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4.6 out of 5 stars
314
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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VINE VOICEon 1 March 2004
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 suffering - the Gordons and Batman.
His scheme is diabolical - this is one of the ugliest Batman stories I have ever read - and violent. His method of revenge is really sickening and will probably leave you hoping for some severe punishment to be delivered by the end of the book.
And it is - Batman is at his most savage when he catches up with Joker. But the flashbacks to the Joker's past, beautifully rendered, may in turn have you feeling some sympathy for a man who just wanted to take care of his family and ended up disfigured and insane.
This book is about twisted fate and redemption. Both Batman and the Joker are victims of events beyond their control and now must live with the consequences.
Buy this for great art and one of the most thought-provoking stories in comics.
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on 24 May 2015
THE essential Batman classic. Theres a reason this book is so popular among just about everyone. compelling, gripping, thought provoking and disturbing all at the same time this is a psychological thriller that will leave you thinking long after you've shut the book. After reading some of the very very few negative reviews for this book I should add that this book does have a mature theme and may not be the best book for children as it may and going by the reviews obviously has upset them. This is the book that effectively shaped the Joker for the future. we all know hes been a Murdering Mad Man in the past but this is the first proper look we get inside his head. Not only do we see him at his best here but also at his worst as he commits what could be deemed as his first proper DC universe altering atrocity (But certainly not his last).
The story is about the Joker trying to prove that its not just him that's crazy he wants to prove that the world is crazy and in comparison hes normal and its the rest of us that are warped. he goes about this by capturing the sanest and grounded person he can think of, Commissioner Gordon, and then proceeds to do unthinkable things to show that all it takes is one really bad day for even the most rational man to engulfed by insanity.
The characters are all at there strongest The Joker especially, for obvious reasons this is the book that Mark Hamill used to base his Joker persona around for the Batman: Animated Series. Jokers never been so lovable one minute then disgusting the next hes definitely at his best here and alot stronger than he is in the New 52 as he doesn't need to be "Gored up" to be scary it just comes naturally with his psychosis in this book. This book also marks the death of the original Batgirl and the birth of Oracle and the way its done is great just a few frames before Barbara Gordon is confronted by the joker you get the real impression of happiness in her eyes and then the tone changes completely and chillingly. I could analyse all the characters but there's little point, this book is about the joker he is the main character he is the hero of the book and the villain stealing the show from all angles.
The Art is beautifully detailed and presented, with solid drawings and practical use of colourings and shading to set the tone just right all the way throughout. I especially liked the detail to the eyes its done so well you can tell exactly what the characters thinking and feeling without even having to read the accompanying words.
No other book deserves five stars more, this is and always will be a classic and up to this date no writer has come anywhere close to a joker story matching it. You need this book!!
Contains Batman: The Killing Joke #1 and Batman: Black and White #4
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 May 2016
"The Killing Joke" - written by Alan Moore, and illustrated by Brian Bolland - is a very good graphic novel. This is the deluxe edition, in hardback, with an introduction and afterword, as well as a short 'bonus' story, and some early concept art. The main story is only 46 pages in length - and was originally published as a one-shot comic in 1988. This edition aims to present "The Killing Joke" in the best possible way, so fans can appreciate it as much as possible.

The story focuses on the Joker, and Moore sought to offer an 'origin tale' for this villain, depicting him as a tragic character. This man is shown to have experienced 'one really bad day' - and it broke his psyche. And so, on becoming the Joker, he now believes that only a thin line separates the sane from the insane ... and that, if subjected to an horrific ordeal, then even the most normal of men will break. With this in mind, the Joker kidnaps police commissioner Gordon - and proceeds to explain to Gordon that he's violated and mutilated his daughter Barbara - so as to cause Gordon to 'break'. It is within this plot that Batman gets involved, to try and put an end to the Joker's plans. What's really interesting is the way Batman seeks to end the ongoing feud between the two of them, offering help and support (rehabilitation), but - unfortunately - the Joker is just too far gone ...

