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71 of 75 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

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing execution and too short
I'd been recommended this by a lot of fans so felt I had to read it, and was looking forward to it with such great things said about it.
Unfortunately it really didn't live up to any of the hype. First of all, it's so short a story that it felt more like a 20 minute cartoon, with all the plot squeezed in and trimmed down, giving little time for any real...
Published on 13 Jun 2012 by Liam Nicholson


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like batman, 28 Dec 2013
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never saw this book when looked on site ,but wife got it for me.and was surprised at gift.look forward to reading it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance, 8 Dec 2013
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Absolutely seminal batman story, it's well presented in this format and very accessible I'd definitely read again (and I will)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 10 Sep 2013
One of the greatest comics I've ever read, but a little disturbing at times. I never understood the 'two lunatics in an asylum' joke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still not funny, 19 Jun 2013
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I read this when it was first published in 1988, and remember being disappointed by it, especially as the ending didn't do anything for me. Reading it again 25 years later, it still doesn't do anything. It is an excellent comic nonetheless, but other people have covered the same ground since, and with better jokes - see Ed Brubaker's Batman The Man Who Laughs TP (Joker), which I read just before rereading this. At the time, this was heralded by DC Comics as a major event, but the creators later said that they were `just' writing a Batman story, and that DC Comics decided to make it out to be something much bigger than they intended, in order to ride on the Watchmen bandwagon. Whether this was so, or just an excuse for not having another masterpiece, I have no idea. And of course, it might actually be a masterpiece, and it is me that is missing the joke...

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE

This is the origin story of the Joker, told in flashback, as he once more escapes from Arkham and goes on the rampage, shooting Barbara Gordon - putting her in the wheelchair, where she has remained until the New 52 - and kidnapping Commissioner Gordon in order to drive him mad, to prove that it isn't his (the Joker's) fault that he kills people, but that it could have happened, at random, to anyone... Batman of course disagrees, though the joke is (possibly) that his parents' death did in fact send him off the rails, but in a different direction to the Joker. We also see in the flashback, the man who originally put on the Red Hood, how he met the Bat-Man, and ended up in the state that we see him today: Nature versus Nurture, perhaps, or just strength of character showing through for one, but not the other.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the joker dude is sure a mean foe, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition) (Hardcover)
Top story from Alan Moore of Batmans old Joker enemy ' it's another Batman novel must have for me '
one of Batmans top five novels for me
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 16 Jun 2013
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It's an incredible comic, and the art work is great. If the Joker has to have a origin, this a great one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Why aren't you laughing?", 6 Jan 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition) (Hardcover)
Batman goes to Arkham Asylum on a fool's errand - to try and talk sense to the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker. But Joker's not there! He's escaped and plans on destroying the Gordon family. Will the Dark Knight save them? Or will Joker have the last laugh...

First off, this is an acknowledged classic and I utterly loved it when I read it several years ago. Re-reading it now, I can say this book most definitely holds up, this is a classic Batman book for a reason. What I forgot was how slim a book it is - it's 46 pages long! The other Bat-classics, Returns, Year One, Long Hallowe'en, they're all at least 100 pages, the last one I think is nearly 300 pages. 46 pages!

It's a testament to Alan Moore's skilful plotting and Brian Bolland's superb artwork and layouts then that the two of them are able to fit so much and develop it so well in such a limited frame. And here's the other surprise about this book, even though Alan Moore's name is on the book, Brian Bolland is far and away the real reason anyone, whether they like superhero comics or not, should pick up this book. The artwork is GORGEOUS!

Look at that iconic cover - Joker looking perfect, his pose fit snugly within the rectangular cover; it says so much and is such a beautiful cover. I've got a large print of this framed in my house I love it so much. Looking through the book though are so many other frames that are utterly fantastic - the Joker smiling a winning smile to the Carnival property owner; Joker's gun as it points at Barbara Gordon; the Heart of Darkness-esque shot of Joker sitting on a bumper car atop a pile of (fake) dead babies; the design of the red hood; the half page image of the Joker becoming the Joker for the first time; the first panel of the last page when Joker begins laughing at his own punch-line - and Batman joins in!

Yes this is an origin story of one of the most interesting villains in fiction ever created, but I choose to believe it isn't, that it's one version of Joker's origin, one of many swirling around the calliope of his deranged mind, in the same way that the ending could be seen as imaginary. I mean, could you see Batman laughing with the Joker? But I loved Moore's choice of ending the story on a joke, that was a master stroke.

