The Batman we know today has a strict “no killing” rule. But when he debuted, Batman had no such compunctions about ending the lives of criminals. Even after he adopted his sacred rule he’s had several occasions where he’s given himself a pass and murdered someone. I’m aiming for as comprehensive list as possible but given that Batman has been around since 1939, it’s likely I’ll miss some. However, he has killed so many, I’ve had to break it up into decades.
His very first appearance, Detective Comics #27. Batman punches a crook then just kind of watches him fall into a vat of acid. Then he says, “A fitting end for his kind.”
In Detective Comics #28 Batman defends himself by tossing a guy off a roof. Think he survived. Well…
In issue 29, Batman just sneaks up behind a henchman and breaks his neck with some rope. That’s premeditated!
Batman snaps this dude’s neck in issue 30 but hey, he was a dirty Russian.
Batman shoots this guy while he sleeps but apparently he was a vampire. Does shooting a sleeping vampire kill it? It does now!
In Detective Comics #33, Batman goes after an evil dictator. He blows up his henchman at a warehouse, more henchmen when he blows up their blimp and finally chokes out the dictator guy, Kruger, and lets him crash his plane.
Detective #34 and Batman seems to have perfected his go-to-move: knock out the criminal in a moving vehicle then leave him to die in the crash.
In issue #35 Batman kicks one henchmen into a sword and then later just knocks the crime boss out a window. At this point, the police should probably start to be concerned that a citizen is killing people off without their constitutional right to a fair trial.
In issue 37, Batman punches the bad guy into a sword stuck in a door, impaling the guy by his neck. At this point Batman is either insanely skilled and ruthless or incompetent and lucky.
In Batman #1, Batman guns down Hugo Strange’s henchmen. When one of them survives, Batman ropes him up by the neck and hangs him from his Batplane. He later kills one last henchmen with a gas pellet that makes him fall off the roof. You sure got ’em all, Batman.
In Detective Comics #39, Batman first kills an assassin, then tracks down the assassin cult. He proceeds to simply crush them all under a statue.
Batman #2. Batman punches a criminal down the stairs and he breaks his neck. Keep in mind, Batman is now running around with an adolescent sidekick.
Perhaps remembering how well it worked for him back in Detective Comics #28, Batman again uses a judo toss to throw a guy off a building in Batman #3.
Just to vary things up, Batman lets someone drown in Batman #8.
Batman starts slowing down how frequently he kills but he’s still at it. This, in Detective Comics #46, time he punches a guy at the edge of a cliff, apparently watches him teeter for a while then fall to his death.
Perhaps missing the vicarious thrill of watching someone crash and die, Batman knocks out a driver in Detective Comics #47 and watches his car crash, killing the driver.
In Detective Comics #55 Batman pulls off an especially gruesome murder, knocking a criminal into molten metal. This does not sate his bloodlust, though, and later in the issue he shoves two men off a blimp.
In Batman #15, Batman goes up agains the Axis powers of WWII. First, he causes a car to crash, killing the soldiers inside. Next, he crashes a plane into a warship. He is really into causing vehicles to crash.
As best as I can tell, Batman takes quite a hiatus from killing at this point. He doesn’t seem to have any kills from 1943 until 1969’s Brave and the Bold #84. In that issue Bruce Wayne goes on an undercover assignment with Sgt. Rock and Easy Company to take out some leftover Nazis. Bruce first throws a grenade into an airplane and later explodes a bridge, killing the entire Nazi platoon.
Alright, I’ll do some more of these soon. Hope you enjoyed this look at Bloodthirsty Batman.