The Dark Knight Rises is shrouded in mystery. Is Bane capable of being a better villain than the now iconic Heath Ledger portrayal of The Joker? What role can Catwoman play that will not feel like just another forced love interest or petty criminal or rehash of Michelle Pfeiffer? Is Occupy Wall Street really part of the Nolan Bat-finale?
Everyone seems to be asking these questions adnauseum on every message board with “comic book” in the title. But one question seems to elude the masses and it’s a pretty big one folks: will Commissioner Gordon die in this film?
My gut tells me no, but something keeps gnawing at me to think yes. I keep asking myself if Chris Nolan would really kill off such an iconic character in the Bat-universe. None of us at this point can know for sure, but at the moment we can take a look at all the evidence we have.
First and foremost we have the two trailers. Our first look at Rises showed up in July. This teaser truly was a tease in every sense of the word. The image we see is that of Gordon lying on what appears to be his death bed. The idea of a broken Gordon tells me that in this film, set 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight, all bets could be off.
The second trailer for Rises appeared a few months later. Many who viewed it focused on the Occupy Wall Street type dialogue, and Bane’s interesting voice. But to me the telling scene shows Mathew Modine’s mystery character being told how Gordon would be fired very soon. Now of course this could just be the calm before the storm and with Bane’s arrival, Gotham will need to hang on to Gordon. However in my opinion, this could be another signal that Gordon is not long for this world. Could he be replaced by Joseph Gordon Levitt’s John Blake cop character? Is Mathew Modine next in line for the big job of commissioner? The potential is certainly there.
Now I’m sure many fans would be outraged if Gordon were to die. However as one of the biggest Batman fans myself, you may be shocked to discover that I would not be opposed to the death of this beloved character. By no means do I dislike the character. That needs to be made very clear. In fact I think that Gordon is practically the second most important character in the history of Batman in comics and especially in the Nolan-verse. But that does not mean he always has to live to fulfill that role. In fact I feel that he could have even more impact on Batman and on Gotham if he were to die.
As many of us know, in Batman’s life some of the most influential life altering events that dictate the actions and mentality of the character come out of death. Jason Todd’s (the second Robin in comics) death forever molded Batman into the darker toned hero we love today. Obviously the death of his own parents created the Batman in the first place. In the Nolan saga now we also have the deaths of childhood friend Rachel Dawes and his partner in crime-fighting Harvey Dent on our hands. What would the ramifications be if Gordon were to be killed?
If Nolan were to kill off Gordon, I would be heartbroken but excited. In comics, I have never seen a story where the death of Gordon has actually come to pass. This would mean that Nolan and co. had the balls to make a serious move in shaking up the established order.
What could it mean for Batman? Could it then show up in the comics the way the scarred mouth Joker started showing up in print after Ledger? The possibilities are endless and when that sort of breath of fresh air gets injected into Batman, it normally makes me happier than I can even express.
I have never seen Batman’s reaction to the death of Gordon and part of me hopes to see that chaos come July 2012 when The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters.
This article was first posted on March 5, 2012