BGE investigates: Is Batman a huge hippocrite?

The Bats are gonna fly toniiiiight! They're wearing Hockey pads, toniiiight!





Batman. Who is this man, and what drives him to do the things he does?

This might be the kinds of nerdy questions that mostly should be answered by "he's not real, jerk," but for 70 years a multitude of artists and writers have  made their livelihood by essaying  into comics, movies, and tv shows  carefully  crafted answers to that question.


While the Bat's personality is a reflection on the artists, the society at the time, and mercenary creative need, most Bat-fans would probably  know the following.

1)Batman is Bruce Wayne, Millionaire Playboy , whose parent's murder as a child drove him to become a vigilante/super hero.
2)Batman does not kill.
3)Batman does not use guns.

You can see fan outrage for those times when Batman kills, or for those rarer still moments when he can be found clutching a handgun. Batman Beyond, an official cartoon depicting  the future of the Animated Series, depicts the moment Bruce decides  to stop being Batman as being one time illness FORCED him to use a gun to scare off a criminal.

So Batman does not use guns. This is an integral part of the character, now.  All he has is his wits and his fists and his gadgets and vehicles. Otherwise his just an ordinary billionaire who engages in regular exercise. You don't see Batman shoot up a place. Except in, like this scene.




In this scene, The Joker is gassing the city, and it's up to Batman to stop him. He does, and then he takes aim from his airship towards the Joker.

The intention is pretty clear, here. Batman is trying to shoot this single man from the sky with the guns in his warplane. While it is pretty dramatically convenient that Batman's aim is so lousy,  Batman's idea here isn't for Joker to do a stint on prison. He's trying to shoot him dead.

Now, being fair, Batman DOESN'T have an established code against killing in that movie, nor an established code against guns, perse. Many fans have gone on to believe that THIS particular Batman is acting severely out of character. REAL Batman wouldn't bomb a building, or burn a man alive with his car's afterburner or throw the Joker off a cathedral to his own death, they'll say.

"Real Batman" might more closely ressemble The Dark Knight Trilogy VERSION, to many of those fans. That one DOES establish Batman has  a reason for not wanting to kill, and a specific aversion to guns. He rejects  killing after his initiation on the league of Shadows involves murdering an accused criminal, and rejects guns after his love interest scolds him for his intention to shoot the man who murdered his parents.

After that, it's nothing but  his wits and his fists and his gadgets and vehicles. And my what vehicles these are! There's the Tumbler, a tank-like military offroad vehicle equiped with jumping action, fiery turbines, missile launchers,  and what appears to be a periscope style overhead machine gun.

Of course, Batman didn't order that made custom. He doesn't need military grade weapons. He's not a killer, guys! He only ever uses the Tumbler's missile capacity to take down  a train.  Further movies, though, establish his continually upgraded fleet includes a motorcycle that detaches itself from the Tumbler. Pretty useful for chasing after the Joker, but as we see here, not as useful for apprehending him.





This scene echoes the earlier scene where  Batman blasted away at the Joker from his high tech plane, except in this scene Batman doesn't blast at the Joker. I mean, with the enormous guns in the Batbike, he'd tear him to pieces. But he can't even manage to run him over, which he seems he kind of wanted to do but doesn't. You know there's a couple of things between running over a man with your motorcycle and just sort of letting him go, right, Batty?
"Okay, lemme explain. This doesn't shoot bullets, it shoots plastic explosives. Totally non-lethal stuff."



And if you're wondering if those are guns, flip over to the ending of Dark Knight Rises, where Catwoman, riding the same model,  explodes a barricade and eventually Bane, the movie's villain. The Batpod isn't just armed with peashooters, it's a fucking war machine.

He's also got "The Bat", a hovering...thing, also armed with  machine guns and explosives.

So what gives, anyway? Am I the only one who has noticed?
The Bathorse is also armed!

Batman's "No GUNS" thing is kind of weirdly structured. On the one hand, Batman outright refuses to even WORK with somebody who's carrying, but sees no objection to having a 50 cal mounted on his Bat Huey.

Most of the same reasons for using firearms are the same kind of reasons for putting them on vehicles. "Guns are for killing, and I don't kill" Well, Batman doesn't have to use guns to straight up murder. He an debilitate  an opponent, scatter a crowd of unarmed thugs.  In the same way he can have machine guns mounted on the hood of his car and not necessarily use that shoot Poison Ivy dead, he can have a handgun in case the situation calls for it.

"Guns are what criminals use!" First of all, YOU'RE a criminal. You're embezzling money from your company, engaging in acts of aggression, driving unsanctioned vehicles and  Second of all, let's be adults here, Batman.  All sorts of people carry guns. Police. Military personnel. Security guards. Civilians who want to defend themselves. I'm not pro-guns  or anything, but it is what it is. It's especially weird to say that in the world of DC when it involves metabeings.  Some of these people can fly and throw blasts out of their hands. I'm sure if you look hard enough in the DC universe, there's a guy whose powers is shooting bullets out of his eyes.

"Guns killed my parents." Yes, the classic trauma. Batman is AVERSE to firearms, and somehow this mental avertion goes away if it's the vehicle he's riding doing the shooting.

But wouldn't the SOUND of the machine guns on the Batmobile trigger back memories of that fateful day?

For such a presumed "important" part of the character, this discrepancy has not yet been tackled. In fact, Arcades all over the continent are filling up with Batman: The Arcade Game, a game that lets you choose from MOST of the popular Batmobiles, and allows you to shoot up the streets as you try to stop Bane, Mr Freeze and The Joker.  While some of this vehicles never actually shot anything on their original version, this game allows it like it's the most natural thing in the world.



So pick one, Bats. Either never guns, or sometimes guns.

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