50 If I have to have a past, then I prefer it to be multiple choice 2016 2008 20It s all a joke Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for it s all a monstrous, demented gag So why can t you see the funny side Why aren t you laughing4 22 2016 23 2016 For The First Time The Joker S Origin Is Revealed In This Tale Of Insanity And Human Perseverance Looking To Prove That Any Man Can Be Pushed Past His Breaking Point And Go Mad, The Joker Attempts To Drive Commissioner Gordon Insane After Shooting And Permanently Paralyzing His Daughter Barbara Aka Batgirl , The Joker Kidnaps The Commissioner And Attacks His Mind In Hopes Of Breaking The Man But Refusing To Give Up, Gordon Maintains His Sanity With The Help Of Batman In An Effort To Beset The Madman It causes me no joy to give any comic written by Alan Moore one star, but this is how it has to be Now, before I write a single word , let me start with this simple disclaimer I consider Alan Moore the best writer to have ever worked in comics There are no qualifiers to that no qualifications Moore is unmatched.
But The Killing Joke As a Batman book, it s just bad That isn t to say there s nothing to like here this book certainly has its moments some of which are brilliant, in fact But as a story, it doesn t work.
Killing Joke is really two stories told in parallel It provides an origin for the Joker while simultaneously following him on a scheme to drive Commissioner Gordon insane.
The origin is largely based on an old issue of Batman from the 50 s The Man Behind the Red Hood As much as I appreciate the nod to the past, the Red Hood origin of the Joker is one I could do without While I am not in favor of attempts to make Batman realistic, I do feel that some elements should be handled carefully if handled at all.
And that s really the problem here Not only did Alan Moore use an absurd origin he made it so In the original, the Red Hood was a hardened criminal before he became the Joker In this version, he was a comedian having a really bad day.
I think I understand what Moore was trying to do here I believe he wanted to create an element of pathos in the Joker s past while playing up the absurdity of the medium.
But the result felt sloppy Instead of adding layers to the Joker s personality, it just made him less interesting.
The real problem with Killing Joke, however, is the other story line The Joker takes Barbara Gordon by surprise, shooting and paralyzing her Setting aside my personal objection to crippling one of DC s best and, at the time, few female characters, Moore missed a huge opportunity here Had Oracle s injury been sustained as Batgirl, the psychological effect on Batman could have been developed in great depth, as he d have been responsible for placing her in harm s way As it was, the story only takes a toll on her father, and that s largely wrapped up by the end of the comic.
The Joker s motive for all this mayhem, to break Jim Gordon and prove that a bad enough day can drive anyone insane, comes to nothing In part, he s foiled by Batman, but really he loses because he s wrong Gordon is strong enough to survive his ordeal.
In the end, after everything, The Joker s comprehension of the human psyche is wrong To me, this destroys the character s credibility The Joker has no superpowers, but madness is his expertise For him to set to prove a point about insanity than fail, not due to Batman but rather his own assumptions, weakens him Even after shooting Barbara, he ends the book less of a threat than he started.
Now, let s be honest one star is a harsh rating, and were this book not commonly called The Greatest Batman Story Ever Told I d almost certainly have been lenient There are certainly excellent aspects to the writing and the art aspects that would buy any other book three stars.
But this isn t any other book It s one of the most significant Batman stories written, having forever altered the continuity and status of several characters It s Alan Moore s most famous Batman story.
And it really isn t that good.
I asked a GR friend Marvel or DC Her response made me think She said, Marvel over all But DC has the better villains Whu Well.
Yeah, I ll be damned, I think she s right.
Looking at all of the Marvel villains, I think maybe only Red Skull or Bullseye come close to matching the lunatic force of DC s lineup Magneto and Doctor Doom are powerful and bad, but also have some incongruous redeeming qualities Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, Brainiac, Bane, Harley Quinn and all the Batman bad guys headlined by The Joker are nefarious, scarier, and just plain bad.
