Batmobile Tank With Guns Means Batman Kills? Critics Misunderstand ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ Reference

The Batmobile photos that were put out by director Zack Snyder have some people claiming it’s a lethal tank that is obviously designed to have Batman kill people. But is this criticism of the Batmobile just based upon a misunderstanding of the Batman comics the Batman Vs. Superman movie will be using as source material?

In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Batmobile was spotted on the Batman Vs. Superman set during a night video shoot that included pyrotechnics.

In many ways, the design of the Batmobile (seen above) from the upcoming video game Batman: Arkham Knight seems to mirror the design from the movie. The overall shape of the vehicle is similar, and very much like a tank, although the biggest difference is that the machine gun featured so prominently is slightly more lethal looking in the video game.

The fact that Batman has a machine gun on his Batmobile has reporters from The Verge claiming that this means Batman kills.

“In what I played at E3, Batman spent a lot of time killing people, even though the game said he was doing otherwise. I knew technically the enemies weren’t dead, because the publicist told me so. After smashing the umpteenth person head first into a cement wall, then firing a round of “safe” ammunition into his neck at a gajillion mph, I decided I was seeing the world through Batman’s delusional eyes, and some distance would reveal a wake of corpses.”

The criticism of the usage of a gun of any type extends to Batman Vs. Superman.

“The gun is lazy because Batman has unlimited funds to create and deploy the gadgetry that lines the furthest walls of our imagination. He can use anything to catch criminals, literally anything. A gun makes him as boring as every bald white dude in my video game shooters…. Batman doesn’t need an MRAP. He’s smart enough, creative enough and financially solvent enough to be better than the real world. Batman is, at his best, an embodiment of the American dream, a beacon of capitalism and a union of liberalism and conservatism. He’s a rich philanthropist who uses his wealth and power to protect the citizens of his town — and yeah, stands to make a bit of money for the contracting department at Wayne Enterprises along the way. But unlike the military industrial complex, his goal isn’t to make more enemies — it isn’t to kill, it isn’t to fire heavy artillery, it’s to put criminals behind bars to face the due process awarded them as citizens. Not killing people is the one reliable rule that makes Batman Batman, not just another costumed psychopath in the streets of Gotham kicking up trouble.”

To understand why a gun can belong on a Batmobile, we have to go back to the comic book series that turned Batman from campy to dark in the first place. Back in the 1980s, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns revitalized and re-envisioned the Batman mythos by having an older Bruce Wayne return to the streets after having hung up the cowl for years. The 1986 comic series featured an older Batman who finds himself facing off an equally older Superman. In the end, Bruce Wayne uses his knowledge of Superman’s weakness to kryptonite — and a frickin’ awesome Batmobile tank and an exoskeleton batsuit — to put some major hurt on Clark Kent. I won’t spoil it for you and tell you who wins, but I’d highly suggested renting the two-part animated Dark Knight Returns movie that was released fairly recently.

Dark Knight Returns Batmobile

Based upon the comics, the Batmobile guns do have a rightful place in Batman’s arsenal. Frank Miller had Batman using rubber bullets to take out a huge number of enemies called the mutants, although the final battle with the mutant leader was purposefully hand-to-hand combat in order to make a point. Tim Burton’s Batmobile also had.50 caliber machine guns. Even in the various animated series, which is more targeted to younger kids, has Batman shooting missiles on a frequent basis. The critical factor is that Batman restrains himself from using his weapons to kill.

We should expect Batman VS Superman: Dawn Of Justice to go in a slightly different direction from The Dark Knight Returns, although certain details may be the same. In Frank Miller’s vision, Robin had died, and leaked photos from the set do indeed show a tattered Robin costume in the Batcave. Bruce Wayne is also in his 50s. Ben Affleck is not quite that old, and will be 42 in August, but Henry Cavill is 31 years old (although it could be argued Superman doesn’t need to “appear” old like in the comics). Most likely, the plot will instead give a reason for the Justice League to form, which Batman was a prominent member of in the series.

Do you think Batman should ever be allowed to kill, even if it’s not using the new Batmobile tank?

Dark Knight Returns Batmobile 2