Joseph Chilton (Joe Chill)

joechillfilmFinally, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in theatres…and it’s quite a disappointing, if you ask me. Anyway, there are some more characters adding up to the ones seen already: I counted three, but it’ll take some time before I could get all the pictures. Let’s start with the first one: at the beginning of the movie, we witness Batman‘s origins, and we see his parents killed before his very eyes. The man pulling the trigger is, once again, Joe Chill, portrayed by a still unknown actor. The character already appeared in the 1989 Batman movie, portrayed by Clyde Gatell, but he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger, as his partner Jack Napier killed the Waynes in his place. He made his full relevant appearance in Batman Begins, portrayed by Richard Brake: a desperate man driven to violence by poverty, Chill kills the Waynes and gets arrested soon after; 14 years later, upon coming out of prison, he parlors his way out in exchange of informations about mob boss Carmine Falcone…but the latter has him killed before he could talk. Now, let’s see who the original killer of the Waynes is…and, again, multiple versions coming.

Joseph Chilton was born the son of an unnamed, poor woman living in Gotham CityMrs. Chilton was hired by wealthy Phillip Wayne as a housekeepoer, and Joseph grew up with his brother Max in the enormous villa of his mother’s employer. Sometimes, Mrs. Chilton was sent to the house of Thomas, Phillip’s brother, to work for him as well, and little Joseph saw a wealth he would have never been able to obtain on his own, something that made him grudgy against the Waynes. As an adult, he changed his name to Joe Chill (it sounded more “intimidating” on the streets), and he became a gun for hire, looking for a shortcut to the opulence he had seen as a child. After building something similar to a fame, Chill was finally employed by Lew Moxon, one of the local crime bosses. Knowing of his ties to the Wayne family, Moxon hired Chill to kill both Thomas and Martha, making it look like it was a simple robbery. Joe ambushed the Waynes in an alley, a night they went to watch a movie with their little son Bruce: he came out of the shadows, ordered them to give him their money, and then shot them point blank, leaving Bruce as joechilldcomics1the sole survivor. Years later, Chill had become a minor boss in his own right, but Gotham’s criminality was terrified by Batman, a vigilante who had started an all-out war on gangsters. Finally, it came the moment Chill was hunted down by Batman…who happened to know he had killed the Waynes. Believing in a bluff (there was no witness), Joe denied…until Batman removed his mask, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne. Now truly scared, Joe Chill made a run, and came back to his safe-house asking protection to his men. He briefly explained the situation, and his goons answered by shooting him, killing him for being the one responsible of Batman’s birth. Luckily enough, the crooks didn’t realise how precious the information of Batman’s secret identity was, not immediately, and Joe Chill died before he could reveal anything he knew about Bruce Wayne.

After Chrisis on Infinite Earths, Joe Chill made a return to existence…actually two, contraddicting one another. In the first story, he was a low-life living in Gotham, who robbed rich people in order to get enough for him and his son Joseph Jr. to survive. Of course, he also happened to gun down Thomas and Martha Wayne, making their son Bruce become Batman years later. When a brutal vigilante known as the Reaper started targeting criminals, Joe Chill was hired by several bosses to dispose of him…a task that brought him to an unexpected and uncomfortable alliance with Batman. While Batman swore to himself he would have killed Chill after the case was close, Joe’s contract told him to kill Batman as well after Reaper was dead. Eventually, Reaper apparently died in an explosion along with all the bosses who had hired Chill, so he told Batman there was no reason for him to fulfill the contract anymore…but the vigilante took him to Crime Alley, where he revealed himself as Bruce Wayne. Batman pulled out a gun, apparently intentioned to kill Chill, but Reaper, who had survived the explosion, appeared and beat him on time, gunning down the killer. In yet another version (oddly still set in New Earth), Joe Chill was arrested immediately after the homicide of the Waynes. Gotham’s prison couldn’t hold anybody for long, however, and Chill was out in no time. He spent the following twenty years to joechilldcomics2build a mildly relevant criminal empire, and when he was about to start playing among the big guys, Batman arrived, ruining every crook’s ambition. Curiously, Batman seemed to have some kind of preference for Chill, as he appeared to him nearly every night, going on for weeks waiting for him in his room, in dark alleys, pretty much everywhere, without saying a word and disappearing soon after. Chill became paranoid and constantly terrified, he hired bodyguards and he never left his office…but eventually Batman came for him nevertheless. The vigilante gave him a gun, the same he had used to kill the Waynes years before, and then removed his mask, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne. Fearing his fellow criminals’ reaction when they learnt that he was the one who had created their greatest enemy, and broken by months of psychological tortures, Joe Chill took the gun and shot himself.

Jonathan Chilton is a greedy and amoral man, who only thinks of profit and values it over human life without a second thought. As Joe Chill, he’s a renowned hired gun in Gotham City, a hit man who’s apreciated for always fulfilling his contracts. With no talent other than pulling a trigger at the right moment, Chill is a far better killer than he is a crime boss…something that he soon learns at his own expenses.

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