Graphic Novel Review: Batman, The Killing Joke by Alan Moore

“I’ve been thinking lately, about you, about me. About what’s going to happen to us, in the end. We’re going to kill each other aren’t we? Perhaps you’ll kill me, perhaps I’ll kill you. Perhaps sooner, perhaps later”

– The Killing Joke, Alan Moore

Hands down The Killing Joke by Alan Moore is the darkest batman issue I’ve ever read, granted I don’t read many, however this issue caters to more mature audiences as it goes down a dark, gritty and violently graphic path. In The Killing Joke, The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum once again, this time instead of terrorizing the people of Gotham, The Joker targets only one family, as The Joker delivers a chilling attempt to make Commissioner Jim Gordon insane.

Easily deserving of it’s accolades The Killing Joke does not disappoint. In fact I’m angry at myself for taking this long to read this issue. There are a lot of things to love and very little to dislike, if there’s any.

One of the best thing about the issue is we get to see the origin of the Joker, this part of the issue is such a fascinating read as we see The Joker dealing with problems that we usually face, problems such as unemployment, poverty even personal demons such as self pity. We see him in such a vulnerable state and you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. That said, we follow his story and we see his transition from this broken man to what he is today and it’s mind-blowing. We still get the despicable Joker that we usually know and he truly is despicable in this issue. There are proper times where one could just like the character of the Joker but this isn’t one of those times as I found myself hating The Joker, not because he was badly written, no he was written masterfully but it’s because he does some incredibly villainous acts and I’m sure this will resonate to other readers as well.

The art is amazing to look at, so good that there were moments where I felt uncomfortable as I look through the illustrations and read the dialogues and the pacing was just right as it perfectly delivers shocking moments and the story is great overall. Highly recommended to everyone unless you’re 14 or under since there are themes here that are just not appropriate for younger readers. That said, if you haven’t read it grab a copy right now.

Rating: 4.5/5

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