The Killing Joke | in Comics

A short but thoughtful bullet point review of The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland.

  • The plot is based partly on Joker struggling with poverty as a failed comedian, desperate to provide for his pregnant wife.
  • Themes: Madness. A Single Bad Day.
  • Batman’s attempt to repair his toxic relationship with Joker before it results in any of their deaths. Bruce was sincere in his reasoning and tenacious to the end. 
  • Disturbing imagery. Psychological themes. Blood. Death. It’s certainly not fit for those that are easily disturbed.
  • A vintage feel to it with muted colors and realistic, grainy illustrations.
  • Dramatic shots achieved through excellent use of panel spreads and capitalization of certain phrases.
  • The Killing Joke. Dry, dark humor at its finest with Joker’s use of acidic sarcasm, violence … and madness. 

I leave you with this final line from the Joker (which happens to be a favorite of mine)

“Ladies and Gentlemen! You’ve read about it in the newspaper! Now, shudder as you observe, before your very eyes, that most rare and tragic of nature’s mistakes! I give you… the average man!”— Joker, The Killing Joke


What’s your takeaway on comic books? So many folks are convinced that manga or a graphic novel just can’t be considered a book. In my opinion, anything that can tell a great and captivating story should be considered for its value.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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