Batman Will Have His “No-Killing Code” Back In ‘Justice League’ – Here’s Why We’re Happy!!

Holy Justice League-news avalanche Batman!

Production is well underway on the sequel to the controversial Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; and today there has been that has been posted online from the press set-visit!!

And gosh, it doesn’t half sound exciting! From talk of Parademons and the Flash’s new homemade costume, the lucky devils ( ) got to see many sets and costumes, hear about the plot and even watch a scene being filmed and spoke to the cast afterwards!

Among them was Ben Affleck – one of the main highlights of Dawn of Justice – who disclosed many interesting things about his iteration of the Caped Crusader, and his place in the upcoming movie.

“It’s like a one man reign of terror.”

The bleak Knightmare scene.

The bleak Knightmare scene.

Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) described Batman’s methods as such to Lawrence Fisburne’s Perry White in Dawn of Justice, and, well, he’s not wrong is he?

The Batman is always meant to be scary and intimidating, but here we were introduced to a very jaded, and alarmingly aggressive Caped Crusader. With the loss of Robin, and the recent destruction of the Wayne building in Metropolis during the events of Man of Steel, Affleck’s Bruce Wayne was no happy bunny.

Look at that pout.

Indeed, Batman has always erred a bit on the brutal side, but in Dawn of Justice he went to the next level.

Affleck’s Bats directly caused the death or serious injury of many people as he vented his frustrations upon criminals, stabbing and shooting at Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) goons -as well as Superman- and catapulted occupied cars into each other.

That’s gonna leave a mark.

Whilst people mostly loved Ben Affleck’s Batman (and THAT awesome Warehouse fight scene) there was a decidedly mixed response to his blood lust online. Critics and fans vehemently argued in approval of, and against this violent depiction; some said that appropriate given the darkness of the movie, yet others championed the idea that it was out of character for Batman to commit murder.

Either way, this seems to have been picked up on at DC and Warner Bros, so when Affleck was directly questioned about his character’s kill-rate he stated:

Throughout the darkness in Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne referred to himself and Alfred (Jeremy Irons) as criminals and had a generally nihilistic view of his own actions as well as humanity’s as a whole. However, by its end he insisted that “Men are still good” to Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and they agreed to form the Justice League. This pointed to him having moved past his grief and depression, which Affleck affirms to be the case:

“…that was rooted in trauma that occurred to people that he loved and worked with and what he saw. This movie is not about that issue for him so much anymore…”

“The Dawn Is Coming”

Many people are certainly going to be pleased by this news, because the general and popular consensus that Batman operates with a no-killing policy. Whilst some will decry that (and in some films) Batman is frequently seen willfully or indirectly murdering people, most modern works depict him as strictly adhering to this code of honor.

Batman's changeable views on murder in 1940 & 1986
Batman’s changeable views on murder in 1940 & 1986

Even in one of his darkest and grimmest comics The Dark Knight Returns, Batman eschewed the use of guns and murder. This is probably so that he remains’ more palatable, and as such, a better role model for the child audiences with which he is popular.

So why is this no-killing a good thing? Well for starters, it adds nuance and complexity to Batman’s character. For someone so consumed by rage and vengeance, and to such an obsessive and controlling degree, it’s a somewhat ironic and refreshing notion that he isn’t prepared to cross that final barrier of murdering someone. For all his violence and brutality, the root of all Batman’s crime fighting is his compassion and his wish to spare others his childhood pain.

Mark Waid's Kingdom Come.
Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come.

Even though this outright murdering of people sets him apart from his other movie iterations, so shall this graduation back towards his core beliefs. Plus, the fact that he has begun a redemptive process after his encounters with Superman in Dawn of Justice is a great bit of logical character development. Affleck agrees with this line of thought:

“What do you believe?”

Supes and Bats, lookin' good.

Supes and Bats, lookin’ good.

Whilst some will decry this decision and dislike how Batman is being sanitized, this can only mean great things for the future Batman movies.

If Batman was to continue to murder anyone and everyone who ticked him off, then it would create massive story telling problems, such as why would Jared Leto’s Joker still be alive in Suicide Squad?

With an unparalleled rogue’s gallery, it would seem very short sighted to have Batman kill them off after every first encounter; allowing them to live means that they can be brought back at a later date and in a fresh installment of the growing DC Cinematic Universe.

The Joker is happy either way.

It is also a good thing because a non-killing Batman is closer to how the comics generally depict him, and the fact that he has been changed evidences how Warner Bros. are acknowledging the criticisms of Dawn of Justice and seeking to make a movie which pleases everyone!

Change for changes sake is not necessarily a good thing, but by listening to the voices of its fans and adapting accordingly (but not absolutely) the studio will tell better stories in a more sophisticated manner. And that can only be a good thing.

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