As a nominal fan of superheroes, I have always wondered and marveled at how so many of them have this “no-kill” rule when fighting criminals and megalomaniacs. I mean, it’s not just a few but pretty much every mainstream superhero has this rule from Captain America to Superman to Batman to Spiderman.
And when a hero has no qualms about killing his foes in combat (like Wolverine) he’s considered an “anti-hero”. In other words, a good guy who kills bad guys.
Look, I know that superheroes are supposed to be something we are to look up to, but these guys get into situations where if they dropped their no-kill rule, they would actually end up saving a lot more innocent lives.
Take the Joker for instance. He is the exact opposite of Batman in that he constantly commits murder, theft, and other heinous crimes for the fun of it. And yet, every time Batman doesn’t kill him because of the sacred no-kill rule. In the real world, if Batman killed the Joker during a confrontation, he would be hailed as a hero and given a statue. Because if the Joker existed in the real world, nobody would care much for the justice system in dealing with that barbarian.
Instead, he allows the Joker to live on, where he murders children, families, and scores of innocent people because he wants to. And Batman doesn’t want to kill him because then he’d be “just like him” or some such nonsense. Because after killing an unrepentant murderous psychopath like the Joker, Batman would totally start running around in clown make-up.
While I can see the stronger, larger than life superheroes like Thor or Superman holding back because they are essentially gods among men and, by and large, can afford to hold back, other characters don’t have that luxury. I know that Green Arrow tries to avoid it but doesn’t care if he ends up having to kill someone in a fight.
And, of course, there is the Punisher, who openly kills criminals, especially mobsters. And he’s regarded as a pariah by much of the superhero world, which is a shame because if Spiderman or Daredevil followed his example, New York City would be a lot safer place.
I don’t know, maybe my sense of justice is different from other people. The fact is, our justice system here in the United States is so messed up that if supervillains from comics were to hit the scene here, they would most certainly do zero time in prison and not because they’d break out.
And then what you do you do?