comic topic, taken from a comic that was deeply controversial at the time it was released: Batman: Seduction of the Gun.
B:SotG was an anti-gun one-shot published as a benefit issue for the John Reisenbach Foundation for gun-control education activities, a fact which wasn't revealed to readers until the end. DC was flooded with angry letters from gun owners and Second Amendment advocates, many of which were published in the early Knightfall issues. Many letters were along the lines of "My heart goes out to the Reisenbach family, what a tragedy, BUT STILL GUN CONTROL IS BAD I FEEL BETRAYED FOR ACCIDENTALLY DONATING MONEY TO THIS CAUSE." I could do a whole post about that comic and the response it got.
So it might be a bit unfair to use these pages as my reasoning why Batman would never use a gun, and would always find another way to save the day because he's frickin' Batman. It's a very biased perspective. But in this case, I believe it also entirely fits with Batman as a character, and how he's always reacted to guns and gun violence.
WARNING: this is the single most graphic description of exactly how the Waynes died.
First, some context: Hudson, a teenage friend of Tim's, decided to show off his father's gun to the guys. In classic After-School Special fashion, he started horsing around and it went off in the friend's living room.
I think it's the first two panels on the last page that really make this, in that it shows how much Bruce elevates Thomas Wayne in memory. Never mind that Thomas was human, and could easily have been killed another way. The point is, that's just how ingrained this ideal is into Bruce's character.
That said, I'm sure there's a point to be made about how Final Crisis was so powerful because he managed to overcome his feelings to do the right thing, yadda yadda yadda. If the story worked for you, well, there's nothing I can say. But for me--and I suspect for many Batman readers--this is why we can never imagine Bruce pulling the trigger on anybody. I could sooner see him shoving the god-bullet into Darkseid by hand. Because he's the goddamn Batman, after all.