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Batman: The Killing Joke

General Info

Batman: The Killing Joke logo
AuthorAlan Moore
AwardsEisner Award for Best Graphic Album
PublisherDC Comics
IllustratorBrian Bolland
Issue Number1
Release Date1988-03-01
Number of Pages48
Original TitleBatman: The Killing Joke
Comics Issue NameBatman: The Killing Joke
Country of OriginUnited States
Publisher Website URLhttps://www.dccomics.com
Batman: The Killing Joke is a critically acclaimed 1988 film. A DC Comics graphic novel written by British author Alan Moore. The story focuses on the Joker and offers to explore his psyche, presenting his origin story. It features a dark and twisty story that unravels the complicated relationship between Batman and the Joker. The plot revolves around the Joker trying to drive Commissioner Gordon out of his mind, hoping to prove that even the best of us can go astray after a bad day. Brian Bolland's bright and bold illustrations and thoughtful coloring created a captivating atmosphere that made reading unforgettable. It was praised for exploring the psychological aspects of the Batman universe and influenced many subsequent stories about the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime.


Batman: The Killing Joke is a masterpiece known for its compelling storytelling, psychological depth, and chilling artwork. Published by DC Comics, this one-shot graphic novel dramatically explores the complex relationship between Batman and his arch-nemesis, the Joker. It offers the perfect mix of suspense, madness, and mystery while shedding light on the possible origin story of the Joker, a failed comedian driven to madness.
The exciting storyline revolves around the Joker's sadistic plan to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, proving that even the most sensitive people can go insane after "one bad day". This story offers a unique reimagining of the Crusaders' most famous enemy, transforming the Jester from a menacing madman into a deeply disturbed individual with a tragic past. Additionally, the graphic novel delves into the psychologically warped dynamics of Batman and Joker's relationship, suggesting that they are actually two sides of the same coin, both products of their own cataclysmic pasts.
Written by legendary writer Alan Moore and beautifully illustrated by Brian Bolland, Batman: The Killing Joke remains an important Batman story that has had a profound impact on readers. Its central themes of sanity, chaos, and the dichotomous nature of good and evil paint a hauntingly grim and realistic picture of the pure psychological dysfunction at the heart of Gotham City. Essentially, this landmark story not only redefines the Joker, but also makes readers see Batman in a whole new light.


In this chilling take on the Joker's origin story, Batman: The Killing Joke unfolds into a story of visceral complexity. It traces the transformation of a struggling comedian into the psychopathic Joker, a transformation brought on by a bad day that reveals the depths of human weakness. Meanwhile, readers can also witness a relentless cat-and-mouse chase between Batman and the Joker, a clash that often questions the line between sanity and insanity. This story weaves together the stories of both characters, revealing their stark parallels and deep-rooted animosity. Batman: The Killing Joke culminates in a shocking confrontation between Batman and The Joker, culminating in a spectacular final encounter that illuminates their ever-changing cycle of violence.


in 1988 released Batman: The Killing Joke is an unforgettable one-shot comic that showcases the handwriting of British writer Alan Moore alongside the artistic talents of Brian Bolland. The comic book project originally began as a standalone Batman story, but was eventually tied into the main Batman comic due to its massive popularity and critical acclaim.
Creating the comic was an international mission. Moore is from Northampton, England, and Bolland is from Lincolnshire, England, both offering a uniquely European take on the American superhero. They worked in different time zones and communicated using early digital messages to stay in sync, a difficult feat given the technology of the time. The coloring of the comic was distinctly unique, originally done by John Higgins, using intense, psychedelic hues to depict the characters' inner turmoil. In later editions, Bolland repainted the images himself, choosing more realistic tones.
"Batman: The Killing Joke" stood out for its philosophical depth. The combined efforts of the production team created a comic that dared to delve into the twisted psyche of the Joker, with a story full of character development and provocative themes.


First published by DC Comics in 1988. Batman: The Killing Joke shocked critics and audiences alike. A graphic novel written by the brilliant Alan Moore and beautifully illustrated by Brian Bolland. This independent publication introduced a new origin story for the Joker, Batman's nemesis. The Killing Joke takes readers on a psychological roller coaster and allows them to delve into the twisted psyche of the Joker. In addition, the comic perfectly highlights the diametrically opposed philosophies of Batman and the Joker, showing their symbiotic and eternal conflict. With its dark themes and complex character arcs, The Killing Joke pushed the boundaries of superhero storytelling and contributed to the maturity of the comic book industry. His legacy lives on and has influenced and inspired many Batman storylines to this day. The comic is a must read for every Batman fan.


Batman: The Killing Joke comics rocked the industry upon its release. Originally published by DC Comics in 1988, this one-shot graphic novel, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Brian Bolland, garnered widespread attention for its uncompromising approach to the Joker's origin story.
Bursting with innovative character insights and compelling artwork, this comic became a seminal addition to the Batman franchise. The portrayal of the Joker's story, revealed through evocative flashbacks, explored the complexity of his character like never before, blurring the lines between hero and villain.
The comic's release has sparked controversy and debate among fans and critics. Its dark themes and graphic violence drew controversy, but there was no denying that The Killing Joke had a lasting impact on the Batman universe. The tape's portrayal of Barbara Gordon's fate was particularly controversial and shaped her character's history in unprecedented ways. But despite the controversy, the Batman: The Killing Joke comics have established themselves as groundbreaking masterpieces.
Batman: The Killing Joke set a new standard for superhero storytelling with its compelling storytelling and stunning artistry. He remains a testament to the depth and sophistication of the Batman universe, boldly redefining the concepts of heroism, villainy and tragedy in comics.


Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's Batman: The Killing Joke has been met with both critical acclaim and controversy since its release. Critics have consistently praised the comic for its deep exploration of the Joker's origins and psychology, saying it has a complexity and nuance rarely seen in the comic book medium.
However, the comic has been the subject of controversy since its publication. Specific elements, particularly the depiction of violence against Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, have drawn criticism for their intensity and perceived misogyny. Critics say that the storyline only used his character as a plot point to continue the story of Batman and the Joker, so he set aside his personality. Overall, Batman: The Killing Joke has earned a place in the canon of Batman literature that will always be debated. Bold themes and complex storytelling techniques resonate in Batman stories today. Despite the controversy, and perhaps because of it, the comic remains one of DC's best-selling graphic novels, a testament to its enduring appeal.

Cultural impact

Batman: The Killing Joke left an indelible mark on popular culture and inadvertently became a cornerstone of the Batman narrative. In addition to exploring the intensely twisted relationship between Batman and the Joker, the comic delves into the enemy's origins and a rare glimpse into his pre-transformation psyche. The crude depiction of the Joker's brutality, particularly by Barbara Gordon, sparked heated debate among fans that continues to this day. Despite the criticism, the complexity of its narrative cemented its place as one of the most influential Batman comics. Writer Alan Moore's storytelling prowess and Brian Bolland's vivid artistry helped inspire subsequent artists and writers in the Batman universe. The influence of comics is also evident in cinema, especially in 2019. in the movie "Joker". Its cultural impact is such that it redefines the superhero universe and demonstrates the potential of comics as a platform for storytelling depth and exploration. Emotional.