(Written by @Faiz304)
Go on take a guess, you’re probably thinking The Joker? Perhaps Bane? Or maybe Two Face? Well allow me to bewilder you. The biggest threat to the Dark Knight is a man who goes by the name of Zachary Edward Snyder. You may have heard of him. Yes he’s a real person. In fact; he’s directed multiple blockbuster movies such as “Batman V Superman”, “Man of Steel” and ALMOST the “Justice League.” All movies which are…painful to watch. I consider Zach Snyder to be a super villain for one main reason; He made Batman kill in his movie (Batman V Superman).
The No Killing Rule.
Batman is one of the greatest characters to ever appear in fiction, and at the core of his character, at the core of what makes him INTRIGUING as a character, is his no killing rule. The Batman has an infamous no killing rule that Zach Snyder broke, thus ruining Batman in the eyes of the layman who aren’t familiar with the comics. The Batman’s no killing rule originated in the editorial policy established by the National Comics Publication Inc in 1939; “Heroes should never kill a villain, regardless of the depth of the villainy. The villain if he is to die, should do so as a result of his own evil machinations.”
This rule originally was established to prevent mothers from viewing Batman (and other heroes) as bad influences on the youth. I’m willing to bet Zach Snyder looked no further into this rule than that and simply thought to himself that it was nothing but an outdated concept. In an interview Snyder stated that people who think Batman and Superman shouldn’t kill, and I quote “Should stop living in a dream world and grow the f*** up”. It’s clear Snyder doesn’t understand that the no killing rule is a core character trait to Batman specifically.
Why Batman CAN’T Kill
At eight years of age, Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot dead in an alley right in front of him. He was helpless. This amount of trauma made something snap inside of young Bruce Wayne. This trauma is what prevents him from killing. In his head if he were to kill, it would put him just as low as Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents. Bruce takes out his pain and hatred on criminals in the dead of night, almost as if he were trying to reenact his parents murder, and put an end to the endless nightmares and flashbacks he’s been suffering from such a young age.
Batman has admitted to wanting to kill, and even fantasize about murdering the joker. But at the end of the day, murder is an act Batman’s psyche won’t allow. He’s aware that he’s not the right person to judge whether a criminal should live or die because he has a deeper hatred for crime than other heroes, making him biased. If Batman was a killer there would be no judgement call of how severe ones crimes were, he would murk petty thieves left and right. So he avoids killing all together, to prevent himself from falling into that abyss.
The Famous “Martha” Scene.
Before I mentioned I thought Snyder was a villain for ruining Batman, however, I believe almost villains are worthy of a good redemption arc. Believe it or not, Batman V Superman actually makes much more sense if Batman DOESN’T kill, here’s an example:
The famous Martha scene everyone loves to make fun of. Batman is about to kill Superman with a kryptonite spear, and seems perfectly fine with it (since he’s killed countless others) until Superman says the words “Martha”. Immediately after hearing this, Bruce starts to yell and scream “why did you say that name?!” Until Lois Lane informs him that it’s Superman’s mothers name. He then throws the spear and backs off. This scene makes little to no sense and so ridiculous that it’s become a meme that all fans laugh at.
Now, if you were to implement Batman’s No Killing rule into the movie this scene makes perfect sense, think about it. Batman has never killed anyone before, but he believes he needs to kill Superman to keep the universe safe. When he holds the kryptonite spear above Superman he says “You were never a god, you were never even a man”. This almost sounds like Bruce is trying to justify killing Superman. If he isn’t even a man then it’s okay to kill him for the good of mankind right? Then Bruce hears his mothers name “Martha.”
Of course his PTSD kicks in and he starts to freak out, he remembers why he swore not to kill. Then Lois tells him that Martha is also the name of Superman’s mother. Bruce realizes he’s killing a boy, a boy with a mother, a boy with hope…much like himself before his parents were taken. Bruce feels immeasurable guilt and throws the spear away, and breaks down. This scene becomes so much more powerful and makes perfect sense if Snyder had followed one simple rule.
Snyder says that people like me, people like US are living in a dream world, well in the words of The Man Of Steel himself;
“Good. Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us into something better. And on my soul, I swear that until MY dream, of a world where dignity, honor, and justice, are the reality we ALL share, I’ll never stop fighting. Ever.” – Superman (Superman Vs. The Elite) 2012.