Batman has always been one of my favorite superheroes. He wasn't some GQ alien from planet Krypton with super powers and debonair manners that make the Brady Bunch look like barbarians. He wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider or a mutant or exposed to nuclear radiation. He was a troubled rich guy with a vigilante complex with some neat gadgets that you could imagine yourself using (if you had enough money). It makes him the every hero.
Plus, he's a majorly flawed protagonist. The perfect heroes kinda get annoying - after a while, you start to want them to fall. Or at least slide a little.
This was absolutely fantastic. At first, I couldn't believe that this was an Alan Moore comic because the style was so different - Alan Moore's drawings are very film noir, purposely retro, and highly angular. The illustrations in this book were more realistic and cartoony, like the animated series that was so popular in the 1990s (and of which I was an avid fan. I was a weird girl. I was addicted to super heroes and had Hot Wheels and Mighty Max toys and I have a video tape of my seventh birthday where one of the dads not-so-quietly asked my dad if they were afraid I was going to turn into a lesbian? Gotta love subtlety). Anyway, enough about me. Back to the comic. I don't usually like Alan Moore's comics for the reasons I listed: the style isn't the only antiquated aspect of the book. His characters' morality leaves much to be desired, and I'm not just talking about how he treats the women (although this really does piss me off. Stop raping all your female characters, Mr. Moore - figuratively AND literally!).
But Brian Bolland is this book's saving grace. He keeps all the dramatic lighting and textures of Moore's work but with more realistic, softer drawings that are nostalgic rather than archaic. Plus, the characters had marvelous depth. I hated The Dark Knight. It was too dark and, in my opinion, ruined the batman genre. I liked Batman and Robin more than I liked The Dark Knight - at least it was campy and filled with (somewhat) funny one-liners. But the ones by Tim Burton are my favorite - and guess whose endorsement is plastered on the front of this graphic novel? That's right. Tim Burton.
I actually liked The Joker. His back story made me feel for where he was coming from, and the ending was... dare I say it... almost cute. It made me smile. It's been a while since a batman movie/comic has left me with a smile on my face instead of a heavy heart. In The Killing Joke, the Joker has managed to escape from Arkham Asylum, and is preparing a theme park of horrors to get revenge against Officer Gordon and Batman. There are some pretty gruesome scenes (I'm guessing this is Moore's influence - *cough rape cough*), but, again, nothing nearly as awful as what you'd find in the Dark Knight.
This is definitely a valuable addition to any batman collection. I'm definitely keeping an eye out for Mr. Bolland. If he can make me love Moore, he's gotta be some kind of wonderful.