Tuesday, 19 February 2013

#26 Killing Joke

Whenever you are looking for a comic to buy, are faced with thousands of titles in front of you and you have no idea where to even begin, there are a couple of writers that make gold out of everything they touch. Alan Moore is one of these writers.

The Killing Joke is what most comic readers class as the definitive origin of the Joker. I say this because the story told from the Joker's perspective is not very reliable, as he tells us himself that he remembers it differently each time he thinks of the day he becomes the Joker, preferring the story with multiple choice.

The story itself is almost a homage to older stories in the Batman universe. The bad guy escapes prison, drums up some wild scheme for capturing somebody, then Batman arrives just in time to save the day and the bad guy is sent back to prison. Not really that ground-breaking a story. However it is not the story, but the bits in between the main story line that gets everyone excited.

Spoiler Alert

It's the refusal of Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman, for those who've watched the films) to give in to the madness that Joker tries to get him to succumb to. The revelation that the Joker had one bad day that made him go insane. The revealing of the Jokers 'civilian' identity. The paralyzing of Barbra Gordon. This is what gets everyone excited about this comic. (Quick quiz because I'm curious: Can you tell me which superhero Barbra was/now is?)

Spoiler End

Review Time. The best part about this comic is undoubtedly the relationship that is shown between the Joker and Batman. The comic starts with Batman entering prison and offering the Joker a chance to talk about their relationship, "I've been thinking lately about you and me, about what's going to happen in the end. We're going to kill each other, aren't we?” It's quite hollowing to find out just how similar Bats and Joker are. The Joker tells one last joke just before he is arrested, after which both Bats and the Joker break down in hysterics. Personally I don't understand why the joke is funny, but it does reflect quite well on both the Batman and the Joker. The joke goes: 2 men decide to break out of a lunatic asylum. To do this they go to the roof to jump over to the next rooftop. The first man doesn't hesitate and jumps right over, but the second man doesn't want to make the leap, as he's afraid of falling. So the first man comes up with an idea, "why don't I shine my flash light across the gap and you can walk along the beam" but the second guy just shakes his head saying "what do you think I am, crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across". Now personally I don't see the funny side but Batman, who undoubtedly has a screw loose somewhere, finds it hilarious. It does, however, lead to a rather touching last page between Batman and Joker, which is a great way of ending the comic. Overall I personally think, while this comic has long lasting effects within the Batman Universe and does help to expand on the relationship the Batman and the Joker have, it's not all that ground breaking and left me a bit disappointed, considering the reviews I've read on it. Sorry DC fans, that's just the way I see it. So TTFN, LL'n'P


P.s I'm sorry about eh size of text changing half way through it comes up fine on the edit screen but not on the main viewing screen :/

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