Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke

For the first time the Joker's origin is revealed in this tale of insanity and human perseverance. Looking to prove that any man can be pushed past his breaking point and go mad, the Joker attempts to drive Commissioner Gordon insane. After shooting and permanently paralyzing his daughter Barbara (a.k.a. Batgirl), the Joker kidnaps the commissioner and attacks his mind in...

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Title:Batman: The Killing Joke
Author:Alan Moore
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Batman: The Killing Joke Reviews

  • Bookdragon Sean

    Now this was good, and I mean good. It’s such a simple idea, but so real and powerful. I mean one bad day is all it takes. One push, one snap, one descent into chaos and it’s over. Once you’ve crossed that threshold then things will never be the same again. And the Joker, being the sly and brilliant villain that he is, wants to share the experience with the world.

    Now this was good, and I mean good. It’s such a simple idea, but so real and powerful. I mean one bad day is all it takes. One push, one snap, one descent into chaos and it’s over. Once you’ve crossed that threshold then things will never be the same again. And the Joker, being the sly and brilliant villain that he is, wants to share the experience with the world. He wants to show humanity that they are not that far from him. The first man he wants to reduce is the stalwart Commissioner Gordon. But, I think we all know who is intended victim actually is.

    The Joker was once normal. He had a girlfriend; he had a job, but the world shitted on him somewhat chronic. And like many people he was forced to turn to crime; he was forced to break society's rules in order to survive. That’s where it all began. That first step into the darkness led to many other steps down the road of corruption. It wasn’t long before petty crime turned to murder and butchery. The Joker became ruined and lost himself in his nasty deeds. This is a great origin story, one that fully lives up to the character immense personality. Allan More totally nails it.

    And the ending, it’s all about the ending. The Joker’s personality is infectious. At least, he wants it to be. He’s always tried to bring down the good. He ruined Harvey Dent, and he has always wanted to ruin the bat. And he just may have. The end is suggestive of two things: firstly, Batman strangling the Joker in one final heroic act, there’s some irony in that sentence; secondly, Batman descending to the Jokers level and embracing the insanity of one bad day.

    I'll leave you with this picture and see if you can decide:

  • Mohammed Arabey

    الجوكر تقريبا من اكتر الأشرار اللي فاقت شعبيتهم شخصية البطل "السوبرهيرو" نفسه

    ولو مش عارف ايه الكاريزما اللي وصلته لكدة..لازم تشوف الحكاية القصيرة العبقرية دي

    "صورة نادرة لباتمان يبتسم :)"

    الجوكر تقريبا من اكتر الأشرار اللي فاقت شعبيتهم شخصية البطل "السوبرهيرو" نفسه

    ولو مش عارف ايه الكاريزما اللي وصلته لكدة..لازم تشوف الحكاية القصيرة العبقرية دي

    "صورة نادرة لباتمان يبتسم :)"

    "الفنان برايان بولاند وهو يصور نفسه تحضيرا لرسم الغلاف الأيقوني"

    "ملحوظة, لنفس الرسام له كوميكس في النسخة الحديثة عن رجل برئ, جمع برسومه المتقنة اشهر اشرار عالم باتمان في قصة قصيرة جدا تخيلية عن الخير والشر"

    محمد العربي

    من 22 يوليو 2016

    الي 23 يوليو 2016

  • Erin

    It causes me no joy to give any comic written by Alan Moore one star, but this is how it has to be. Now, before I write a single word more, let me start with this simple disclaimer: I consider Alan Moore the best writer to have ever worked in comics. There are no qualifiers to that; no qualifications. Moore is unmatched.

    But The Killing Joke? As a Batman book, it's just bad. That isn't to say there's nothing to like here: this book certainly has its moments; some of which are brilliant, in fact.

    It causes me no joy to give any comic written by Alan Moore one star, but this is how it has to be. Now, before I write a single word more, let me start with this simple disclaimer: I consider Alan Moore the best writer to have ever worked in comics. There are no qualifiers to that; no qualifications. Moore is unmatched.

    But The Killing Joke? As a Batman book, it's just bad. That isn't to say there's nothing to like here: this book certainly has its moments; some of which are brilliant, in fact. But as a story, it doesn't work.

    Killing Joke is really two stories told in parallel. It provides an origin for the Joker while simultaneously following him on a scheme to drive Commissioner Gordon insane.

    The origin is largely based on an old issue of Batman from the 50's: "The Man Behind the Red Hood." As much as I appreciate the nod to the past, the Red Hood origin of the Joker is one I could do without. While I am not in favor of attempts to make Batman "realistic," I do feel that some elements should be handled carefully if handled at all.

    And that's really the problem here. Not only did Alan Moore use an absurd origin; he made it more so. In the original, the Red Hood was a hardened criminal before he became the Joker. In this version, he was a comedian having a really bad day.

    I think I understand what Moore was trying to do here. I believe he wanted to create an element of pathos in the Joker's past while playing up the absurdity of the medium.

    But the result felt sloppy. Instead of adding layers to the Joker's personality, it just made him less interesting.

    The real problem with Killing Joke, however, is the other story line. The Joker takes Barbara Gordon by surprise, shooting and paralyzing her. Setting aside my personal objection to crippling one of DC's best (and, at the time, few) female characters, Moore missed a huge opportunity here. Had Oracle’s injury been sustained as Batgirl, the psychological effect on Batman could have been developed in great depth, as he’d have been responsible for placing her in harm’s way. As it was, the story only takes a toll on her father, and that's largely wrapped up by the end of the comic.

    The Joker's motive for all this mayhem, to break Jim Gordon and prove that a bad enough day can drive anyone insane, comes to nothing. In part, he's foiled by Batman, but really he loses because he's wrong: Gordon is strong enough to survive his ordeal.

    In the end, after everything, The Joker's comprehension of the human psyche is wrong. To me, this destroys the character’s credibility. The Joker has no superpowers, but madness is his expertise. For him to set to prove a point about insanity than fail, not due to Batman but rather his own assumptions, weakens him. Even after shooting Barbara, he ends the book less of a threat than he started.

    Now, let's be honest: one star is a harsh rating, and were this book not commonly called "The Greatest Batman Story Ever Told" I'd almost certainly have been more lenient. There are certainly excellent aspects to the writing and the art; aspects that would buy any other book three stars.

    But this isn't any other book. It's one of the most significant Batman stories written, having forever altered the continuity and status of several characters. It's Alan Moore's most famous Batman story.

    And it really isn't that good.

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