THE Batman contemporary is presented as a man traumatized by the murder of his parents who decides to use his fortune to devote his life to fighting crime. However, Bruce Wayne decides to carry out this personal mission in an unconventional way and through technological resources.
With a great intellect and an advanced knowledge in martial arts, our character adopts a secret personality whose sole objective is to become a symbol of the fight against the criminality of his city. For this purpose, the bat man presents the unique rule of don’t kill the villainsbecause, according to himself, to demean himself to the methods of those he faces would make him equal to them.
However, anyone who thinks that Gotham’s dark knight has always adopted this stance against the assassination of his enemies is mistaken. When he was born, in May 1939, the character did not present any kind of moral questioning regarding the act of killing his antagonists.
In reality, our hero followed the line of thought “good bandit is dead bandit” and, over the years, he carried out several murders, ranging from breaking necks, shooting to even more cruel acts, such as hangings.
Why did Batman stop killing the villains?
As we can see, themes such as violence and death were already widely addressed in productions at that time, however, society considered that these and other subjects were subversive, capable of corrupting the minds of children and that, because of that, they should be censored.
In this context, following the conservative thinking of the North American community of the 50s, the “Comics Code Authority” was born, translated into Portuguese as the Code of Authority for Comics, created in 1954, by the Association of Comics in America. Its function was to serve as a set of rules that determined the type of content acceptable for a comic book, even having a seal of approval on the cover of magazines that followed these standards, attesting that that content had been approved by a larger body.
However, unlike a censorship body, the Comics Code could not prevent the circulation of comic books that did not respect its rules. These publications would not only present their seal of approval, in this way, making it clear that the content of that product could hurt the morale of society at the time.
In this context, motivated by fear if their businesses suffer major impacts, the major publishers reformulated their productions, even published stories without the code seal, but started to adapt their main titles to the rules, that is, reducing violence, ending the murders and excluding topics considered sensitive.
Therefore, through this new scenario Batman has a drastic change in his approach to criminals, adopting a limit of not committing murders, and presenting a moral justification for his actions. Such change ended up lasting until after the complete extinction of the Comics Code, which only happened in 2010, and continued to be part of the character’s standard behavior.
Obviously, there are several stories in which the hooded Gotham kills, be they in the pre, during and post-Comics Code, however, they are treated as events of parallel universes, in this way, the “real Batman” follows his fight against crime, protecting your city without ever breaking your rule.