Every comic-book aficionado knows that, despite his grim disposition, almost superhuman conditioning and imposing physical presence, our favorite gray and blue superhero had always stubbornly refused to kill his adversaries, including even that annoying, mass-murderous, megalomaniacal clown arch-nemesis of his. At least that’s the established convention about Batman. However, here’s a fun fact that might break an illusion or two: in the golden age days of his crime-solving career, before his character was fully defined, Batman actually wasn’t so beneath brutally eliminating criminals – in one instance he even hung to death one of them from his batplane.
Of course, after that, Batman was mostly always adamant not to cross the line imposed by his moral code and consciously break his “one rule”, even if that meant that criminals would overflow the streets of Gotham almost as soon as he brings them to justice. When it comes to cinematic adaptations, Burton’s Batman also tried his best to resist the urge to kill, although he was known to become a bit “sloppy” from time to time. Even Nolan’s dark, realistic and mature version of Batman pretty much adhered to this rule (or, at least, tried), so Batman’s legendary abstaining from killing had over the time become an accepted norm, a defining trait of Bat’s character.
And then came Zack Snyder.
It’s no great secret that Snyder’s interpretation of Batman had caused many controversies precisely for the fact that he’s not too shy about killing various criminals, crooks and other lowlife that comes his way. Quite the contrary, Snyder’s Batman kills efficiently and brutally when he’s forced to – if we haven’t miscalculated, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, his body count even reached an impressive figure of 21. Of course, Snyder had been severely criticized about this before. On the occasion of recent three-day charity event screening of his blockbusters Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition, Snyder finally had the opportunity to have his say and defend his “controversial” decision. When he was again confronted by the fans that he took too many liberties with the iconic character, the famous director reacted rather explosively:
“Someone says to me like, ‘Oh! Batman killed a guy!’ I’m like, ‘F—, really?’ I’m like, ‘Wake the f— up! That’s what I’m saying about once you’ve lost your virginity to this f—ing movie and then you come and say to me something about like, ‘Oh, my superhero wouldn’t do that,’ I’m like, ‘Are you serious? I’m like down the f—ing road on that.’ You know what I mean?”
Snyder then proceeded to further explain his rationale, pointing out the revolutionary influence of famous Alan Moore and his comic-book Watchmen (adapted to the silver screen by Snyder in 2009):
“It’s a cool point of view to be like, ‘My heroes are still innocent. My heroes didn’t lie to America. My heroes didn’t embezzle money. My heroes didn’t commit any atrocities.’ I’m like, ‘That’s cool, but you’re living in a f—ing dream world.’ The cool thing is like mythologically speaking, I’m 100 percent fine — and by the way, I love more than anything Superman and Batman — but in the same way that Alan Moore was fed up with the f—ing like, ‘Okay no, they do this,’ clearly this is a response. Watchmen talks about comic books in the same way that this movie talks about comic book movies, but it talked about comic books at their most — they were broken, so he was just addressing that. The thing with comic book movies is — and you know I’m a fan, I go and see them, I love ’em…”
So what do you make of it? Is this a wake-up call which means to show the true nature of our beloved superheroes or just a blatant disrespect towards fans and one of the most iconic comic-book characters the world had ever seen? Tell us how you feel about Batman’s violent streak, Zack Snyder and his Justice League movies, (and just about anything related to the topic, really – even Superman’s sloppily erased mustache if you like) in the comments below.