I think a cogent argument could be made that The Joker is THE comics villain He s evil, insane and damn it all interesting as hell.
Just as Milton s most enduringly intriguing player is not God or the Archangels but Satan, DC has in The Joker created an enigma Sorry Riddler of a criminal source that defies logic and is simply an opposing force for our heroes, motives and reason be damned The Joker is a personification of the chaos waiting out in the dark beyond the firelight, and his is a blindly malevolent force As Michael Caine s Alfred in the 2008 film The Dark Knight said, some men aren t looking for anything logical, like money They can t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with Some men just want to watch the world burn All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy That s how far the world is from where I am Just one bad day In his attempt to madden Gordon and lure Batman to his doom, The Joker also provides a tenuous connection to humanity Just as Shakespeare s Richard III is all the terrible because he is a man, so too is The joker all the villainous because for all his insanity and bad intent, he is one of us and closer than some Melvillian beast or Lovecraftian old god In the context of the Batman story, the theatrical irony the reader gets is that Joker and Batman are alike than they realize, both transformed from what they would have been by a traumatic loss.
Alan Moore and Brian Bolland s 1988 sympathetic backstory to the Joker s origin story is a MUST read for Moore fans, Batman devotees and all enthusiasts of the genre The influence on later comics and even on the films particularly Tim Burton s vision is unmistakable.
Grim, violent, sometimes difficult to look at, this is nonetheless a graphic novel at the apex of the genus Moore s writing is engaging and relentless, Bolland s art is mesmerizing.
A truly masterpiece of the comic books This is a prestige format stand alone story.
Creative Team Writer Alan MooreIllustrator Brian BollandColorist John Higgins HAVE COURAGE Nothing s going to be the same not ever again.
A writer should have balls, and I don t mean the organic meat sacs, since a female writer is the same entitled to have balls But if you aren t confortable with the male metaphor , I am confident that you already got that I am talking about writing with courage.
A writer without courage never will be able to impact the readers Madonna commented many years ago that there is not such thing as bad publicity, that any publicity is good publicity.
So, fitting that concept into writing, I think that there isn t such thing as bad impact , that any impact is good impact Since if people talk about a book, about a story, not matter their intention, the story becomes famous, it provokes curiousity, people got aware of it.
Alan Moore never thought that DC Comics would approve his proposal about this Batman s story involving the crippling of Barbara Gordon But it was approved by the editorial staff, and a surprised Alan Moore started to write with courage I am not insensitive, and I can understand why so many people got angry to the nasty stuff that the character of Barbara Gordon suffered in this story However, sometimes a bad thing happened for a good reason Barbara Gordon was Batgirl But, to be honest, how much difference can she does as such heroine She was just yet another bat costumed crime fighter and trust me, for Batman, that he s supposed to be a lonely crusader , he has too many bat costumed crime fighters around However, due her awful episode in The Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon proved her value as character proved her courage Barbara Gordon became a handicapped person, but hardly of disappearing from the pages of comics, she evolved into Oracle , and as such persona, she turned to be one of the most powerful characters in the DC Universe From her wheelchair, using her intelligence, hacking skills and information searches, she became a key ally to not only the Bat family but also the Titans and even the Justice League.
And then due social pressure from people that never really understood the value of Barbara Gordon, DC Comics devolved her to be Batgirl again Yipee, hurray using Droopy s voice tone Yet another bat costumed throwing batarangs character again, one of many others All her courage overcoming a monumental tragedy, just erased.
And curious that people raged against what Barbara suffered but nobody gave a crap about James Gordon s own suffering and humiliation, but of course, if you are a heterosexual caucasian man even if you are an imaginary character reflecting that type of person you re screwed, since nobody will defend your dignity and hey, I am a latin man, so since I am part of a minority group, if you attack my review, I am in my right of accusing you of a racist ethnic hate act geez What a crazy world where we live in It seems that villains can do all the harm and killing that they wish, BUT only if they target heterosexual caucasian men, since it seems that any other type of people in this world is under the label of some minority group and therefore, there will be rage riots about it.
