ByBen Furse, writer at
"LISTEN TO THE CHAIR-LEG OF TRUTH! IT DOES NOT LIE!" -Spider Jerusalem. ------------------- My new Twitter @UltraBawz
Ben Furse

If you have ever read an online discussion/argument/9gag post about Batman, then you will probably be aware that there are 2 beliefs out there that are held very firmly when it comes to his character: As long as he is prepared or aware of the situation then he could take down anyone who stands in his way, and that he would rather die than take a life himself. It turns out, that throughout the expanse of Batman's career as a crime fighting super-sleuth, he has actually taken many, many lives, in some pretty horrific ways. So from 1939 all the way through to 2007, let's take a look at some of the more interesting exploits of Batman's career that I am sure DC would rather you forgot...

5 - Batman sets guys on fire and then "bumps uglies" with Black Canary...

(All-Star Batman and Robin: Issue 7 - 2007)

This is the most recent of the entries on this list and is from a series written by Frank Miller (Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns) and penciled by Jim Lee (Comic-book Artist/Legend). Considering Frank Miller's history of darker stories it is no surprise that one of his works has ended up on the list.

Setting the scene: Shortly after Batman beat the man who killed Dick Grayson's parents (Jocko-Boy Vanzetti) into unconsciousness and stuffed him into the trunk of the Batmobile, he comes to the aid of Black Canary who is in the middle of an altercation with some bleach stealing (no idea why) thugs...

All-Star Batman and Robin: Issue 7 (page 03)
All-Star Batman and Robin: Issue 7 (page 03)

The murder: As can be seen above, seconds after reveling in the fact that some gang members accidentally killed their own people, Batman decides that it is time to put the nail in the coffin and school them in some deadly science with a mixture of thermite and bleach. Not happy with just leaving the now scorched gang to die in peace, he decides that they could do with a good ol' fashion Batman beatdown...

All-Star Batman and Robin: Issue 7 (page 04)
All-Star Batman and Robin: Issue 7 (page 04)

As the thugs scream such gems as "IT HURTS!.." and "OH, MY GOD!..", Batman is quick to explain, no "This is HURT!" and continues to crack some already flaming skulls as Black Canary watches and by all accounts, seems pretty turned on by the whole ordeal...

All-Star Batman and Robin: Issue 7 (page 05 & 07)
All-Star Batman and Robin: Issue 7 (page 05 & 07)

As the bodies of his victims lie burning in the background, Batman wastes no time engaging in "The Nasty" with Black Canary who from the way she speaks, especially the line "they're a bunch of bleeding, burning heaps, they are," makes me think that Frank Miller believes that the Irish speak like an 18th century British vagabond.

Batman follows this scene by taking Dick Grayson, the man who killed his parents, and giving him the choice of killing him or not killing him and in his own words "Becoming an avenger or a detective"... Can you say 'double standards'?

4 - Batman punches a guy into a vat of acid...

(Detective Comics: Issue #27 - 1939)

This is the oldest entry on the list and is in fact Batman's (or Bat-Man as he was known then) first appearance ever: Detective Comics: Issue #27 - 1939. Of course it is more understandable that before the Dark Knight had established himself and his values as a detective who does not kill, that the lines of morality may have been blurred slightly along the way.

Setting the scene: After foiling the plans of a crooked businessman who sought control of a jointly owned company by way of murdering his partners and stealing their contracts, Batman finds and frees his latest hostage but when confronted by the crook who pulls a gun on Batman, well...

Detective Comics, Issue #27, Page 06 (Last Page)
Detective Comics, Issue #27, Page 06 (Last Page)

The Murder: As you can see above Batman seeks quick retribution by punching him straight into a vat of acid and then finishing it off with a way too nonchalant quip of, "a fitting ending for his kind." Because apparently 1939 'Bat-Man' takes no prisoners!

3 -Batman crushes a group of Mongolians to death with a giant statue...

(Detective Comics: Issue 39 - 1940)

This is the second mass murder committed by Batman on the list and whether it was racially motivated or not I couldn't tell you; it was a different time during the second world war and xenophobia snuck it's way into a lot of media.

Setting the scene: Now the main reason I cannot tell you the motives behind this scene is because I haven't been able to find them anywhere. Unlike all of the other comics on this list that I have gone and paid for so that the images I use will be of a high quality and not just Google Images (generally poor results), I have been unable to find this to purchase anywhere. But we will make do with what we've got...

Detective Comics: Issue 39 - 1940
Detective Comics: Issue 39 - 1940

The murder: Batman, obviously outnumbered by the impending Mongolian threat, seizes the opportunity to topple a massive idol of 'The Green Dragon' onto it's people, thereby crushing many of them to death.

2 -Batman electrocutes a man to death and then plays with his blood...

(Batman - Son Of The Demon: Graphic Novel - 1987)

This is what I believe to be the most understandable act of murder committed by the caped crusader, as it is perpetrated against Qayin, a man who Batman believed had killed the unborn child he was going to have with Talia al Ghul.

Setting the scene: Due to his belief that Qayin had killed his unborn child, Batman joined Ra's al Ghul and his men in their attack on Qayin's base. For Ra's to complete his mission he was forced to expose the internal circuitry of an advanced computer system but unfortunately for him, Qayin jumped at this opportunity to try and electrocute Ra's with some of the damaged cables.

Batman - Son Of The Demon - 1987 (Page 74)
Batman - Son Of The Demon - 1987 (Page 74)

The murder: As you can see above, Batman acts quickly at the threat and kicks Qayin into to electrical wires himself, causing instant death and some pretty sweet onomatopoeia text "SHAKKT", "CRZZZZZZ" if I do say so myself...

And in case you thought maybe it was just an accident, Batman wastes no time in assuring you that he is very happy with the situation...

Batman - Son Of The Demon - 1987 (Page 75)
Batman - Son Of The Demon - 1987 (Page 75)

1 - Batman executes a mentally ill man by hanging him...

(Batman: Issue 1 - 1940)

This is another Batman first being the first appearance of the Bat in his own solo comic series. It is also probably the most ruthless and callous show of apathy towards the situation that he has ever shown, making it number 1.

Setting the scene: Evil genius Dr. Hugo Strange has broken 5 mental patients out of an asylum and drugged them with chemicals that cause them to grow to 15ft tall and become filled with rage and destruction. Dr. Strange managed to capture Batman and inject him with the same chemicals. Batman however took a mere 4 minutes to mix together an antidote, counter the effects and then swiftly go on a bat-shaped rampage.

Just to put it into perspective, this scene is preceded by Batman machine-gunning the two (completely human) drivers of the truck from the Batplane.

Batman: Issue 1 - 1940 (Page 26)
Batman: Issue 1 - 1940 (Page 26)

The Murder: After killing two humans unaffected by Dr. Hugo Strange's chemicals, Batman takes the opportunity to lower a (Bat)noose from his plane to wrap around the neck of someone who only a day before was simply a mental patient in an asylum and hoists him up to his death. Not forgetting that it took Batman only 4 minutes to create an antidote for himself, it just feels pretty unnecessary and kinda sad...


There we have it, 5 murders committed by the "Dark" Knight himself...


Which Batman murder shocked you the most?

Disclaimer - Article, photo editing by Ben Furse


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