Batman is, hands down, one of the most popular superheroes of all time. His grizzled demeanor and willingness to do what it takes to save Gotham is truly astounding. And he does it all without any special powers whatsoever. His rogues gallery is probably the best to ever hit the panels of a comic book. Personally, he’s my favorite hero of all time.
But as any self-respecting Batman fan will tell you, the Dark Knight operates under one rule and one rule only- he never takes a life. It serves as some of the greatest points of contention throughout his struggles with many villains. They constantly use his love of life against him, which is probably why all the baddies keep coming back to give Gotham City a hard time.
However, just because it’s his one rule, doesn’t mean that he hasn’t broken it before. Yes, friends, the Caped Crusader has taken many lives before, despite the current media telling you otherwise. It’s happened in comics, and film alike, and there’s no denying that because of it, Batman could have more of a sadistic nature than we would like to admit. Sure he’s not known to openly slaughter the Joker in the comics, but that would make too much sense now, wouldn’t it?
Prepare yourselves for a shocking revelation about Hollywood’s most beloved superhero. Here are 10 times when Batman broke his one rule.
10. Crushing With Cars
As brutal as crushing people in a junkyard sounds, you’ll be relieved to know that Batman didn’t do it on purpose. What happened was a vicious drug dealer had it out for Bats after Robin killed his brother. After being chased by the druggie into the junkyard, Batman accidentally knocks over a large tower of cars, which conveniently fall right onto his adversary, flattening him instantly. Definitely something Zack Snyder won’t be putting into the next Batman movie.
9. Grinding Gears
If you thought being crushed was bad, wait until you hear this one. Coincidentally, it involves a fight with Batman leading to another run-in with the junkyard. This time, two baddies were opposing Bats. A brawl between one of them lead to Batman kicking the guy in the stomach so hard that he tumbled into the other crook, and together, they fell right into a nearby garbage grinder. And in case you were wondering, yes, that shocked and horrified look on your face is very appropriate. I can come to terms with Batman taking lives, but not him crushing bodies.
8. Hanging On High
Batman has gone over many changes since his inception all those decades to go. Needless to say, his killing spree started well into the 40s before he began to change his ways. An evil scientist (are there ever any decent scientists in comics?) had injected a slew of mental patients with a drug that would transform them into monsters. After Batman stopped the truck containing them, one of the monsters got out, but not before the Caped Killer slipped a noose around him from his Batplane. Then Batman ascended high, dragging the patient by his neck until finally, he breathed his last breath.
7. Leaving Ra’s al Ghul
Batman Begins served as a successful reboot to the Batman franchise, which was definitely on life support at the time. At the climax of the film, we saw Ra’s al Ghul making his move on Gotham City to burn it to the ground. Luckily for the fearful citizens, Batman was there to battle the villain on a moving train. During the fight, the train derailed, and the Dark Knight was able to make it to safety. However, instead of taking Ra’s with him, he said, “I’m not going to kill you. But I don’t have to save you”, then left. He didn’t kill Ra’s, but his actions resulted in death.
6. Acid Bath
No, I’m not talking about the event in the 1989 Batman when he pushed the criminal into acid turning him into the Joker. Instead, there was a happening in the comics where Bats was fighting against a group of criminals in a building filled with (you guessed it) acid. Near the end of the fight, Batman willingly shoved one of them into the vat while a cop looked on in shock. In defense of his actions, Batman merely said, “It’s a fitting end for his kind.”
5. Human Shield
Batman has never been a fan of bullets. In fact, every vigilante like him has to know how to stop them (watch Daredevil if you don’t know what I’m talking about). During one criminal fight, Batman had to face a group of thugs, one of which was armed with a big gun. In order to protect himself (instead of dodging like he normally does), he grabbed an unconscious criminal and held him up as a shield. While it wasn’t confirmed in the comic that the victim was dead, nobody would be able to survive that much lead.
4. Dropping a Statue
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many people weren’t afraid of openly speaking against Asians and the Japanese. This trend didn’t escape comic writers either. One of Batman’s issue showcased him face to face with a crowd of evil Mongols. In an attempt to stop them once and for all, the Dark Knight sneaks above them and around a nearby large statue. He then proceeds to push the statue off of its stand, immediately crushing hundreds of Mongols below. For those of you keeping score at home, you’re going to need a lot more digits.
Holy burning thieves, Batman! Imagine you’re a vigilante, trying to save the streets of Gotham. All of a sudden, you get a tip that there are a group of thugs attempting to steal some bleach (yes, you heard right). You get over there as fast as possible, and prepare yourself to bring justice. How do you go about it? According to Batman, the best way to handle this is by lighting a can of flammable bleach and throwing it in the midst of all the criminals. Then while they’re burning to death, you beat the living crap out of every single one of them. Then to top it all off, you hook up with Black Canary amidst the screams of death. I’m not making this up.
2. Shooting Darkseid
You know the universe is in grave danger when Darkseid is looking to control it. Batman and the Justice League both realized the gravitas of what they were up against when this cosmic alien came to town. Eventually, Batman found himself facing a weakened Darkseid and a gun that could kill the evil being. He proceeded to tell Darkseid that he would be willing to “break his one rule” just one time. Then he shot Darkseid. Unfortunately, this didn’t kill the titan, but the fact that Batman openly stated that he was going to do it deserves a mention on this list.
1. Dropping the Clown
The 1989 Batman film is definitely a contender for the best in the entire franchise. In that movie, Batman isn’t afraid to take a life, more notably, the life of his adversary. While we’ve all got The Dark Knight Joker fresh in our minds, many people forget exactly how Michael Keaton stopped Jack Nicholson‘s Joker. Dropping him off a building. Once he faced the Joker, he even told the evil clown “I’m going to kill you.” Then in the end, he does just that by throwing him off of the tower used in their climactic battle. And you didn’t feel a thing, unlike in Arkham City.