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Batman is known for his "code" of not killing as he never wants to cross that line. Although he is completely okay with killing mindless aliens (in the comics, animated series and movies as well), he refrains from taking a human life.

In the main continuity however, Batman has committed murder quite a few times.

Batman actually started out in the first comics carrying a gun and regularly killing criminals by shooting them, strangling them, knocking them off buildings, into pits, etc. (some of his murders are listed here). Also, he killed The Joker in Frank Miller's very famous The Dark Knight Returns.

On screen, Nolan's The Dark Knight ended with Batman killing Harvey Dent/Two-Face. In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice he does try to kill Superman (although "Martha" saves the day, Batman's intention of killing Superman was very clear). Moreover, if we count alternate timelines and variations of Batman across the multiverse (and Dark-multiverse), this list could go on forever.

However, all of these acts were intentional. But are there any instances where Batman has accidentally killed someone? Could be anything, in a fit of rage, accidentally throwing a Batarang at a wrong target etc.

Looking for answers across all media (comics, movies, TV series, animated series).

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    When he kills Harvey in The Dark Knight is that intentional? He knocks Harvey out the way to save the boy but does he mean to push him off the building? It happens so quick and mostly off screen that it isn't clear but I suppose an argument could be made either way. – TheLethalCarrot Sep 11 '19 at 9:42
  • @TheLethalCarrot I suppose so. I always had a feeling that losing Rachel and his friend Harvey might have pushed him too far and it wasn't an accident that he killed Two-face. – Shreedhar Sep 11 '19 at 9:49
  • Batman is a big strong guy who has been in hundreds of fist fights. As far as I know he doesn't submit the perps to physical examinations before he beats them up. If any of them died as the result of being punched by Batman, would that count as "accidental"? – user14111 Sep 11 '19 at 9:50
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    "Also, he killed The Joker in Frank Miller's very famous The Dark Knight Returns." - I was under the impression that Batman stopped just short of doing so, and then the Joker killed himself to make it look like Batman had killed him. – F1Krazy Sep 11 '19 at 11:47
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    @F1Krazy That's the way I understood it too, ever since I first read the graphic novel. Joker was gloating aloud about killing himself so everyone else would think Batman had finally snapped and turned into a killer. A bit later, cops find the Joker's body and one instantly diagnoses those injuries as: "It's no suicide," which is ironic because we readers know that's exactly what it was. Joker thought it would be hilarious to kill himself and frame Batman for it. As in: "If I go down, I'm taking you with me!" – Lorendiac Sep 11 '19 at 12:33
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In Detective Comics Issue 613 Batman kicks a thug into someone else and they both fall into the grinder on the back of a garbage truck. From his reaction it is pretty clear that he didn't mean to do this.

Batman fights the baddie who he kicks into someone and they fall into the garbage truck Batman is distraught at what happens and turns off the grinder Batman's reaction to the whole scene
Click images to enlarge.

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    Batman's face in the fifth panel: :O – DCOPTimDowd Sep 12 '19 at 17:36
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Batman's very first appearance in Detective Comics #27 features what appears to be an accidental killing (although he certainly isn't remorseful). enter image description here

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In the campy 1966 movie Batman, Batman and Robin find themselves in the Batcave faced with henchmen of the Joker and/or Penguin, after the Penguin (whom B&R have brought into the Batcave for some reason)

puts some dehydrated henchmen on the floor and reconstitutes them from some water available. This backfires on the Penguin, because in the ensuing fight, as soon as Batman or Robin strikes a henchman, the latter suddenly disintegrates forever.

Batman and Robin didn't mean to kill those henchmen, but they certainly did!

Batman later figures out that

the Pengiun used heavy water from the Batcave's nuclear reactor, and this interacted with the dehydration process to make the henchmen's atoms out of antimatter.

This is, of course, the same movie where the One True Batman runs around holding a bomb over his head, trying to get rid of it, but won't throw it in the harbor because of the baby ducks swimming there.

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    Best Batman. As Adam West put it, "I never had to say 'I'm Batman'. People knew." – FuzzyBoots Sep 12 '19 at 23:59
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While Batman won't kill deliberately. Dying by the byproduct of their own incompetence or actions is a circumstance that has cropped up in comics.

  1. Tim Burtons "Batman" (1989): Batman subdues the Joker by grappling his ankle to a Gargoyle, the weight of which falls and brings him down with it. enter image description here

  2. Batman Begins: Batman successfully subdues R'as Al Ghul on the Gotham Monorail train. While contemplating the idea of "Doing what's necessary" to vanquish his foes, Batman retreats, and leaves Al Ghul to his own demise. "I won't kill you........But I don't have to save you" enter image description here

  3. The Dark Knight Rises: Talia, dies when Batman fires his weapons to bear to stop the league from detonating a fusion bomb forcing the truck to crash. enter image description here

  4. The Dark Knight: Two Face< albeit, not intended, his aim was to save the boy, didn't anticipate Harvey would plummet to his death. enter image description here

  5. Batman V. Superman Movie: Kills several people with an aerial strife and inside a wearhouse when they're killed in various explosions, not to mention the car chase scene where he literally crushes several vehicles.

  6. Arkham Origins (Bane) kills him with electrocution and beating. Technically he was dead but he really put him into cardiac arrest; subsequently resuscitated him with electricity.enter image description here

  7. "Final Crisis, Comic (darkseid) Shot him with a radion bullet....technically didn't kill him but left him in a state the League would finish him off enter image description here

  8. Killing Joke comic, (Joker) Questionable? Namely the final panel depicts the two sharing a laugh, but namely settles the idea if this Is in a separate continuity then did Batman euthanize his nemesis. enter image description here

  9. Batman "Endgame". In Jokers masterstroke to eliminate the dark knight. Batman ultimately decides to make sure the Joker doesn't escape from a collapsing cave, depriving Joker of the healing chemical he needs to save himself. They both seemingly die in the collapse. Later revived from the healing chemicals. enter image description here

  10. Justice League: Crisis on two Earths: Batman's exploited a speedster "Johnny Quick" by using him as a frequency oscillator to travel to different dimension to save the universe....what he didn't reveal was the side effect of space time tampering on his body, Rapid accelerated aging and he died of old age. Asking if Batman "Knew this was going to happen" he gives no response; it is heavily implied he anticipated it; thus sacrificed a villain than ask a hero to do the same. enter image description here

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Unintentional Murder Batman? But of course (the other two mentioned in the piece are covered by Lethal Carrot):

After reviewing the evidence, we can pretty confidently say that Batman is the superhero who holds the record for "accidentally" crushing the most folks to death in junkyards, an oddly specific scenario that so far has taken the lives of three Gotham City residents (that we know of).

The first instance comes in Batman No. 425 from 1988, where the Caped Crusader fights a pissed-off drug dealer seeking revenge after Robin intentionally dropped his brother off a rooftop (we wonder where he learned that trick). After thoroughly lecturing Robin about the sanctity of life, Bat-Hypocrite ends up being chased through a junkyard by the drug dealer and somehow toppling a huge pile of unwanted cars on his ass.

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Batman accidentally kills The Joker in the end scene of the game Arkham City.

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  • Could you edit this to include a video clip of the scene from the game? If so it would greatly improve this answer! – TheLethalCarrot Sep 12 '19 at 17:01
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    No he doesn't. The Joker was dying of Venom poisoning and, with the last of his strength, attacked Batman, causing him to drop the vial of antidote that Batman was going to use to save him. The Joker was already dead and sealed his own demise because he just couldn't help himself. – F1Krazy Sep 13 '19 at 5:44

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