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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect synopsis of the Batman/Joker relationship
I'm not sure where this story is supposed to fit in the greater Batman legend, but it pretty well sums up the relationship between Batman and the Joker, as well as providing some insights into their origins.
As usual, the Joker has escaped and gone on the rampage, but this time he has decided to take revenge on all the key characters that he believes have caused his...
Published on 1 Mar. 2004 by C. Verspeak

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You're Killing Me!
Many plaudits have been thrown at Alan Moore's take on The Joker's backstory and I can see why. What Moore does well is to demonstrate that both Batman and The Joker have suffered similar tragedy but channelled their emotions differently. Where as Batman uses his parents death as a means to drive his desire to protect (made easier through the financial and loving support...
Published on 5 Oct. 2009 by Tubby

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5.0 out of 5 stars Something deep and unexpected, 29 Oct. 2013
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Before this I had red the Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told collection of short batman stories and so as I wanted to read more, this was the first thing I found from the net. And I was totally surprised. You can read reviews of the comic story itself elsewhere but I'll give you a little opinion: The art is aboslutely amazing, very detailed, considered and vibrant, Joker looks just totally sickening and some frames just make your heart stop for . And the story might be one of the best and deepest stories I have ever heard. It's simple but really toughtful as the story explains the motives of joker. Is he trying to prove that the humanity is a hopeless, sickening joke just to get attention and help, or is he gone totally insane, or something else? It's all about characters and their psychologies; what would you do after somebody you really cared about was suddenly taken away from you? How would you survive? In this way Batman's and Joker's characters mirror each other and make you think about the real people who try to prove that their lives are sad and worthless because the world is evil and incurable. In the ending of the Killing Joke there's one frame where Joker's shell starts to brake and for a second this evil character transforms into something sad, or even sympathetic. And it ends with Joker telling a joke that perfectly captures the relationship between batman and joker. And Batman understands.

The introduction by Tim Sale and the afterword by Brian Bolland are written with sincerity and are totally worth a read. It also includes a morally questionable short story (8 pages) written and drawn by Brian Bolland that is surprisingly good and effective short story, even though it's pretty shocking and off-putting (even more than the actual Killing Joke story) as a boy implies that he would be ready to tie up a little girl and do perverted things to her just to ruin the lives of her family. But it's still a pretty neat extra. The book also includes a double page with some sketches for the Killing Joke as well as for the extra short story and every picture includes a caption from the artist himself. It's good as long as it lasts: I would have liked to see even more character concepts and sketches, but I'm glad that they included some of them anyway.

The overall design of the book is black and beautiful, the iconic art on the dust jacket (which you'll really get only after reading the book)and the black-and-purple hard cover art are just as good as it gets. I think this might be the best comic I'll ever encounter. Or maybe that's going to be Watchmen after I get my hand on that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece every Batman fan can't miss, 27 July 2013
This Graphic Novel by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland is a true masterpiece. This is probably the most famous Joker story because it is the only one that actually shows an origin story to the Joker. There are other version of the Joker that we still don't know the background story too which is best kept that way but for a one off Im sure everybody would like to see an origins story to this amazing character. The artwork and storyline to this graphic novel is amazing and is worth getting. The Killing Joke was first released back in the 80s and up until now they have produced this Deluxe Editing which I have to say when I was holding it I felt pretty epic for some reason. The artwork has been re-master to look more modern.

The way the origin side to the Joker is shown is like flash backs. As the story goes on every now and again there will be one page that is a flashback which shows the characters personality and what he was up to before becoming the Joker. Its actually a sad story really and as the unknown character quits his job to become a stand up comedian but isn't very funny and fails at it. He then ends up struggling for money so ends up getting work and thats when the Red Hood comes into it. You will also see a close relationship between Batman and the Joker as Batman starts to wonder how much longer they will keep going at each other. You will also see the reason to why Barbra Gordon/Batwomen ends up a becoming Oracle. I won't say anymore because it's really worth reading yourself. If you haven't seen the Batman film from 1989 (Tim Burton) then I definitely recommend you seeing it because that kinda shows the origins story but with a few changes to the character. Also as well as the Joker story there is another mini story which I didn't quiet get at the end of the book. But I only really cared about the The Killing Joke story.

