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Author
Mike1




Hi,

I was reading Les Daniels's book about the history of the Batman. In it, he states that many of Batman's enemies were originally murderers but were tamed in order to make them recurring characters.

For example, the Joker was originally a SANE but cold-blooded killer that took pleasure in killing. He was supposed to die in Batman #1 (1940) but the editor at the time (I forget the name) liked the character so much he that he told artist Bob Kane to let him live. So, the Joker became a recurring villain thanks to the editor, however, the editor also decreed that the Joker's crimes has to be less violent; basically he could not kill as much. The editor stated that a recurring villain should not be a cold-blooded killer.

This is not so today. Ever since the seventies beginning with the "Joker's Five-Way Revenge" story, the Joker is an INSANE cold-blooded killer. And every Joker story since then has tried to up the ante, probably for sensational reasons; the Joker is committing even more vile and gratuitous criminal acts in each subsequent story. I am using the Joker as an example but it could be said of other Batman villains such as Two-Face and Penguin who are killers in today's Batman but much tamer pre-1970s.

Do you think villains that are cold-blooded killers should be allowed to be recurring characters? In my case, the answer is no because I find it immoral that they can continue killing without any means to permanently stop them from doing so. Metaphorically-speaking, it would mean that good cannot triumph over evil; evil could only be halted breifly but never defeated.


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darth-sinister




> Hi,
>
> I was reading Les Daniels's book about the history of the Batman. In it, he states that many of Batman's enemies were originally murderers but were tamed in order to make them recurring characters.
>
> For example, the Joker was originally a SANE but cold-blooded killer that took pleasure in killing. He was supposed to die in Batman #1 (1940) but the editor at the time (I forget the name) liked the character so much he that he told artist Bob Kane to let him live. So, the Joker became a recurring villain thanks to the editor, however, the editor also decreed that the Joker's crimes has to be less violent; basically he could not kill as much. The editor stated that a recurring villain should not be a cold-blooded killer.
>
> This is not so today. Ever since the seventies beginning with the "Joker's Five-Way Revenge" story, the Joker is an INSANE cold-blooded killer. And every Joker story since then has tried to up the ante, probably for sensational reasons; the Joker is committing even more vile and gratuitous criminal acts in each subsequent story. I am using the Joker as an example but it could be said of other Batman villains such as Two-Face and Penguin who are killers in today's Batman but much tamer pre-1970s.
>
> Do you think villains that are cold-blooded killers should be allowed to be recurring characters? In my case, the answer is no because I find it immoral that they can continue killing without any means to permanently stop them from doing so. Metaphorically-speaking, it would mean that good cannot triumph over evil; evil could only be halted breifly but never defeated.

That's the way it is in real life though. Good does not always triumph over evil. It merely delays things. Hell, the lines between good and evil are blurred. Good and evil will always co-exist regardless of killing on the part of the hero or villain. They are the Yin and Yang, the positive and negative of life. One can never live without the other. This is why it's called "The Never Ending Battle". All the forces of good can ever do is merely delay things

But in the case of Batman and his rogues, there's nothing wrong with them being killers and recurring characters. Mainly the ones who have killed such as the Joker and Two-Face. It raises the threat level and gives the hero a moral ground to stand on and a reason to feel a burden of guilt.


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Mike1




>
> That's the way it is in real life though. Good does not always triumph over evil. It merely delays things. Hell, the lines between good and evil are blurred. Good and evil will always co-exist regardless of killing on the part of the hero or villain. They are the Yin and Yang, the positive and negative of life. One can never live without the other. This is why it's called "The Never Ending Battle". All the forces of good can ever do is merely delay things
>

Not necessarily.. There are preventive methods such as the death penalty or deep, permanent incarceration with no sunlight to prevent killers from continuing to kill. Batman or the police could also have decided to take the law in their hands and kill those villains themselves or look the other way when these villains are in trouble. I can't count how many times Batman even risked his life to save the Joker's life. That is ridiculous.


> But in the case of Batman and his rogues, there's nothing wrong with them being killers and recurring characters. Mainly the ones who have killed such as the Joker and Two-Face. It raises the threat level and gives the hero a moral ground to stand on and a reason to feel a burden of guilt.


I don't think a villain has to be a psychotic killer to be interesting. He or she can be interesting without being a killer. I find that Marvel Comics villains in the days that Stan Lee was writing interesting and fun without them being bloodthirsty. Not even Doctor Doom, Marvel's premier villain, went around killing people left and right when Stan Lee was writing him and yet he was a fan favourite.

I am not saying that killers should not be used in comics, just that they should not be recurring characters because I think it would be a miscarriage of justice to the victims in letting them live to potentially continue their work.


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darth-sinister




> Not necessarily.. There are preventive methods such as the death penalty or deep, permanent incarceration with no sunlight to prevent killers from continuing to kill.

They'd get out again. They always do, whether through their own volition or from someone else.

>Batman or the police could also have decided to take the law in their hands and kill those villains themselves or look the other way when these villains are in trouble. I can't count how many times Batman even risked his life to save the Joker's life. That is ridiculous.