I think that labels instead of unite us, they just keep away the distance between each other in this little blue planet People see me as a heterosexual latin man And I can t deny that That s what I am in the eyes of society I born that way However, I d prefer to be a citizen of the world But maybe I am crazy, since it looks like everybody else feels confortable under the safety of their particular sex ethnic labels.
And call me crazy again, but it seems that in real life, criminals just pick any kind of victim, regardless of their sexual preferences or ethnic origins, just watch the news anyday, so I don t understand why literature should present politically correct villains only.
Writers Don t lose your courage It s not an easy path, but true born writers aren t meant to travel in safe roads We, readers, are an unthankful species, we don t deserve you However, I hope that you, writers, still being willing to impact us, to make us think, and to provoke us feelings ONE VERY BAD DAY How can two people hate so much without knowing each otherBatman is a cause of order Joker is a force of chaos Right Therefore, they are totally different Right THAT is the killing joke they aren t that different.
One bad day That was all they needed to get crazy.
You may tell me Oh But only Joker is crazy Right Since disguising as a bat is clearly a sanity s proof.
Joker s origins are unknown since you can t trust what you read in this tale about his past, after all, those are the memories of an insane killer , but you can be sure that something bad, something very bad, happened to him, one day, and the following day, he turned to be The Joker.
Bruce Wayne had a bad day, a very bad day, his parents died in front of him while he was still just a defenseless kid, and the following day, he turned to be The Batman training could take years, but he was The Batman since that moment.
The Joker kills people in very theatrical ways.
The Batman protects people in very theatrical ways.
Gotham City is in the middle in the hands of murdering clowns and costumed vigilantes in the hands of mad men.
The only one that keeps Gotham City from falling deep into madness James Gordon.
The Joker will do everything and I mean EVERYTHING to give to James Gordon, a bad day, a very bad day, and turned him crazy.
But that s not the scariest thing oh, no that isn t the killing joke.
The scariest thing is when two people, supposed to be opposites they laugh for the same joke.
BOOM Mic drop, and I m outta here Should some origin stories be better left untold Comic publishers will embellish the backstory of character than necessary or drag it out and milk it, or they ll retcon the character one too many times until the reader doesn t know which way is up If there s a month, a week, a day, a couple of minutes left undocumented in a character s background, it ll be fodder for a future story.
Does the Joker need an origin story Some basic facts are presented here He was once normal He became a small time criminal out of necessity He inadvertently gets dumped into a vat of Kool Ade chemicals by Batman As a result, he goes stark, raving bonkers.
How much of the Joker s backstory do we want to be privy to Do we need to add the fact that he was a struggling stand up comedian and had a pregnant wife to the mix Is sympathy necessary to appreciate and like the character even The Joker s persona is established as a homicidal loon, but do we have to be there at square one Can his accident really turn him from an ordinary guy to a criminal mastermind, divorced of all humanity Can the collective comic reader brain fill in the blanks themselves, leaving something to the imagination and not have it spoon fed to us Do we need the complete story Back in the 80 s, before the 90 s when collectors nearly killed off the industry Psst Hey mister, you wanna buy a truckload of alternate foil 1 issues of Spider Man 2099 , comic book creators were expanding the kiddie geared bounds of storytelling by getting edgy and no one was on board with the movement to mature themes than Alan Moore, hence his interest in the Joker s story.
This isn t a Batman book Bats comes off as weak, conciliatory, a step behind the Joker, his arch nemesis Sure I get the oft presented theory that they re two parts to a whole, ying to the yang, you complete me , let s stop the madness, because one of us is going to die yada, yada, yada Here, Batman is a second banana.
The Joker even gets the better of Batman in combat More than once C mon Bats, you didn t see that coming with your ninja skillz and training Brian Bolland s art is exceptional and sells the story far better than Moore s writing That said, this a graphic novel that fans of Batman and the super hero genre should check out, if they haven t done so already It s a defining moment in the Batman family legend and a game changer for Barbara Gordon Batgirl Oracle.
