Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke

by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland

Hardcover(Deluxe Edition)

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New York Times best-seller

Presented for the first time with stark, stunning new coloring by Bolland, Batman: The Killing Joke is Alan Moore's unforgettable meditation on the razor-thin line between sanity and insanity, heroism and villainy, comedy and tragedy.
According to the grinning engine of madness and mayhem known as The Joker, that's all that separates the sane from the psychotic. Freed once again from the confines of Arkham Asylum, he's out to prove his deranged point. And he's going to use Gotham City's top cop, Commissioner Jim Gordon, and his brilliant and beautiful daughter Barbara to do it.

Now Batman must race to stop his archnemesis before his reign of terror claims two of the Dark Knight's closest friends. Can he finally put an end to the cycle of bloodlust and lunacy that links these two iconic foes before it leads to its fatal conclusion? And as the horrifying origin of the Clown Prince of Crime is finally revealed, will the thin line that separates Batman's nobility and The Joker's insanity snap once and for all?

Legendary writer Alan Moore redefined the super-hero with Watchmen and V for Vendetta. In Batman: The Killing Joke, he takes on the origin of comics' greatest super-villain, The Joker—and changes Batman's world forever.

Stunningly illustrated, Batman: The Killing Joke, The Deluxe Edition has been lushly re-colored by artist Brian Bolland, presenting his original vision of this modern classic for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401216672
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication date: 03/19/2008
Series: Batman Series
Edition description: Deluxe Edition
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,451
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 16 - 17 Years

About the Author

Alan Moore is perhaps the most acclaimed writer in the graphic story medium, having garnered countless awards for works such as Watchmen, V or VendettaFrom HellMiracleman and Swamp Thing. He is also the mastermind behind the America’s Best Comics line, through which he has created (along with many talented illustrators) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Tom Strong, Tomorrow Stories and Top 10. As one of the medium’s most important innovators since the early 1980s, Moore has influenced an entire generation of comics creators, and his work continues to inspire an ever-growing audience. Moore resides in central England.

After making his professional debut in 1975, artist Brian Bolland perfected his clean-line style and meticulous attention to detail on a series of popular strips for the British comics magazine 2000 AD, most notably its signature feature Judge Dredd. He went on to illustrate the 12-issue maxiseries Camelot 3000 and the Alan Moore-written graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke for DC before shifting his focus to work almost exclusively on cover illustrations. Since then, he has earned a reputation as one of the best cover artists in the industry, and his elegantly composed and beautifully rendered pieces have graced a host of titles, including Animal Man, Batman, The Flash, The Invisibles, Wonder Woman and many more.

