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Joe Chill (Richard Brake)

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Joe Chill
JoeChillRB
General Information
Real name: Joseph Chilton
Alignment: Bad
Characteristics: Gender - Male
Hair - Brown
Portrayed by: Richard Brake
Appearances: Batman Begins


Joe Chill is a criminal best known for the murder of Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne in front of their young son Bruce Wayne.

Biography

Chill claimed to have been driven to mug the Waynes because of the desperation of the times (Gotham was undergoing an economic depression because of an undisclosed action by the League of Shadows). He is arrested soon after killing Bruce's parents. Years later, he undergoes a hearing to be released from prison as part of a deal to testify against Gotham mob boss Carmine Falcone (with whom he had shared a prison cell) in exchange for parole.

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Chill in his hearing.

During the hearing, he claims to regret his crime. After the hearing despite police presence, he is killed by one of Falcone's assassins, who was posing as a reporter as he leaves the courtroom. It is later discovered that Falcone had bribed the judge of Chill's case to make the hearing public and bring Chill out into the open. The young Bruce Wayne, who is waiting outside the courtroom with a gun of his own, is thus deprived of his own chance for revenge. Bruce's lost chance of killing Chill himself helps him realize what justice really is, as well as his memories of a gun taking his parents' lives brings him to his rule that he will not kill. Bruce later confronts Falcone, who taunts him by saying that Chill bragged that Thomas Wayne "begged like a dog" before his death (This version of events is a lie as we see the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents earlier in the film. Also he witnessed the assassination of his parents).

Analysis

Overall, Joe Chill is depicted as a tragic character in the movie, since during his mugging of Bruce's parents he's shown to constantly be shaking from what he was doing. Also, later when Ra's Al Ghul informs Bruce that the League of Shadows caused Gotham's economic depression, he comments that Bruce's parents were "gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help."

Bruce's final confrontation with Chill slightly echoes his confrontation with Chill in the comic storyline Year Two: Fear the Reaper, where Batman was forced to work with Chill to stop a new vigilante who killed criminals, their 'alliance' culminating in Batman unmasking before Chill as the two fought in Crime Alley, only for the Reaper to kill Chill just as Bruce Wayne has a gun to Chill's head: in both cases, it is left ambiguous whether or not he would have actually killed Chill as someone else beats him to it.

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