Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Illustrated by Brian Bolland ~Goodreads~
Published by DC Comics 2008 (first published 1988)
Hardback edition 64 pages ~Book Depository~
Sam sent me this to read because he’s a babe.
*Sam now has a blog of his own right here*
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 hopes of breaking the man.
But refusing to give up, Gordon maintains his sanity with the help of Batman in an effort to beset the madman.
After seeing this graphic novel in my Amazon suggestions, I immediately asked my boyfriend if he had read it and unsurprisingly he had and noted that its one of his favourites. So with that he gives me a copy to read- yay! I was immediately attracted to the artwork, because it is STUNNING and Brian Bolland captures the Joker in a way that fits my idea of what he looks like perfectly.
Batman: The Killing Joke is a dark tale that predominately features the Joker. It seems that his goal is to prove the point that anyone can go insane, and ultimately that himself and the Batman aren’t that different from each other at all who both suffer irreparable damage due to the reason of life’s cruel outcomes.
We get to see the backstory of the Joker and how at one point in this life he was a normal guy trying to make a career in entertainment as being a comedian- how fitting. We see his struggles of trying to keep himself, and his pregnant girlfriend from being on the streets and its quite a shocking thing to see the Joker the vulnerable state that he was which can happen to anyone. I think this flashback proves his point that anyone can lead a normal life and suddenly from a few actions, their lives can turn upside down. However, with such a normal background comes speculation as to whether these flashbacks were an illusion he created to gain sympathy- and so is he the homicidal loon I have always thought him to be? I’m not sure if I have an answer for that and I’m not sure I want to know either because I love that he’s a complete lunatic.
This is my first “Batman” graphic novel I have read, and I’m glad he wasn’t the dominant character. I like the characterisation of him being this dark, troubled hero who isn’t a complete angel and I understand the appeal it has to fans of him not being a perfect being because he is merely an imperfect human, and not a hero with superpowers like Superman.
On another note the Barbra Gordon scene was very intense and the Jokers commentary was sickly hilarious!
With the ending I didn’t quite know what to think, it left me quite disturbed and bewildered and perhaps I had missed something in what it all meant. My boyfriend shared some light on what the end scene meant for the Joker and Batman and it came as a surprise.
I loved the artwork and Alan Moore’s writing in this graphic novel, and I hope to read more from the Batman universe and DC comics as a whole. Its all new to me but I know I’m going to enjoy them. So if you have any recommendations for me that would be awesome!