Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only Joke Would Be Not To Buy This Exellent Graphic Novel., 17 Nov 2013
This review is from: Batman The Killing Joke Special Ed HC (Hardcover)
The Killing Joke is a very bleak & at time's quite a disturbing story by Alan Moore with illustrations by Brian Bolland that also has hints of a Greek Tragedy running through the story.

The Joker having escaped Arkham Asylum kidnaps Commissioner Jim Gordon who along with Batman he blames them both for his resurrection as the clown prince of crime The Joker.

Caging Gordon in the park & stripping him naked he trys to break his sanity reducing him to endure some traumatic emotional events.

Recently the Joker Paralysed Gordons Daughter Barbara whom was Batgirl at the time until the joker shot her in the back & unmasked her.

knowing her father is Commissioner Gordon he shows Gordon photos of his Daughters pain & suffering who is now a paraplegic due to the Jokers insane madness.

Meanwhile the novel delves into flashbacks of the Jokers past, His life as a engineer in a chemical plant & amateur stand up comic who is unfunny on stage & cant seem to catch a break.

We also learn he has a wife Jeannie who is pregnant & to to earn money for his soon to be new family he unwittingly helps two criminals walk through the plant to rob the card shop next door.

He is given a Red Hood to wear as the criminal's intend to frame the engineer for the robbery but has second thoughts during the planning stage when he hears the cops discuss the engineers wifes tragic death due to a household accident but is now unable to back out as the robbers force him to help them.

Soon a shootout with the cops insures lead by Commisioner Gordon as the criminals are shot & killed the engineer runs to escape but a confrontation with the Dark Knight Batman ensures.

The engineer escapes through a chemical hatch waste pipe were the chemicals inside bleach his skin white, Turn his Lips red & hair Green.

This disfigurement & the events of his wife & unborn childs death sends him insane becoming reborn as the Joker.

Batman is at his most violent in this story as he seeks to track down & rescue Commissioner Gordon, Confront the Joker & end his reign of terror on Gotham for good.

This story mirror images the two characters of Batman & The Joker two sides of the same coin of whom both have suffered at the fate of tragedy & death but as one took to fighting crime the other chose insanity, Crime & Terror.

The final confrontation with Batman & the Joker at the funhouse is tense & gripping as the Joker taunts the Dark Knight that "It takes just one day to change a mans life" as Batman must use his cunning skills to escape the Jokers deadly traps lurking about inside the funhouse.

After a final fight between Batman & the Joker, Batman eventually gains the upper hand managing to apprehend the Joker as Batman tells him that one day there confrontations may lead too one of them dying.

This is the only part of the graphic novel i find a little strange is Batman's offer to help the Joker to seek a path redemption but as the Joker tells Batman "It's to late for his redemption" prompting a joke from the Joker that actually makes Batmans hard exterior crack a smile.

This story has tender emotional moments that make the reader feel some emotion for the Joker character whom was at one time a good person who just couldn't get a break as a stand up comic & by doing one wrong thing to allow criminals to walkthrough the plant to gain access next door sets in motion a chain of events that would change his life forever.

At the heart of The Killing Joke it is layered with tragedy & hints at redemption which Alan Moore writes superbly well here.

Alan Moore is certainly one of the best Graphic novel writers to date & here pair's up with Brian Bolland on illustration duties whos exellent illustrated artwork brings to life the characters on the page.

Alan Moore writes not just a action packed & at times a violent Batman story but also adds an emotional greek tragedy element to the story too.

This is a highly recommended Graphic novel & showcases Alan Moore writing at it's very best.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Nov 2013 14:03:21 GMT
McRonson says:
Hi TL - I've never held onto my copies of The Killing Joke in the last 26 years (?) since it first came out. The idea that Batman would be feel sympathy towards someone who's not only murderously insane and has just crippled the daughter of his only friend never sat right with me.

Ditto for the Arkham Asylum GN by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. I'd have to re-read The Killing Joke again as I may finally have matured enuff now to appreciate it!

Also, the artwork here by Brian Bolland is AMAZING.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2013 14:08:30 GMT
Timelord007 says:
Yeah i agree no way Batman would go all Jeremy Kyle on the Joker i too found that a weak point in a otherwise exellent story.

Thanks for feedback.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2013 14:10:51 GMT
McRonson says:
I shall ask my friend Tommy to bring in his copy of the Killing Joke at the weekend so I can re-appraise it! Hopefully, I'll get more from it this time round.
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