People tend to like their superhero morality neat and tidy. Just look at all the vicious, sometimes spurned sounding debates that have sprung up following the release of Man of Steel, with its already infamous “One of us dies!” ending. One of the strengths of Batman has arguably always been his slightly controversial status within the superhero cannon. This is a guy who carried a firearm for a year of his history, before DC company policy outlawed it; this is a guy who fights injustice but looks like a monster; this is not a God like superhero, but an ordinary mortal who decides to take the law into his own hands.
Should we be surprised his moral compass is a bit more complicated than that of Superman? There’s an inherent contradiction in the character of Batman, a contradiction that stretches back to the fact that he’s a man who has trained all his life to become the ultimate warrior, and yet refuses to take a life. Maybe it’s crazy. Maybe it’s noble. Maybe it’s both.
All of which is a long winded way of saying that Batman’s history is full of “questionable” moral choices and actions. Here’s ten that jump to mind.
This article was first posted on July 18, 2013