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In Batman V Superman it's shown that Batman brands criminals with a 'bat brand'.

'batman brand'

This brand on someone means they will definitely be killed. Why does he choose this instead of killing them himself or not doing it at all?

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2 Answers 2

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There is very good fan interpretation about it on reddit

I am sure someone has made this connection before, but...

In the opening scene, the cinema that young Bruce and his parents come from was showing "The Mark of Zorro".

Zorro, a proto-Batman style vigilante, is known for branding his enemies with his Z-symbol.

Therefore, Bruce was obviously heavily inspired by Zorro, and 20 years into his career, when setting his "new rules", Bruce decided to adopt the idea of marking criminals with his own logo, just like Zorro.

And even quite famous fan interpretation of the reasoning behind bat-branding, appreciated on moviepilot.com too.

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  • As I recall, Zorro cut his mark in, more "Aldo Raine" style, but I still think this explanation is right on!
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 21:19
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I would like to add that Batman may be doing this knowing fully well that the branding can directly cause the death of a criminal (which is kind of in line with the "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you either" mindset, which I don't know is unique to the Nolan movies or has also been observed in the comics at some point)

Or he may be doing this unbeknownst to him.

You can lean in towards whatever you find more believable.

The reason he chooses to brand them imo is that he's pretty fed up with the crime fighting and clearly isn't above killing the criminals in this movie. So he has to be doing this knowingly (And I really like it!).

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