Bolland writes the afterword and he makes an interesting point about Moore, that "The Killing Joke" is never mentioned among his great works (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, From Hell) and I think that, while Moore is a tremendous writer (especially in the 80s), the writing here is not his best. Sure he does a decent job but it's not his best work. No, the real reason this book is so revered is the artwork. Really, I can't praise it enough. And it's a damn shame that Bolland hasn't drawn another Batman comic since then, or any comic really, instead illustrating book covers exclusively.

Any Batman fan will already have this on their "to-read list" or else already own it, but I think comics fans who don't usually go in for superhero comics will find plenty to enjoy here too. This is the book that influences a lot of things that follow it: Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie (Jack Napier in the factory being chased by cops), the Batman games "Arkham Asylum" and "Arkham City" (see the fight sequences between Batman and Joker and tell me you don't recognise a few moves there), but most of all what happened to poor Barbara Gordon and how her character would develop over the years.

Also, if you can, buy the Deluxe Edition as it features the colour work of Bolland himself instead of John Higgins the original colourist. Bolland's approach is markedly different particularly in the flashback sequences of Joker-before-he-was-Joker. It also comes with an introduction by Tim Sale (artist of Haunted Knight, The Long Hallowe'en, and Dark Victory), and an afterword by Bolland along with a bonus strip written and drawn by Bolland of a murderous delusional fantasising about killing the Caped Crusader.

A wonderful achievement by two talented artists, taking an iconic figure in an iconic series and making him seem new. Nearly 30 years later and it still reads fresh. Even if you've read it before but it's been a few years since you last picked it up, go read it again, you'll find little bits you missed all those years ago, like me.

I've got one: so, a bat and a clown go to the fair and....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, sharp and dark, 19 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. G. P. Jenkins "Shun's Bridge" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition) (Hardcover)
I'm new to the graphic novel medium but after being very impressed with Heath Ledger's re-interpretation of The Joker, and finding out that this was given to him as a reference, I had to take a look.

It's very short, and compared to Watchmen it's nowhere near as rewarding a read, but in the time given it's a dark, twisted tale that boasts gorgeous drawings and colouring that offers something darker and deeper. I didn't really like the idea of having an origin story for the Joker - I prefer to leave the imagination to come up with ideas for why he might be the way he is - but it's definitely the best Batman/Joker story I've read and offers a sharp story that clearly defines the different views on life the two characters take.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing execution and too short, 13 Jun 2012
By 
Liam Nicholson (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition) (Hardcover)
I'd been recommended this by a lot of fans so felt I had to read it, and was looking forward to it with such great things said about it.
Unfortunately it really didn't live up to any of the hype. First of all, it's so short a story that it felt more like a 20 minute cartoon, with all the plot squeezed in and trimmed down, giving little time for any real development.

It was an interesting idea, to tackle the Joker's backstory, but it doesn't do him any justice. It tries to explain why he's gone insane, but doesnt seem fitting for his character, it's just very unbelievable. The same goes for the way he gets his 'joker face' too, it happens so fast and in such a ridiculous way that it left me waiting for something else to finish off the job.

I just can't see why its received so much acclaim, other than Moore worked on it, and people seem to think his writing is untouchable. The dialogue tries to be realistic, but nearly every character just stammers through and it feels jerky to read.

The art is well done, and really stresses the overall theme of insanity, but again, it's nothing particularly special either.

It's probably worth reading for bigger fans, just for the new perspective on the Joker, but don't be fooled by the hype.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Joker's origin story, 29 July 2014
By 
Kevin (Donegal, Ireland) - See all my reviews
Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the most interesting comic books I've read. Moore and Bolland gives us the events that made the Clown Prince of Crime. The relationship between Batman and Joker throughout this book is quite comparative. As Joker guesses Batman once had a really bad day, just like himself and as it turns out, they both involve the loss of loved ones. The flashbacks are key to understanding the story and actually succeed in making you feel sorry for Joker. However in the present, he is a complete monster, casually joking about Barbara after shooting her in the abdomen. It is one of the best Batman stories and solidified Joker's claim as Batman's greatest foe.
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Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition)
Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition) by Alan Moore (Hardcover - 25 April 2008)
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