Batman’s Ultimate Contingency Proves He’ll Never Kill the Joker


  • Batman’s backup personality, Zur-En-Arrh, defeats and imprisons him and the Joker instead of killing them.
  • Zur-En-Arrh is a more violent and ruthless version of Batman, but even he cannot bring himself to kill the Joker.
  • This reaffirms Batman’s commitment to never killing his greatest enemy, even when pushed to his limits.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Batman #141.Despite the intense animosity Batman has for the Joker, new evidence proves that the Dark Knight is never going to kill his nemesis. Bruce Wayne was pushed by his insidious backup personality to do the unthinkable and put the Clown Prince of Crime down for good. But it seems like even the most terrifying Batman refuses to do such a thing.

In Batman #141 by Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jiminez, Bruce’s dangerous backup personality, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, has just transferred his consciousness into Failsafe’s body. The new Batman offers Bruce the chance to retire in peace. But Batman is determined to put Failsafe down and he springs into action to stop him.

Batman and Zur-En-Arrh battle all across a snowy forest, and Bruce nearly ekes out a win against his enemy. Unfortunately, his best isn’t enough and Zur-En-Arrh defeats and imprisons Bruce. Upon waking, however, Batman discovers that he’s not alone and that Zur-En-Arrh has also taken Joker captive as well.

Even the Most Unhinged Batman Imprisoned Joker Instead of Killing Him

Batman Finds Joker in Prison DC

For some time now, Batman has been influenced by the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. After the events of “Gotham War”, Bruce embarked on a mission to do something he’d failed to do for years: End the Joker’s reign of terror permanently. Batman tracked his longtime foe down, but before Bruce knew what happened, Joker activated Zur-En-Arrh, allowing the backup persona to take control of Batman’s body. Joker and Zur-En-Arrh got into one of the most brutal battles, but the Joker was woefully outclassed by the ultra-violent Batman. The fight ultimately ended when Zur-En-Arrh took a page out of Bane’s book and broke the Joker’s back.

It’s curious to see the Joker imprisoned alongside Bruce. Unlike Batman, Zur-En-Arrh doesn’t hold back against his enemies and he was ready to kill the Joker when the two fought. But it looks like Zur-En-Arrh settled on immobilizing the Joker and throwing him in a cell. While it was highly unlikely that the Joker was actually going to meet his maker, it’s strange that Zur-En-Arrh didn’t at least try to end the Joker’s life. The only thing one can surmise from this is that Zur-En-Arrh didn’t want to. But if a Batman as unencumbered by morality as Zur-En-Arrh won’t kill the Joker, then no version of the Prime Bruce will.

Batman Just Doesn’t Have It In Him to Kill the Joker

Three Jokers Together DC

Batman has said numerous times that he can’t bring himself to ever cross his biggest line and kill the Joker, though he has admitted to fantasizing about it. But it seemed like Zur-En-Arrh was capable of the things that Batman isn’t, including murder. However, the most raw, unrestrained version of the Dark Knight is also incapable of killing his greatest enemy. While it may come as a surprise to some, it’s kind of nice to know that if even Zur-En-Arrh won’t kill the Joker, then Batman isn’t at risk of ever breaking his most solemn vow.

Batman #141 is on sale now from DC Comics.