Why Batman Will Never Kill The Joker.

It’s a relatively common argument in the geek/pop culture community; “Why doesn’t Batman just get it over with and kill The Joker?”  The first and most simple answer is he doesn’t kill, that’s his thing he just doesn’t do it, period, end of conversation.  But the needle usually swings to “The Joker has killed so many people and will continue to do so because Batman locks him up in Arkham Asylum and he just breaks out. He murders again and thus the blood is on Batman’s hands because he didn’t pull the trigger and end the Joker’s life.  This always seemed like a logic that was really difficult to argue.  Now the aesthetics of this conversation can be debated for a lifetime and I was always on the side of “Batman should kill The Joker” even though personally I am an opponent of the death penalty in a general sense, but Batman snapping the Joker’s neck would be an easy exception and horribly justified.

After recently entering this debate yet again with co-workers it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. I know why the Batman won’t and shouldn’t kill the Joker.  The answer was Finding Nemo.  Follow me for a moment.

In the summer of 2003 the big summer blockbusters were Matrix: Reloaded and X-2 along with notable films Terminator 3 and The Second Pirates of the Caribbean film but along came a little Pixar movie called Finding Nemo.  This movie started out as a tadpole and turned into a Great White at the Box office being the biggest hit and highest grossing movie of the summer.  I’d give you my opinion on the film but the problem is I’ve never seen it…not just that summer but to this day I’ve never seen Finding Nemo.  2003 was a year I was heavily into Punk Rock and Hardcore Music new and old and was adapting the “too cool for school” mentality that usually comes hand in hand with said music and movement.  Now I was still a big movie guy back then so people everywhere far and wide would tell me “you have to see Finding Nemo!” I was willing to but I hadn’t gotten around to it right away and with friends and acquaintances telling me “whats wrong with you, it’s a great movie, go see it.” I began to adapt my dicksih punk rock way of thinking and I drew a line in the sand.  I decided not only will I not go see this movie but I made the declaration “I will never….ever…under any circumstance watch  Finding Nemo” I did this mostly to be smug for a my own amusement but for that summer I never saw Finding Nemo, when it came out on DVD I never saw it, when it came on cable I changed the channel.  After awhile I admitted that it was really stupid, I should never refuse to watch a good movie just to be different.  Recently my fiance brought up the “Finding Nemo incident” and suggested I finally watched it and I said “I can’t.”  She didn’t get it but it was still clear to me and with that I realized why Batman can never kill anyone.

If I sit down now and watch Finding Nemo now then everything I did was for nothing and this is parallel to Batman never killing the Joker, because it would undo everything he’s ever stood for.  You can never break your word because if you do, you stand for nothing and Batman is more of a symbol of what he believes in more than he is a man running around in a bat suit.  By killing the Joker Batman would have spat in the face of every person ever effected by a murder by a member of Batman’s rouge’s gallery because there can be no special treatment, no exceptions.  If he kills the Joker because he killed people but spared Killer Croc who has killed people the scales of justice go unbalanced.  In the same vein; look at it from both sides of the coin in Batman: The Killing Joke written by Alan Moore, he delves into the idea of having Batman call a truce with the Joker.  Batman attempts to reach out to The Joker and asks him to give up crime and put a stop to their years-long war. The Joker considers it but declines, ruefully saying “It’s too late for that…far too late.” Because he like Batman believes on not turning back no matter what, much like I can never watch Finding Nemo.  The Joker’s beliefs are opposite of Batman where Batman believes in Justice the Joker believes in chaos and anarchy and killing comes hand in hand and if he stops killing now then everything he did and believes was for nothing.  I know these ideas seem too black and white in a grey world but these are the harsh realities of beliefs and ideas.  I understand this kind of thinking can be misguided and dangerous if your beliefs are of violence and intolerance towards others but I’m fine with it if you stand behind something like Equality and Justice…or not watching a two hour animated movie about talking fish.


~ by ATOM on October 1, 2011.

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