Batman: The Killing Joke

A dark Batman graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland.

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Killing Joke finally out in Hahahard cover

  • Apr 3, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Blurbs on a cover always tell you that whatever book you're holding in your hands is better than the best, that you'd probably die if you'd put it back to where it came from, and more of that kind of nonsense.
In this case (in 1988) they had Tim Burton saying it's his favorite and that it's the first comic he ever loved. The poor fellow. Don't get me wrong: I adore Tim Burton. I love everything he did (after Batman), but there definitely are other great comic books out there.
But still, he is right in saying that this one counts among the best. That is, now it does. Now that Brian Bolland himself has redone the original coloring (by John Higgins). I love Brian Bolland. He is one of my all time favorite artists, a genius in black and white (which best brings out his fine and detailed pencils). And he did a great coloring job here, too. The colors are more pastel and thus bring back a balance to the book I missed in the 1988 paperback.
The original coloring looked as if Mr. Higgins had just bought himself a new set of colors and went for it. There was so much yellow, green and red dripping off the pages that it stopped me from entering the storyline. It looked seventies cheap. Also, to my taste it almost destroyed Brian's genius penciling.
Which is a shame, cause it's a masterpiece (yes, another one) written by Alan Moore. Not for kiddies. The Joker is too brutal for that here. A dark tale about insanity, true insanity, the ways of getting there and what it can lead to. The Joker is meaner and deeper than ever. Batman isn't weak, after all he's Batman, right?! But then, why is it so hard for him this time to deal with the creep? That is, can he?
As a small extra there is a bonus story of a few pages, a few sketches and instead of the tpb's first page with the splattering raindrops, you get a set of bloody eyes staring at you out of the dark.
Highly recommended. Buy this new version and enjoy Mr. Bolland's genius artwork and Mr. Moore's timeless tale.

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More Batman: The Killing Joke reviews
review by . November 11, 2008
The Killing Joke was a comic spawned shortly after the work of Frank Miller, and is probably the comic that established The Joker as one of the most important fictional villains of the 20th century. Batman had become a well thought out, complex character in recent years, primarily due to the work of skilled writer Frank Miller. Batman had been brought into a gritty, modern world of comic books, but I always felt that Miller's The Dark Knight Returns failed to bring the antagonistic Joker into a …
review by . July 13, 2008
"Batman: The Killing Joke" is one of the seminal Batman comics as well as one of the finest comics ever published. That's hardly a surprise considering that it was written by Alan Moore, the Shakespeare of comic books, who the year before had written "Watchmen," the greatest comic of all time. For "The Killing Joke," he teamed with artist Brian Bolland to craft a psychological look at what made the Joker, what makes him who he is now, and how the threads of Batman's fate are inextricably woven between …
review by . September 20, 2001
The team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon, who combined to hit a grand slam with the now seminal graphic novel, Watchman, regrouped shortly after that and produced this examination of Batman. It's shorter, but that's the only real negative here. Moore's take on the Joker emphasizes the cruel nature of the character, and he includes a plot development here, which some of the other reviewers give away but I can't let myself do, that is shocking in how it affects characters.When I glance at a page of …
About the reviewer
Andre Heeger ()
I love stories in all form. Painting, film, comics, books, music - anything. Also sculpture, more the classic kind from ROman, Greek onward until I need to read so I might understand what I am supposed … more
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Wiki

The plot revolves around a largely psychological battle between Batman and his longtime foe the Joker, who has escaped from Arkham Asylum. The Joker intends to drive Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon insane to prove that the most upstanding citizen is capable of going mad after having "one bad day". Along the way, the Joker has flashbacks to his early life, gradually explaining his possible origin.

 

The man who will become the Joker is an unnamed engineer who quits his job at a chemical company to become a stand-up comedian, only to fail miserably. Desperate to support his pregnant wife, Jeannie, he agrees to guide two criminals into the plant for a robbery. During the planning, the police inform him that his wife has died in a household accident involving an electric baby bottle heater. Grief-stricken, the engineer tries to withdraw from the plan, but the criminals strong-arm him into keeping his commitment to them.

At the plant, the criminals make him don a special mask to become the infamous Red Hood. Unknown to the engineer, this disguise is simply the criminals' scheme to implicate any accomplice as the mastermind to divert attention from themselves. Once inside, they almost immediately blunder into security personnel, and a violent shootout and chase ensues. The criminals are gunned down and the engineer finds himself confronted by Batman, who is investigating the disturbance.

Panicked, the engineer deliberately jumps into the ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 1401216676
ISBN-13: 978-1401216672
Editor: Karen Berger
Author: Alan Moore, Brian Bolland
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels, Superheroes
Publisher: DC Comics
Date Published: 1988
Format: Graphic Novel
First to Review

"Watch(bat)man Redux"
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