It's been three years since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder, hit theaters and introduced us to a new version of Batman, played by Ben Affleck. Since the film's release, and the subsequent release of Justice League, both Affleck and Snyder have left the DC Extended Universe, but that doesn't mean the director is done talking about the Dark Knight, who is celebrating his 80th anniversary.
At a recent fan Q&A following a screening of Watchmen, Snyder addressed the issue of realism in his superhero films and his approach to telling comic book stories. Though he was referring in part to Watchmen, he also centered much of his rebuttal on fans who continue to complain that his big-screen version of Batman killed people.
“Someone says to me, ‘Batman killed a guy.’ I’m like, ‘F**k, really? Wake the f**k up,’ I guess that’s what I’m saying," Snyder explained. "Once you’ve lost your virginity to this f**king movie and then you come and say to me something about like ‘My superhero wouldn’t do that,’ I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ I’m like down the f**king road on that. It’s a cool point of view to be like ‘My heroes are still innocent. My heroes didn’t f**king lie to America. My heroes didn’t embezzle money from their corporations. My heroes didn’t commit any atrocities.’ That’s cool. But you’re living in a f**king dream world."
The issue of whether or not Batman should kill people in stories remains a hotly debated one for creators and fans alike. Some will point to the Dark Knight's first comic book stories as proof that he was always a killer in some form, while others are fine with it as long as it's a somewhat passive killing (like the moment in Batman Begins when he allows Ra's al Ghul to die rather than save him from the train crash), while others insist that he should never deliberately kill or allow someone to be killed under any circumstances.
Honestly, in Batman's line of work, it would be hard to get through life without at least a handful of people dying along the way just through happenstance, but you get the idea: Some people want Batman to be able to kill deliberately and when necessary, and others want the Caped Crusader to keep his hands clean as much as he possibly can. Snyder is clearly in the former camp, his argument being that it's just not realistic — or, to him, interesting — to show us a world in which Batman is too high and mighty to use deadly force at various points during his crime-fighting exploits.
As Snyder's comments went viral Monday and into Tuesday, various comics creators took the time to react and respond to his point of view. Some saw it as a chance to offer some serious commentary about the Dark Knight. Others decided to have a laugh. Let's take a look at what they had to say.
What do you think? Should Batman be allowed to kill?