Batman isn't a killer and though part of him wants to see the Joker dead, he cannot bring himself to do it or to really let it happen. While this wasn't true in the beginning, it has become more so. Blame Thomas Wayne for instilling the value of all human life, into Bruce as a boy. This is why he will not kill. If he were to do so, he'd disgrace his father's memory and thus his time as Batman would end. And while the police would probably love to do it, none of them will go that far. Not even Jim Gordon himself.


> I don't think a villain has to be a psychotic killer to be interesting. He or she can be interesting without being a killer. I find that Marvel Comics villains in the days that Stan Lee was writing interesting and fun without them being bloodthirsty. Not even Doctor Doom, Marvel's premier villain, went around killing people left and right when Stan Lee was writing him and yet he was a fan favourite.
>

Doom prides himself on being honorable. The Joker doesn't. Besides, Doom has no problem killing. His failing is his insanity doesn't make him as off kilter as the Joker. The Joker views life as a joke and could care less if someone lives or die. So long as he can have his punchline and get under Batman's skin, that's all that matters. Life has no meaning to him, while it does for Doom.

> I am not saying that killers should not be used in comics, just that they should not be recurring characters because I think it would be a miscarriage of justice to the victims in letting them live to potentially continue their work.

That's what makes the ones like the Joker both loved and hated. He mocks the judicial system and the people who want him to be punished. He is chaos and anarky. The punchline of life. Besides, no matter what happens, whether he lives or dies, it still won't change that the lives are lost. In real life, justice is not always served. The criminal goes free or is never found.


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Mike1




> >
>
> Doom prides himself on being honorable. The Joker doesn't. Besides, Doom has no problem killing. His failing is his insanity doesn't make him as off kilter as the Joker. The Joker views life as a joke and could care less if someone lives or die. So long as he can have his punchline and get under Batman's skin, that's all that matters. Life has no meaning to him, while it does for Doom.

That is one interpretation of the Joker. I don't have a problem with this Joker, just that a psychotic killer like this interpretation of the Joker should not be allowed to live or at least should be locked up deep underground in a padded cell in a hush-hush facility so that he could not potentially get out again and kill some more.

However, there have been other interpretations of the Joker, and not all of them depict him as a psychotic killer. As an example, the Joker in the Batman: The Animated Series does not kill. In fact, I would say that ALL the villains in the BTAS are a good example that a villain does not have to be a killer to be interesting.


> > I am not saying that killers should not be used in comics, just that they should not be recurring characters because I think it would be a miscarriage of justice to the victims in letting them live to potentially continue their work.
>
> That's what makes the ones like the Joker both loved and hated. He mocks the judicial system and the people who want him to be punished. He is chaos and anarky. The punchline of life. Besides, no matter what happens, whether he lives or dies, it still won't change that the lives are lost.

It would bring justice to his victims and to the families of those victims and it would prevent any further killings.

If a villain like the Joker is to be a recurring character, he or she should not be depicted as a psychotic killer because it would be nonsensical to let him or her live.


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darth-sinister




>
> That is one interpretation of the Joker. I don't have a problem with this Joker, just that a psychotic killer like this interpretation of the Joker should not be allowed to live or at least should be locked up deep underground in a padded cell in a hush-hush facility so that he could not potentially get out again and kill some more.
>

He'd get out. Arkham was given a major upgrade and the Joker still got out. As he has said, he can come and go whenever. When he stays, he chooses to.


> However, there have been other interpretations of the Joker, and not all of them depict him as a psychotic killer. As an example, the Joker in the Batman: The Animated Series does not kill. In fact, I would say that ALL the villains in the BTAS are a good example that a villain does not have to be a killer to be interesting.
>

The Joker was a killer in that show, but only in the latter episodes and both animated films featuring him. The reason we didn't see him kill in any animated series has to do with parents television groups and the FCC, which have strict rules regarding animation violence and death. If the show had been on HBO like "Spawn", you would've seen a bunch of bodies.


> > > I am not saying that killers should not be used in comics, just that they should not be recurring characters because I think it would be a miscarriage of justice to the victims in letting them live to potentially continue their work.
> >
> > That's what makes the ones like the Joker both loved and hated. He mocks the judicial system and the people who want him to be punished. He is chaos and anarky. The punchline of life. Besides, no matter what happens, whether he lives or dies, it still won't change that the lives are lost.
>
> It would bring justice to his victims and to the families of those victims and it would prevent any further killings.
>

It still doesn't change that there are still people who are dead. Even then, there are those who feel that justice will never truly be served because their loved ones are dead.

> If a villain like the Joker is to be a recurring character, he or she should not be depicted as a psychotic killer because it would be nonsensical to let him or her live.

Not really. As mentioned, he serves as not only a great foil for Batman, but a reminder of what he has lost to him. And what goes through his mind when he has to deal with him. The guilt of the lives lost to the Joker weigh heavily on his shoulders.

Then there's also the fact that mass murderers like the Joker have a strong fanbase. Look no further than Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Chucky and Pinhead. Fictional mass murderers and pyschos, who continually return to add to their body count because they are unstoppable killing machines. Look to the real world. Jack the Ripper was never found. They never really found the Zodiac Killer. There were suspects to be certain, but nothing concrete.


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