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Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke
By Alan Moore, Brian Bolland

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Product Description

One of the most famous Batman stories of all time is offered for the first time in hardcover in this special twentieth-anniversary edition.

This is the unforgettable that forever changed Batman's world, adding a new element of darkness with its unflinching portrayal of The Joker's twisted psyche.

Writer Alan Moore, acclaimed author of WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA, offers his take on the disturbing relationship between The Dark Knight and his greatest foe. The Clown Prince of Crime has never been more ruthless than in this brutal tale.

This special new edition also includes a story written and exquisitely illustrated by Brian Bolland.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #2172 in Books
  • Published on: 2008-03-19
  • Released on: 2008-03-19
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 64 pages


  • ISBN13: 9781401216672
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Editorial Reviews Review
The Killing Joke, one of my favorite Batman stories ever, stirred a bit of controversy because the story involves the Joker brutally, pointlessly shooting Commissioner Gordon's daughter in the spine. This is a no-holds-barred take on a truly insane criminal mind, masterfully written by British comics writer Alan Moore. The art by Brian Bolland is so appealing that his depiction of the Joker became a standard and was imitated by many artists to follow.

From School Library Journal
This classic, infamous story in the Batman saga has been recolored with a more effectively cooler palette and set into context with an introduction and an afterword. Escaped from Arkham Asylum, villain deluxe Joker shoots Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon as part of his plan to drive her police commissioner father insane. Intending to prove that anyone can go mad after "one bad day" as he describes in his putative origin story, the Joker also kidnaps and torments Commissioner Gordon. But Gordon remains sane, and Batman recaptures the Joker—the two actually share a laugh at the ambiguous ending. With Barbara Gordon now a paraplegic, the story stands as a chilling profile of madness. The Killing Joke provoked fury among many readers who lamented the disposal of Barbara Gordon as a mere pawn to testosterone; yet Gordon reinvents herself later as superinfohacker Oracle, poster girl for disability empowerment (see Birds of Prey, LJ 7/08). A bonus story at the end paints the quieter, equally chilling madness of a Batman fan fantasizing about killing the superhero—a perfect foil for the publicly gaudy Joker. For adult collections.—M.C.
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Customer Reviews

One REALLY bad day.5
Watch Video Here: "The Killing Joke" is widely considered to be the be-all-end-all of Joker stories, so what better way to pay homage to the greatest comic book villain of all time near the eve of his re-unveiling in The Dark Knight than by reviewing his definitive story? This is the comic that (sort of) revealed the origin of The Clown Prince of Crime, humanizing him to an extent never before, and truly examined -with pictures rather than words- the antagonistic symbiosis that exists between Joker and his arch nemesis, The Batman. A beloved Gotham regular will never be the same and another will be put through hell before this story is done. Oh, and there are creepy little henchmidgets as well. Gotta love the henchmidgets.

The art is outstanding, the storytelling superb, and the character examinations are vital to understanding both combatants. The "one bad day" premise highlights the "two sides of the same coin" argument that Batman and Joker are in fact more alike than dissimilar. As if Bruce Wayne took a right when his arch-nemesis took a left. The controversial ending leaves little doubt as to Alan Moore's take on the debate, and I like it like that. While many critics have strongly resisted both the comparison and the somewhat sympathetic look at The Joker's past, the truth is that every great character -villain or hero- needs that sort of intricacy to their story to remain relevant in the world of modern fiction. Comics are no longer for children and adults realize that the world is seldom black and white, that all monsters were once men, and that unspeakable darkness and insanity resides deep inside each human mind. It can take years of suffering to bring them out or it can take one bad day. One bad day could ruin your very existence and everything you were; it's a frightening reality that cannot be overlooked while reading this comic. The more the reader is willing to ponder the ideas put forth by this story, the more you are likely to appreciate "The Killing Joke". An outstanding achievement in storytelling any way you look at it.

