Batman : The Killing Joke, Hardback

Batman : The Killing Joke Hardback

3.5 out of 5 (29 ratings)


Written by Alan Moore & Brian Bolland Art and cover by Brian Bolland The classic Batman tale by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland returns in an all-new special edition!

This edition - celebrating the 20th anniversary of the landmark work - features all-new coloring by Bolland, and includes the story "An Innocent Guy," previously featured in BATMAN: BLACK AND WHITE!

Advance-solicited; on sale March 19


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 64 pages, colour illustrations
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Superheroes
  • ISBN: 9781401216672



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Showing 1 - 5 of 29 reviews.

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If this graphic novel is anything (and I suppose it is many things), it is "stark." That can be used to describe both the art and the overall aesthetic, but also that <i>The Killing Joke</i> is quite starkly what it is, and people will either love it or hate it for that as they will. It cannot be denied that this story is a classic and a pivotal moment in DC continuity, but those are more facts about the way people responded to the tale, both as comic book readers and as comic book writers and artists picking up the mythos after Moore.This is a story about one day (two, if one counts the day of the Joker's origin which parallels the main narrative) and three men: Batman, Joker, and Commissioner Gordon. Everything else--including the female characters, unfortunately--is simply prop dressing for the horrible moment these three must endure. This is the moment which will ultimately, in the hands of writers who are not Alan Moore, turn Batgirl into Oracle, one of the most inspiringly empowered heroines in the DC universe, but here Barbara's being crippled and photographed naked are simply fairly cheap vehicles for adding to her dad's angst.Still, Moore brings all his talent to rendering that moment as starkly and as powerfully as he can, and it is easily understandable why those who love this title think it is so great. Moore strips everything else away until one is left with nothing but pure catharsis. (The problem is that if one isn't interested in that particular type of catharsis, there's nothing left to keep one's interest.) The Joker is convinced that it only takes one bad day to make someone insane, and Moore is as intent on seeing the experiment through to the end as is his villain.

Review by

My husband gave me <i>Batman: The Killing Joke</i> as required reading before we went to see Dark Knight. I am thankful for the introduction to this version of the Joker before seeing him on the screen.Without firsthand knowledge, I can only assume that this is a terrific portrayal of criminal insanity. It made me cringe and sent shivers up my spine, while showing me a much more devastating clash between good and evil than Jack Nicholson's Joker had been able to do for me.

Review by

Wow... just wow! This short story was recently updated, with Brian Bolland recoloring (and apparently sketching in a few new details) the original comic. This is a Joker-origin story, though as the Joker himself admits, he doesn't remember his own past well. In his words, "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!" The short summary is that the Joker escapes from Arkham, only to have Batman discover he's missing when he goes to try and offer something resembling a peace treaty. This escape isn't about crime or money... it's about proving a point. One bad day is all it takes to go from being an average person to a maniac or even a masked vigilante. Before the Joker is through, two of Batman's closest friends and allies will have had their lives changed forever.Like I said before, the story is brief and to the point. Between moments of the story we see flashes of the Joker's past, of what he did to support himself and how he had his first run-in with Batman. Bolland has washed out these flashbacks, leaving shades of red to stand out, tying in nicely with the Joker's first criminal persona. I guess some people thought the ending was ambiguous... it does end with a joke, and I like how the moment was shared between the two of them. I suppose if you were to take away the text in the box, it would look a different way, but I didn't really find it confusing.There! That's fairly spoiler-free! I did enjoy the Joker's lines about a coffee-table edition... being a librarian myself, I hope to never be in the same situation. :PFor a little added oomph, Brian Bolland included his short story "An Innocent Guy." I enjoyed the giant typewriter.

Review by

One of the weakest things I've read by Moore. Unsatisfying, badly scripted, and essentially ending-free, the main problem is that it just doesn't *work*.

Review by

It took me ages to finally get this book. It was somehow consistently out of print, but thanks to the wonders of amazon marketplace, I was finally able to get my hands on a copy. And I am glad I did.There's this constant warring in my chest about who I love more - Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore. At the end of the day it'll always be Neil, I suspect, but every time I read something by Alan Moore it feels like - I don't know, like a punch into my stomach that leaves me breathless, except with less physical pain. He's just so good. (I reread Watchmen last weekend and yeah. That's what I'm talking about.) But since I have more than enough love to give, I don't have to decide, I just can enjoy myself and love them both.Although I had read a bit about the book before and thus should have known what to expect, I was quite shocked. It was very brutal and cruel, and mostly just altogether unexpected, I think that's the thing. What happened to the Gordon's was extremely hard for me to read, but since that's how it should be I'm not complaining.I love the Joker's theory about the "one bad day" one has to have, one thing that could change the balance. I also love how his backstory is still left unsure, and how his theory is challenged both by Batman and Gordon. (Who I love. With every single Batman thing I read or watch, I fall more and more in love with Jim Gordon.) And I loved the ending. It's absolutely brilliant.I always feel odd talking about the art of a comic, because I don't feel qualified to judge (although I think I would notice if the artwork was bad). But Brian Bollands work is amazing to look at.So yeah, this was definitely worth waiting for.

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