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Batman: The Killing Joke 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 160 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It stands out as one of the most amazing Joker stories in the DC Universe. Alan Moore has created one of the most phenomenal and chilling contributions to the legacy of Batman's archnemesis, creating what may be the most subscribable backstories for the villain. The horrific, mesmerizing sequence in the fun house, as Gordon's sanity is put to the excruciating test, is arguably one of The Clown Prince of Crime's greatest transgressions against humanity. Buy it.
Jayden-Raynor More than 1 year ago
Creepy and thrilling, this is the ultimate in comic book stories. It explores the Joker's psyche in a truly fascinating way and, in his attempt to turn Commissioner Gordon as crazy as himself, unravels the timeless villain in a way never done before.
regan-jokeria More than 1 year ago
probably one of the best graphic novels i've ever read. the ending had me guessing and this is now in my permanent library. i recomend it for any Batman fan, or anyone looking for a good read.
mcrobsession More than 1 year ago
great book, i recommend for any batman/joker fan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic. Dark. Chilling. I have new respects for the Joker. Also, this is the graphic novel that Cristopher Nolan gave to Heath Ledger as inspiration for th Joker in 'The Dark Knight'. And you can take that to the bank.
QueenAlchemy More than 1 year ago
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk. This is one of my favorite Batman stories. I think that most notable thing about this piece is that it includes the Joker's origin story. The past that made him who he is. One bad day transformed him into The Joker. We get a small glimpse of what he was like before that transformation. I love how dark the story is. It's gritty, intense, unexpected, unsettling, and really quite tragic in Barbara Gordon's case. I think that the darker aspect makes this Batman read extremely memorable. In the end, Batman and the Joker share a laugh and it just sets a certain ambiance to the overall story. It's great. I can't express how much I loved this! Alan Moore is brilliant and Brian Bolland knows exactly how to set the mood with his gorgeous illustrations. This is a must-read for all Batman fans!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a realy big b man fan and this is the best this is a must read
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you get nothing else out of reading this book, you will get this: The Joker is a sick, disturbed, and evil monster. The things he does to Barbra Gordon, most wouldn't wish on Hitler. He paralyzes Babs, rapes her, forces her dad (who has been caged, stripped naked, and beaten by the Joker's midget henchmen in an old abandoned carnival) to look at photos of the ordeal to drive him insane. All of this so he can prove that anyone can go crazy if they have one bad day (to which we are showed is the reason why he became the Joker). Towards the end of the book, I wanted the Joker dead. This is well written and one of the better Batman stories I've read. The only reason it gets four stars is that it's pretty short and very graphic. Yet, if like good writing, the Joker, or just really nasty things in comics, get this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sick... Demented... Chilling... Psychotic... Twisted... And oh so viciously brutal... the way Joker is suppose to be! Remember the old Television show and how the Joker was casted like? Destroy that image, and bend and shape it into a diabolical killer void of emotion, and you've got a small idea of how the Joker is in this story. Batman: the Killing Joke is the best Batman storyline ever written, it shows just how crazy he is. And the Hell he puts Commissioner Jim Gordon through is evidence of just that. And lets not forget Batman is in it too. Mature readers only!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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leld on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great look at the Joker and Batman, and the horror of what happens to Barbara.
brayzinski on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dark, intense and intriguing ending....
HippieLunatic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My husband gave me Batman: The Killing Joke 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.
Alixtii on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 The Killing Joke 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.
tiamatq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
FFortuna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good Batman comic, but I don't understand the hype it's received. It's not one of Moore's best works. It's not long enough, mainly... The meat was there, the balance between The Joker and Batman etc., but I didn't get a chance to get my teeth into it.On the plus side, I have the deluxe, recolored, partially redrawn edition and at least in this one, the art is really good. Dark, yet stylish. I especially love the full-body drawings of Batman, he has a great silhouette and the cape is fantastic on him.
