As we all know, Batman has some of the most iconic villains in comic-dom. In fact, probably in all of fiction. But no villain is as twisted and volatile of an opposition as his archenemy, the psychopathic clown, the Joker. Sure, Ra’s Al Ghul serves as Batman’s intellectual equal, and is arguably the most powerful and influential of the rouges gallery. However, no villain and hero have ever been so diametrically opposed yet so connected. The dark and tormented knight against the gleefully insane jester. The intimidating wings of justice against the shining colors of chaos.
But we’re not here to talk about how profound of an opposition there is to Batman. Despite his clownish persona, he is also one of the most dangerous criminals of any rogues gallery. He has murdered numerous people, spread chaos throughout Gotham, injured and targeted many of those who are close to Batman. In terms of personal threat, he’s even more dangerous than Ra’s Al Ghul.
I myself have not read any superhero comics. Like many people, the main medium which I experienced seeing superheroes were either movies such as Batman Returns, or the animated series. However, the playful nature and the ruthless killer personas were meshed together perfectly in those mediums. Normally, a criminal whose committed crimes of the Joker’s magnitude would receive the death penalty or life in prison. However, according to status quo, he always is declared “Not guilty by reason of insanity.” And sent to the cardboard prison known as Arkham Asylum. It just goes to show how corrupt Gotham is. Insane or not, there’s no doubting how destructive the Joker is. There is no logic. There is no hope for him. Clown or killer, he’s always a menace in one way or another.
However, Batman has his reasons for not killing him, or any other villains; besides his famous policy, he is still a vigilante and killing the Joker would spell the end of trust for Batman. He would lose allies in the police. He’d be no different than a freak killing another freak. With such a corrupt system and lunatics running around Gotham, it would destroy Gotham if it turned out their protector was no different.