Batman: The Killing Joke (Graphic Novel, Paperback)
Alan Moore & Brian Bolland | DC Comics | CBR | ISBN 0930289455 | Canada, 11th Printing | Dec 1 1995 | 48 Pages + Covers | 21.94 MB
is an influential one-shot graphic novel written by Alan Moore (of fame), drawn by Brian Bolland, featuring the superhero and title character Batman and his archenemy the Joker, and published by DC Comics in 1988. The story would affect the mainstream Batman continuity in that it features (spoiler alert!--but of course you know this already) the shooting and crippling of Barbara Gordon by the Joker, an event which would lead her to adopt the role and identity of Oracle, a vital source of information for Batman and other superheroes. The plot revolves around a largely psychological battle between Batman and the Joker, who has escaped from Arkham Asylum. The Joker intends to drive Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon insane to prove that the most upstanding citizen can go mad after having "one bad day". Along the way, the Joker has flashbacks to his early life, gradually explaining his possible origins--possible because he himself is unsure: "If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!" It is a tale of insanity and human perseverance, one of the darkest ever in the entire Batman mythos. This insanity is further explored in the subtext that Batman may be just as insane as the criminals and super-villains he faces, only manifesting it in a different manner. Alan Moore sums it best: "Psychologically Batman and the Joker are mirror images of each other." And such dichotomy between Batman and the Joker is never more creatively explored, either in words or in pictures--or both--than in .