“Batman the Killing Joke” Comic Review and Summary

🟢 Creative People 🟢

Alan Moore – Writer

Brian Bolland – Art, Colors, and Cover

Richard Starkings – Letterer

Bob Kane – Created Batman

🟢 Publisher and Release Year 🟢

DC Comics / 2012

🟢 Plot 🟢


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 arch nemesis 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?

🟢 Non Spoiler Review 🟢

This is a 1988 DC Comics graphic novel. The Killing Joke is an origin story for Batman’s supervillain, the Joker. It is actually loosely based off The Man Behind the Red Hood. 

Quick story on that comic. Batman and Robin teach a criminology class. He talks to them about a real case called The Red Hood. The students start to find clues. Red Hood hears about this and attacks the school. They find out it is the school gardener who locked up the real Red Hood. The Joker turns out to be the real Red Hood.

The Killing Joke is a crazy good comic. It is wonderfully fantastic! I truly enjoyed reading this comic! It was creepy and scary, but it was very well done. I love that the ending of this comic allows people to interpret it in many different ways.

I know with comics there is always something to dislike about the comic, but honestly I did not dislike anything. Maybe the only thing. The oooonnnnlly thing is that Barbara Gordon is not used a lot in the comic.

Also, the writing in this is brilliant too. They really capture the craziness of Joker. I feel capturing his kind of crazy takes a special person. Moore is this special person. You can tell that he cares about these DC comic characters. Even when Joker talks I can feel the creepy and when Batman talks I can feel the presence of a dark hero. It is great to see them go into the psychology of Batman and Joker. That Batman and Joker are the same in the sense that one bad day happened to them and they became who they are.

The art. . . THE ART! Even the art is great. I love this style of comic book too. This comic each panel has it’s own square. A lot of comics now a days mush panels together or they overlap panels. So it is nice to just go back to basics.

I HIGHLY, HIGHLY! recommend this book!

🔴 Spoiler Summary 🔴

It opens up with Batman going to Arkham. Once he is in he goes straight to visit Joker. Joker and Batman start to play poker together and Joker starts talking about their deaths and how they are connected. Batman loses his patience and grabs Joker. When he lets go he sees that there is white make up on his hands. At this point he realizes this is NOT the real Joker.

We see the real Joker at a carnival lot. The owner is wanting to sell it. Joker says he will take the carnival. They shake on the deal but Joker has something in his hands and pricks the salesman with it. All of a sudden the salesman ends up looking like the Joker, he is frozen, and his nose is bleeding.

Flashback happens to when the Joker is with his pregnant wife. This was all way before he became the Joker. He comes home from a comedy gig but he is upset because it did not go well at all. And he is worried because with a baby coming they have no money to care for it.

Present Batman is in the bat cave wondering how him and Joker hate each other so much but they don’t even really know each other.

In Barbara’s apartment, her and her dad, police commissioner Jim Gordon, are hanging out making a scrapbook of police articles. It is a nice time between them that goes sour fast. Barbara hears a knock at the door and opens it. Joker is at the door and shoots her around her waist/spine. She falls onto her coffee table and she is bleeding out.

Flashback. Joker is at a bar and meets with gangsters because they want him to help them break into the chemical plant he used to work at. They also want Joker to wear to Red Hood mask. They tell him they will pay him nicely so he will have money for his future baby.

Present. Batman visits Barbara in the hospital and a detective tells him that she was shot in her spine and she will be paralyzed. They also say they can’t find Jim Gordon. When they got to the apartment they found Barbara on the floor naked. There was a lens cap beside her so they think the Joker took photos of her.

At the carnival the Joker’s henchmen are zapping Gordon, they then undress him to where his naked, and then they put him on a leash.

Flashback. Cops locate Joker in the bar and pull him outside. They tell him his wife had an electrical accident and her and the baby died. The gangsters tell Joker that he still needs to break into the chemical plant.

Present. Gordon is put on a storybook ride. When it starts the henchmen keep force him to keep his eyes open. While this is going on the Joker is on the speakers talking to Gordon. He says random things. Random and awful. He doesn’t make any sense and we see Gordon not understanding. Joker keeps confusing him because he wants him to go as mad as he is. Gordon comes to a room where it is filled with images of Barbara naked on the floor with her bullet wound and blood everywhere. After the ride is over Joker throws him into a cage.

While that is happening Batman is still trying to locate Joker and Gordon. He sees the bat signal has been lit. A detective tells him that Joker sent Batman a ticket. Batman looks at it and it is a ticket for the carnival.

Flashback. Joker puts on the red hood and him and the gangsters head to the chemical factory. They get stopped by security officers. The guards kill the 2 guys but Joker is still on the run. Batman shows up. When he shows up Joker gets scared and jumps into a river. He did not know that this was a chemical river. When he gets out and takes off the hood we see him as the Joker we know him to be.

Present. Joker is still trying to beat Gordon down. Batman shows up and him and Joker begin to fight. Batman is able to release Gordon. Gordon tells Batman that no matter what, he still wants to bring him in by the book. Joker is goes even more mad at this because what he wanted to prove failed. He wanted Gordon to mad as he is.

Batman offers help to Joker. Saying he can take him to someone to help him out instead of trying to kill each other. Joker tells Batman a joke and they both begin laughing as the cops show up.

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