kmaziarz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic Batman villain the Joker has been enjoying somewhat of a renaissance lately, it seems. Given the late lamented Heath Ledger¿s astonishing performance as Joker in ¿Batman: The Dark Knight,¿ it¿s easy to see why. Jack Nicholson¿s Joker, while certainly still darkly crazy in many ways, was still somewhat more sane than not¿at least where his motives for crime were concerned. But Ledger¿s performance was much more in line with the classic portrayal of the Joker as a force of pure insanity, driven to inflict his own madness upon the world. The graphic novel ¿Batman: The Killing Joke,¿ first published over twenty years ago and now republished in an anniversary edition, should be of interest to any fans of the recent movie as well as to long-time Batman readers.¿The Killing Joke¿ contains a Joker origin story¿one of many, as the Joker himself has been known to state that he does not remember his own past clearly. In this particular origin story, however, the man that Joker used to be had one very bad day¿everything in his life went wrong all at once, ending with a dunk in a chemical bath that produced the Joker¿s characteristic crazed red grin, green hair, and dead white skin. It was this one very bad day that pushed him over the line into insanity, and now, in present day, he decides to prove that even the sanest of men is only one very bad day away from becoming just as mad as he himself became. To that end, he kidnaps Commissioner Gordon¿ after shooting his daughter Barbara (also known as Batgirl) in the spine and paralyzing her from the waist down¿and drags the Commissioner to a twisted carnival funhouse of the Joker¿s own design and shows him just how bad life can get in the course of just one day. Of course, Batman intervenes, and in the end¿well, the Joker¿s own day gets a heck of a lot worse.
etznab on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another Joker origin story. Beautifully drawn. I think the madness of the Joker was captured quite well. But I think Gordon's reaction was understated and not believable at all.
rsamet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel is indeed graphic, and intended for older teens and up, but it is one of the best Batman graphic novels ever produced and is a must for a teen or adult graphic novel collection. The story written by the famed Alan Moore is a dark and violent imagining of the Joker's origins, and is gorgeously depicted by Brian Bollard. The new edition has been re-colored to perfection by Bollard, to reflect his original vision. His line art is detailed and bold, and captures the characters and their expressions of agony and torment. A cliff-hanger ending will leave readers wanting more...absolutely put this one into your older teen/adult collection, but don't steer young Batman fans toward it due to its graphic (torture) scenes and implied nudity.
schatzi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a relatively new fan of comics (thank you Maus and Watchmen), and I find myself drawn to Alan Moore's work. That said, this isn't the best that I've read from him; it's not even close. I would probably give the storyline 2.5 or 3 stars.I've never been a "Joker fangirl" by any stretch of the imagination (which surprises me, since I usually love the psychos), but I don't particularly think this backstory fits him very well. In The Killing Joke, he has A Very Bad Day, and maybe that is the point of Moore's story - one bad day can make you go quite mad. But it falls flat for the Joker. It just doesn't fit him.Oh, but the art! That's what really saves this comic for me. It's gorgeously colored, and the Joker's facial expressions are just perfect. It may be a short book, but I spent several hours drooling over the panels (figuratively, of course). It deserves more than five stars.It certainly doesn't hurt that the deluxe edition is simply beautiful.
yak_lukestwin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when I was a kid, and had no idea who Alan Moore was. As an adult, being re-introduced to great comics I had missed as a youth, I was thrilled to find this still sitting in my box of old books. A short story that doesn't leave much room for the typical Moore-ish threads and diversions, but instead focuses directly on the relationship between Batman and the Joker in a way that has been as definitive a character study as Frank Miller's Dark Knight stories.
mynameisLukas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when I was a kid, and had no idea who Alan Moore was. As an adult, being re-introduced to great comics I had missed as a youth, I was thrilled to find this still sitting in my box of old books. A short story that doesn't leave much room for the typical Moore-ish threads and diversions, but instead focuses directly on the relationship between Batman and the Joker in a way that has been as definitive a character study as Frank Miller's Dark Knight stories.
59Square on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kearsten says: Wow. This was incredibly disturbing! I'm not deeply familiar with Batman and his history, but this installment feels very dark and I wonder how much of *this* Joker influenced The Dark Knight... Lots, methinks!
Jakeofalltrades on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first Batman story I truly cared about, and the one that stuck with me the longest. It's not so much its notoriety that makes it one of the most enduring stories in Batman lore, it's the fact that it depicts The Joker, one of the most often used villains in Batman lore, as not merely a cold-hearted evil clown who commits terrible deeds, but as a broken and utterly irredeemable man. He gets your sympathy, only to twist the knife into you in the end, refusing to be rehabilitated, perhaps out of malice towards Batman, or perhaps out of fear that he will be controlled. Alan Moore wasn't satisfied with how this story turned out, but it's certainly my favorite Batman story ever.Having read both the original printed version of this story in a trade paperback of Alan Moore's DC stories, I have to say that this version of The Killing Joke will either win old fans over with its much darker and eerier colouring washouts, or confuse them about why the old art wasn't touched up and they'll like the original version better. However, since the original art is in the hands of collectors, touching up the original art was impossible, and I have to say I like both presentations of the tale for different reasons. I like this one because it's in hardcover, but I also like the original colouring job because of its retro feel.Still, since this story's been out of print for years, pick up this hardcover and read it for yourself.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow. This was incredibly disturbing! I'm not deeply familiar with Batman and his history, but this installment feels very dark and i wonder how much of *this* Joker influenced The Dark Knight...