robin weapon

Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice offered a smorgasbord of reasons to get riled up and annoyed and angry, from the inane and nonsensical plot to the cinematic Doomsday who looked like a third rate cave troll to a Superman who was an all-powerful stick-in-the-mud. But now, nearly a month after its release, one aspect irritates me like no other: the portrayal of Batman as a remorseless killer who dispatches his enemies with machine guns and explosives.

While some fans have speculated that this iteration of Batman has been driven to murder after years of psychologically agonizing crimefighting, a piece of concept art nips this theory in the bud while also dragging (the deceased) Robin through the mud. It turns out that Robin’s weapon on display in the Batcave isn’t what you think it is.

As you may recall, Batman v Superman featurs a brief scene where Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne gazes upon a macabre display in his secret base of operations: the uniform of his former companion, Robin, vandalized by the man who killed him (i.e., the Joker). Also on hand is Robin’s weapon of choice, which certainly looks like a quarterstaff (i.e., what the character has wielded in the comics for some time now). However, an entry in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Tech Manual (via Digital Spy) has revealed that this isn’t quarterstaff at all, but rather some kind of bladed weapon that looks like it was stolen from a medieval castle’s armory. Take a look:

robin weapon 2

If you don’t want to squint, here’s what props manager Doug Harlocker says in that text regarding the wrecked state of this weapon:

“That was Zack saying, ‘Look, maybe we should just make it look like it’s been broken and smashed.’ So we deconstructed it in order to film it.”

Unlike a quarterstaff, which is the kind of thing you wield if you want to put an opponent out of commission without killing them, Robin’s weapon looks like it was designed specifically to murder people.  Because nothing says Robin the Boy Wonder like stabbing criminals in the face with something that looks like it was borrowed from the set of Game of Thrones, right?

The implication here is that Robin was also killing criminals alongside Batman when he was alive, which means that the death of his faithful sidekick didn’t drive Bruce Wayne to step things up, which means that Snyder’s Batman has always been a killer and his plucky ward was a killer too. No wonder there’s an R-rated cut of this movie on the way. It’s hard to imagine anyone, even Zack Snyder himself, arguing that this thing could be used in a non-lethal manner.

Maybe other fans can shrug off decades and decades of Batman and Robin going out of their way to not murder their enemies, but I can’t. That’s where I draw the line. With each passing day and interview and revelation, I realize more and more that the new DC extended universe just isn’t for me.

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