Bottom line This book has some panels that will be burned into your brain for the rest of your life The Joker shooting Barbara Gordon usually makes top five lists of most memorable comic moments Seeing Commissioner Gordon trussed up naked and led around an abandoned amusement park by creepy, deranged midgets and driven to the edge of insanity is something I d like to mind wipe Top of the pile of dolls, Ma
MY BLOG Melissa Martin s Reading ListOMG THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME THE STORY LINE THE GRAPHICS ARE FREAKING AMAZING I m sure everyone and their cousin has already read this book, but I haven t so here we go This is about how the joker turned nutsy cuckoo He had a good job but left it thinking he could be a stand up comedian and support his wife and unborn baby Well that didn t happen, he apparently wasn t funny who knew Then he goes and tries to get some crime job with some idiots so he could have the money until he could figure something out Being out in a warehouse with said idiots he has some stupid mask on, they get chased by security, he falls in some chemical crap and comes out whackadoo I think it s brilliant Then he goes and shoots batgirl, kidnaps the commissioner and puts him in some freak show at a carnival he bought or stole It s just all so freaky and cool I m going to leave it at that and close with some awesome graphics My favorite is when they are laughing at his joke in the picture above DWe are all mad here Fin All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy That s how far the world is from where I am Just one bad day Now this was good, and I mean good It s such a simple idea, but so real and powerful I mean one bad day is all it takes One push, one snap, one descent into chaos and it s over Once you ve crossed that threshold then things will never be the same again And the Joker, being the sly and brilliant villain that he is, wants to share the experience with the world He wants to show humanity that they are not that far from him The first man he wants to reduce is the stalwart Commissioner Gordon But, I think we all know who is intended victim actually is The Joker was once normal He had a girlfriend he had a job, but the world shitted on him somewhat chronic And like many people he was forced to turn to crime he was forced to break society s rules in order to survive That s where it all began That first step into the darkness led to many other steps down the road of corruption It wasn t long before petty crime turned to murder and butchery The Joker became ruined and lost himself in his nasty deeds This is a great origin story, one that fully lives up to the character immense personality Allan More totally nails it THERE IS NO SANITY CLAUSE SO WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF LOCKED ONTO AN UNPLEASANT TRAIN OF THOUGHT, HEADING FOR THE PLACES IN YOUR PAST WHERE THE SCREAMING IS UNBEARABLE, REMEMBER THERE S ALWAYS MADNESS MADNESS IS THE EMERGENCY EXIT YOU CAN JUST STEP OUTSIDE, AND CLOSE THE DOOR ON ALL THOSE DREADFUL THINGS THAT HAPPENED YOU CAN LOCK THEM AWAY FOREVER And the ending, it s all about the ending The Joker s personality is infectious At least, he wants it to be He s always tried to bring down the good He ruined Harvey Dent, and he has always wanted to ruin the bat And he just may have The end is suggestive of two things firstly, Batman strangling the Joker in one final heroic act, there s some irony in that sentence secondly, Batman descending to the Jokers level and embracing the insanity of one bad day.
I ll leave you with this picture and see if you can decide Blog Twitter Facebook Insta Academia
This is one of the most iconic comics in the Batman Joker mythos and arguably has a place as one of the most iconic comics out there period I think most people will agree that Bolland s visuals are just unbelievable The expressions on the faces, the body language, even the colors are as close to perfect as you can get.
And Moore is at the top of his game here Wow Justwow The ripple effects of what happened here not only created Oracle, but inspired a ton of other great storylines.
I would have thought that a Joker Origin story was maybe the stupidest idea ever before reading this, but I think Moore pulled it off beautifully Mainly because this had such a wonderful hint of madness to it, that it even with the Joker telling you about his past, it still leaves you wondering if that s really what happened.
And that ending.