So to any Batman fans out there or anyone who's getting more into Batman, this graphic novel is definitely a must have. It will be one novel that will stand out more than many other Batman comics. This is also is my first Batman graphic novel that I have collect among with a bunch of other comics I have. It's just people like me weren't around in the years when some of the most iconic Batman stories came out so I have to collect the graphic novels. So if there are any other people out there beginning to collect Batman Graphic novels this is definitely one to get.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There are these two guys in a lunatic asylum..., 29 Feb. 2012
The Killing Joke has long been amongst the 'must have' comics for Batman fans and after finally buying it and reading it I understand why; it's quite simply perfect. The moodiness, darkness and otherwordliness of the Batman mythos is captured excellently, pitting the Dark Knight against the Clown Prince of Crime after another daring escape from Arkham Asylum. Sounds like a lot of 'em, right? Well, not exactly...
This time the battle becomes more personal for the Caped Crusader, as Comissioner Gordon and his daughter, Barbara, become entwined in the Joker's sick and twisted scheme to prove that all it takes is one bad day to drive a perfectly sane person mad. A dark pitch, but truly brilliant.
All of this happens as the Joker's origin is told through flashback, an origin story done well, something that doesn't demystify the character (the one thing that can truly kill a character for myself), no, this works incredibly well, the colour palette shifting to dreary sepia with one item picked out in dazzling colour, most effective of these being the red hood. Don't know what I'm getting at there? Read this book! Not least as it's been recoloured by Brian Bolland to better suit his original vision and contains a bonus story, written and drawn by Bolland which shows that it's not just Alan Moore who's the star writer in the duo - they're both outstanding.
I thoroughly recommend this book; it's one of the greats with a story, style and cast of characters to top Christopher Nolan's (fantastic) films.
Plus, it contains the best joke ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Clown Prince Of Crime Returns!!!, 30 Sept. 2011
WARNING!! Review May contain spoilers...

The Joker. If there were ever a villain was more popular then the hero, then it was The Joker. Watch The Dark Knight or Tim Burton's Batman film of 1989 and you'll understand. Whenever he appears, he always upstages old Bats by grabbing the best lines and best scenes and if you needed a reason why then look no further than The Killing Joke.

Written by the great Alan Moore, best known for V For Vendetta, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell and, best of all, Watchmen, Moore's name, like Frank Miller's, is synonymous with the Comic/Graphic Novel medium. The Killing Joke is a one shot centring on one version of The Joker's many origins (even The Joker himself claims to prefer having more than one). Moore writes the character superbly, capturing both Batman and Joker's voices perfectly. Of the two films mentioned previously, it's probably closer to Jack Nicholson's performance in Batman than Heath Ledger's in The Dark Knight (for a Joker closer to him, you'd probably be better suited to Joker¹, which is another brilliant novel centring on The Cown Prince Of Crime). Brian Bollard's art melds perfectly with Moore's idea that just One Bad Day is all that is required to push someone over the edge (This reissue had Bollard himself recolour the entire book, to make it look even better).

To tell you the story would be to ruin it, but it does involve Comissioner Gorden and his daughter, and the horror The Joker puts them through. If you are a fan of Batman, The Joker or just a fan of great comics, you should buy this book. After all... You'd Be CRAZY not to!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best Batman graphic novel so far, 4 July 2011
Firstly, let me just say that Alan Moore is, in my worthless opinion, one of the greatest writers (graphic novel or otherwise) ever. He has managed to span varied themes with seemingly (but in all probability not) little effort. However, please don't put this review down to some kind of pre-conceived bias (I'm also a big fan of Neil Gaiman but wasn't wasn't overwhlemed by "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?"). With the depth and scope of his other works it seemed almost like some commercial side-project for Moore to produce a Batman story (and bear in mind that I love Batman), but such snobbish assumptions were annihilated when I read this fantastic book.

The unusual thing about this story is that Batman is almost a supporting character, with this story instead giving substantial depth to the Joker. It goes into the Joker's origins in flashbacks throughout the story while running, what appears to be at first glance, a comparitively standard story of peril with the Caped Crusader coming to the rescue. But what the story actually does is make you understand why the Joker does what he does...


The plan that the Joker carries out against Commissioner Gordon is not simply a case of revenge or hatred. Other than the (often used) motivation for the Joker's (or in many cases, other literary or film psychopaths) actions, i.e. that of wanting to break the monotony in a boring world, the Joker genuinely seems (in a perverse way that only a sociapath could devise) to want to help him to expand his mind. The idea that who we are, our perceptions of reality & of right & wrong are solely determined by our minds and that we can break away from the pre-conceptions that are installed in us by society and simply enjoy the warm embrace of madness, of letting go, appears to be the motivation for his actions. By exposing Gordon to the kind of stimulae that would drive the average person insane, the Joker hopes to not only bring Gordon around to his point of view but to set him free.

After reading this novel I felt that I really understood the character of the Joker and this perception has heightened my enjoyment of many other stories in which he features, including the latest film. It has also confirmed to me that Alan Moore is a genius and my only regret is that he hasn't attempted any interpretations from this franchise. I could imagine Moore writing a very good Two-Face story (Duality, personal & public polarisation of right & wrong etc.).

