How Batman’s ‘No Kill’ Rule Changed DC Comics’ Dynamics Forever!

Batman was not always against murdering criminals but then came the “no-kill” rule which changed things forever. In his initial days, he used to actually wield a killing machine. But soon parents started worrying about the same and that made the editors introduce the most important moral change in the history of comics. This one change has created a ripple effect!

When Bruce Wayne was introduced in 1939 in Detective Comics #27, he had killed one bad guy by pushing him in a pool of acid!

This violence went on for most of the early comics of Batman which featured him with a gun. This was very common for the comics during that time as most of the comic book heroes used deadly force when needed; to represent the real- World War heroes who were extremely popular after the Second World War. But, after the introduction of Robin in Detective Comics #38, Batman comics were just starting to be read by a comparatively younger audience.

DC Comics
Robin’s Introduction

Parents grew concerned with Batman #1 in 1940. This was the issue that sparked the “no-kill” rule. In the comic, Batman kills several villains with his machine guns stating that even though he hates killing, it is necessary. And if that wasn’t enough, few panels later he says “He’s probably better off this way” while hanging a man by his neck from his Batplane.

DC Comics
Batman Killing Villains

Parents were in utter shock and the editor agreed some changes were necessary! The editor informed the artists to never show Batman using any guys and then they issued a company-wide editorial policy for DC Comics that “Heroes should never kill a villain, no matter the depths of his villainy.”

DC Comics
Batman and Robin Hunt Down Joker

This policy set a precedent for “family-friendly” superheroes for decades and it became very rare to see any superhero use a deadly force. Even today, when it comes to cartoons and comics, writers try to avoid words like “die” and “kill”.

These are the practices of remnants of standards that are enforced by the Comics Code Authority established back in 1954 which formalized many regulations set for DC; though the writers weren’t “legally” required to follow CCA guidelines.

It’s ironic that DC’s Darkest Hero set standards for gentler heroes!

Source: ScreenRant

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