Review – Batman: The Killing Joke

IMG_8448I’ve heard a lot about Batman: The Killing Joke. Mainly on Twitter, where the opinions are so polarising and mixed that some people have really strong opinions about the appropriateness of the actions taken by one of the characters in the comic. It was because of this reaction and chatter about it in general that it made me want to read it more.

At first I was hesitant to pick this comic up in hard back. That sounds so silly to read that statement back but I like everything to sit in the book shelf a certain way.After reading through and appreciating every facet of the comic and artwork, I can truly say that there are some comics that you just need to own in hard back (and I promise never to snub another comic again!).

After reading Batman: The Killing Joke and observing the gorgeous artwork in each comic panel, it’s so worthy of sitting on the shelf in hard back format.  The detail even in the background of each frame is so intricate and contributes to the story-telling in such a massive way, it took me a few reads to really take that all in.

killingjoke_headerThe story itself is fantastic and one I really enjoyed.

Punctuated by The Joker’s desire to prove his point, Batman is racing against the clock after discovering the deranged lunatic has escaped again from Arkham Asylum.

We see some flashbacks to The Joker’s early life explaining why he became the way he did, we see the desire of the the police commissioner to always try and do the right thing — even when the subject matter is so close to home and personal. We also see Batman struggle with restraint when The Joker attempts to prove his point with the two people closest in Batman’s life. Another thing to note – Batman: The Killing Joke deals with some adult themes (violence etc.) so I would air on the side of caution if you are particularly sensitive to these type of matters.

I adore Alan Moore’s writing. I am not sure if it’s because The Watchmen was the first comic I read in my adult life (& of course, loved) so therefore I have this sense of loyalty to him as a writer, or if it’s because he is such a brilliant writer he has the ability to transport readers completely out of their environment and suck them into the story.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing of this comic can be (at times) twisted and shocking, but that’s the beauty of words isn’t it? They can make us feel something and provoke emotions that we didn’t know was possible with just words on a page.

Batman: The Killing Joke, is no different in provoking those emotions. The anger I felt toward The Joker mid-way through the comic was incredible. I was almost begging Batman to do something – anything to exact revenge. Its a short read, but a good binge read and one I definitely urge you to check it out. It’s a good time to get in before the animated movie is released. I have put the trailer below for your viewing pleasure.

Are there any comics you’d recommend I read? Let me know in the comments or via my Twitter, @remotetragic. 

Photos collected from myself and geeknation.com
Video from DC Entertainment YouTube

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