In any case, I can't recommend this book enough. Even if you don't consider yourself a Batman or Alan Moore fan, this is a must-read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You can tell that it inspired the Dark Knight., 18 Feb. 2010
A Kid's Review
This book gives the Joker a new goal, to show that everyone in the world is like him. Showing that humanity has no will power what so ever, and that all it takes is one bad day for the sanest man to slip down the road of madness. To prove this he kidnaps respected public figure commissioner Gordon showing him naked pictures of his daughter who the Joker shot in the spine, disabling her. This story is interesting and engaging, provoking thoughts about the human condition. Also to accompany this main plotline is the Joker's back story. A tragic tail of love, and a mans desperate attempts to provide for his family. Another strong point of the book is the Joker constantly pointing out Batman's insanity, and the dialogue between the 2 characters is genius. The relationship between hero and villain is one of the main subjects of book. The fact that Batman effectively creates the Joker adds a nice plot twist. But I could go on for ever about the strong points of the story, so I'll go on to a thing that makes this book a great exception in the graphic novel world. The Artwork. Its brilliant, the combat is well drawn, the characters are given great facial expressions. Also Richard Starkings'es lettering in some panels is masterful. Brian Bolland's art excels brilliance, and Alan Moore proves he is the master is super hero story telling once again.

The short story at the end with Bolland as artist and writer is a nicely done as well, with original ideas, and a great character. .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Joker's origins revealed!? A shocking and quite disturbing comic and an iconic piece of Batman history!, 9 Feb. 2015
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If you didn't already know, this comic is supposedly the one that gives us The Joker's mysterious origin or the reason why he is so unstable.
The man who laughs escapes Arkham Asylum (again!) and decides to 'make a point' or example of Jim Gordon and his poor daughter Barbara, which of course, leads to the inevitable showdown with Batman.
Some of the scenes are quite shocking, especially involving Barbara and the torturous carnival trip Jim Gordon is then subjected to.
The artwork here is simply stunning, and having not seen the original I can only think this is an improvement - I only have the liner notes to attest to that mind!
Whilst the quality of this classic comic cannot be denied, I personally consider the price to be a bit much for how much pages you get. True, you get a foreward and an afterword and a few original sketches...but who really cares!? It's not worth the extra cost! The 10 page 'Innocent Guy' mini story, whilst excellently drawn, is a bit strange and pretty unspectacular story-wise and is again more of pointless extra in my opinion than anything that enhances your reading experience or the comic you've just read.
Still, nothing can deny this is a game-changing comic in the Batman world, and an essential comic for fans of the Clown Prince of Crime and of course The Dark Knight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The killing joke, Joker, 19 Mar. 2015
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So this piece of comic was my very first piece. In my opinion its the best place to start as it has an origin story about The Joker which I didn't like so much. That is the main reason why I didn't give this a 5 star rating. As I personally believe that it wasn't long enough and as dramatic as I intended it will be. In my opinion the best origin story of The Joker is the one in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movie which as we all know was potrayed by the late legend Heath Ledger. However other than the Origin story that disappointed me. (the origin story of the Joker was the main reason why I brought this comic) This comic is birilliant and it is a must buy. The reason for this is because we get to see The batman and The Joker's first encounter which was cool, as well as a great plot written by Mr Frank Miller, it is very engaging, but predictable. Also I loved the art work of this comic as well as the cover work of the hardcover by Brian Bolland. Defo my fav partners in crime for the batman comics. Hence overall The Killing Joke is amazing and should be a first buy for every Batman comics fan! Oh and the the joke at the end was so cool, it even made Batman laugh hahaha xD Enjoy!! Hahahahahahahaha! Why so serious Bats?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Artwork, 14 Sept. 2009
Gregor (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This 'Deluxe Edition' was the first time I'd read this famous Batman story and I enjoyed it a lot. Its surprisingly short at only 46 pages, and this obviously restricts the possible complexity of the story, but I think it packs depth and information into its short length. Its about the origin of the Joker and also about the relationship and parallels between him and Batman. Single events impacted and defined both their lives but its about how you react to grief and adversity that distinguishes people. "So maybe ordinary people don't always crack."

The artwork by Brian Bolland is really impressive and its a real shame that he and Alan Moore didn't do more work together. Scenes and characters are beautifully portrayed in great detail but there is real taste and restraint as well. I don't know about the original colour scheme but I think the re-colouring here suits the sombre mood of the story very well. (Surely its a good thing to be able to see how the artist originally fully envisioned the artwork ?)
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5.0 out of 5 stars See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum..., 19 Nov. 2014
When you think of Batman one of the first villains, if not THE first, that springs to mind is The Joker. It’s fair to say, he and Batman have history. The Killing Joke, in my opinion, is their greatest encounter.

Reading through all the other reviews, The Killing Joke should be applauded for being thought-provoking. I’ve read several different opinions on what’s going down, each as interesting as the last. The Killing Joke is not a clear romp from A to B. It’s dark and muddy.

My opinion is that The Joker is trying to prove a hypothesis that, like him, anyone can be twisted given the right circumstances. The test subject for this hypothesis is Commissioner Gordon, who is subjected to some extreme trauma. Batman, who has used his own circumstances as empowerment, defeats The Joker and disproves the hypothesis.

The Killing Joke is a seminal Batman tale, helping to better define both Batman and The Joker. It is dark and thought-provoking. Undoubtedly 5/5 Stars.
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Batman: The Killing Joke (Batman Beyond (DC Comics))
Batman: The Killing Joke (Batman Beyond (DC Comics)) by Alan Moore (Paperback - Mar. 1988)
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