I was tempted to knock this down to four stars because with this book you are buying a single issue of a comic for what you could easily pay for a full trade paperback or graphic novel of equal quality like, say, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, which is so good it may very well cure cancer (can you prove it doesn't?). But the fact is no Batman fan should be without "The Killing Joke" and I would rather stick to reviewing based on quality rather than haggling over price. The bonus story at the end (written and illustrated by TKJ artist Brian Bolland) is a killer little mini-comic that serves as a perfect companion piece to the main story and definitely sweetens the pot for those wondering if they should get this hardcover edition. "The Killing Joke" is an absolute mindless must-have for fans of the comic book medium and even more so if you claim to be a follower of The Caped Crusader or his twisted nemesis. End of story.

Killing Joke finally out in Hahahard cover5
Blurbs on a cover always tell you that whatever book you're holding in your hands is better than the best, that you'd probably die if you'd put it back to where it came from, and more of that kind of nonsense.
In this case (in 1988) they had Tim Burton saying it's his favorite and that it's the first comic he ever loved. The poor fellow. Don't get me wrong: I adore Tim Burton. I love everything he did (after Batman), but there definitely are other great comic books out there.
But still, he is right in saying that this one counts among the best. That is, now it does. Now that Brian Bolland himself has redone the original coloring (by John Higgins). I love Brian Bolland. He is one of my all time favorite artists, a genius in black and white (which best brings out his fine and detailed pencils). And he did a great coloring job here, too. The colors are more pastel and thus bring back a balance to the book I missed in the 1988 paperback.
The original coloring looked as if Mr. Higgins had just bought himself a new set of colors and went for it. There was so much yellow, green and red dripping off the pages that it stopped me from entering the storyline. It looked seventies cheap. Also, to my taste it almost destroyed Brian's genius penciling.
Which is a shame, cause it's a masterpiece (yes, another one) written by Alan Moore. Not for kiddies. The Joker is too brutal for that here. A dark tale about insanity, true insanity, the ways of getting there and what it can lead to. The Joker is meaner and deeper than ever. Batman isn't weak, after all he's Batman, right?! But then, why is it so hard for him this time to deal with the creep? That is, can he?
As a small extra there is a bonus story of a few pages, a few sketches and instead of the tpb's first page with the splattering raindrops, you get a set of bloody eyes staring at you out of the dark.
Highly recommended. Buy this new version and enjoy Mr. Bolland's genius artwork and Mr. Moore's timeless tale.

Batman: The Killing Joke defines Batman's and Joker's bond!5
Batman: The Killing Joke is the greatest story ever told about the origin of The Joker. What make this story so brilliant is how Batman, by accident, created his greatest foe. The art in this story is perhaps Brian Bolland's greatest achievement. (No one can draw The Joker better than Bolland. ex: The cover of the Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told). Alan Moore delivers a dark story about Batman and his relationship with the Joker. From the first page when Batman visits The Joker at Arkham Asylum on a dark stormy night, to exactly 24 hours later when Batman confronts The Joker at an abandon carnival is brillantly told by Moore in the format of The Dark Knight tradition. I thought it was brillant to begin and end this story with the same panel (rain falling on the ground) which shows no matter what fates happen to everyone else, Batman and The Joker will always end up where they started..."There were once Two men in a lunatic asylum..." This one-shot format for mature readers is also exceptional how it can merge two stories (Joker's origin and Batman's hunt for him) together. For example, When the Joker's hand is outstreched toward's the clown in fortune teller machine, the panel before shows The Joker reaching for his wife, with the same expression on her face...while his expression is reflected in the backround. It is almost as if he were having a flashback to his orgin. It is also interesting to see Batman confront The Joker and offer to help him, despite all The Joker has done. On the panel where The Joker glances at Batman before he says no to Batman's help is very scary in the fact that The Joker is actually considering to accept help from Batman. I guess the best example of Batman's and The Joker's relationship is on the back cover, with both of them on the same playing card...Forever together and forever different sides of the same coin...