This is a very dark and violent story - intended for adults. It's well-written, and the art work is superb. It's interesting to read the backstory of the Joker, and how he became the Clown Prince of Crime. There is not a lot of Batman in this story ... and, as a graphic novel, it's a rather short book. I think the material could have been further developed and expanded. Nonetheless, it's a thoroughly entertaining read.
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on 31 October 2002
As someone rediscovering comics after some 20 years out, this book is something of a revelation. A literate script and beautifully illustrated, this is a rewarding, sophistocated read. Batman seems to be the only 'golden age' superhero who lends himself to tales as dark as this - my other favourite is Year One by Frank Miller. But this is the better book, and I'd recommend it to anyone curious about graphic novels but wary of their relative (to paperback novels) high price. Of course, this is reasonably priced, and fairly short - but it's actually all the better for it. Give me a taught, tense story over the flab that fills many of the longer graphic novels every time!
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on 23 April 2016
I bought this as an e-edition to replace my soft cover version which I lost several years ago. The work is justifiably renowned and acknowledged as a classic, and the transition to Kindle format does full justice to the novel.
Others will provide thorough and more articulate reviews of the story, but suffice it to say that this transformed my view of what heights (or depths) a Batman story could achieve, and introduced me to a darker, more disturbing side to the Dark Knight, as well as portraying the Joker as truly terrifying and evil, just as he had been created, back in 1940, before the puritanical era of the Comics Code enforced a sweet, saccharin coating to American comic books (I was a fanatical DC reader in the 60's).
Alan Moore's name alone is the only recommendation you need, and I think is not unreasonable to suggest that "The Killing Joke" paved the way for Heath Ledger's bravura depiction of a truly psychotic Joker.
If you read only one Batman graphic novel in your lifetime, make it this one.
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on 10 June 2016
If you, like me, can relate more to the Joker than to Batman, then this comic is for you.

It’s a hardback re-print of the famous 1988 comic which offers a background of the Joker’s story, from his time as a failed comedian who’s trying to support his pregnant wife. The content is graphic (excuse the pun) and isn’t your typical comic book; there are some very dark parts of this story that will unnerve even the most regular of readers (the photographer image on the cover relates to the pictures Joker takes of Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, whom he’s paralysed with a bullet to the spine, and then poses her naked in front of her captive Father in a bid to drive him insane). See, dark stuff.

It’s based almost entirely on the infamous Joker quote that “one bad day” is all it takes to drive a person crazy and notes Joker’s own descend into madness through a series of upsetting circumstances over a short period of time. Essential reading for Joker and Batman fans alike.
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on 12 May 2016
I've been a fan of Batman my whole life, but only seriously started to be interested in the comics from about 1988. I can still recall stopping in our local book store on the way home from school and buying this when it was released; and it's stuck with me ever since. As a long time fan of Bolland's work on Judge Dredd I was desperate to see what he could do with The Dark Knight; I wasn't disappointed. The Joker is such a multi-faceted character it's fascinating to consider how similar he and Batman actually are, and this story explores that relationship brilliantly.

It's a fantastic story, excellently written and illustrated by two masters of the craft, with so many talking points it's impossible to do The Killing Joke justice in a review like this. If you've never read a Batman comic and the upcoming DC Universe movies has sparked your interest then start here; so much of what is crucial to the personalities of both Batman and the Joker is here it's a perfect starting point.

So a bona fide classic that is still as brilliant today as it was in 1988.
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on 18 December 2015
I got this for my boyfriend as he's a huge geek. He love it. Apparently it's a really highly regarded comic and he was so excited when he received it that he lost all ability to communicate while he read it
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on 9 February 2015
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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on 21 December 2011
I ordered this present for my sister for Christmas as i have heard wonderful things about the comic and i believe it will be right up her alley. When the product arrived i had a sneak peek inside and instantly read the whole thing cover to cover. It has to be Alan Moores darkest comic and to finally hear how the Joker was born (although it is admittedly ambiguous) had me captivated.
Fantastic artwork and dark thrills are going to make this a winner on Christmas day, i know it. Only problem... I was sorely tempted to keep it for myself!
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