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Batman: The Killing Joke

(Batman: One-Shots)

by
4.37  ·  Rating details ·  165,933 ratings  ·  4,998 reviews
For the first time the Joker's origin is revealed in this tale of insanity and human perseverance. Looking to prove that any man can be pushed past his breaking point and go mad, the Joker attempts to drive Commissioner Gordon insane.

After shooting and permanently paralyzing his daughter Barbara (a.k.a. Batgirl), the Joker kidnaps the commissioner and attacks his mind in
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Paperback, 50 pages
Published December 1st 1995 by DC Comics (first published 1988)
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Shadowjac 16-17+ very bleak, dark and disturbing significant time is given to torturing someone, plus the Joker shoots someone and stripped her naked and takes …more16-17+ very bleak, dark and disturbing significant time is given to torturing someone, plus the Joker shoots someone and stripped her naked and takes photos of her (it's unknown if he did anything else to her naked body.)
Don't know where all the 15+ recommendations came from, this comic is much, much more inappropriate then people are saying.(less)
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GalaxyPanda
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.37  · 
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 ·  165,933 ratings  ·  4,998 reviews


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Jayson
(A) 85% | Extraordinary
Notes: A discomforting, audacious book that compels re-readings and focused, lingering looks at specific pages and panels.
Sean Barrs
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.”

Now this was good, and I mean good. It’s such a simple idea, but so real and powerful. I mean one bad day is all it takes. One push, one snap, one descent into chaos and it’s over. Once you’ve crossed that threshold then things will never be the same again. And the Joker, being the sly and brilliant villain that he is, wants to share the experience with the world.
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Anne
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
All it takes is one bad day.

description

This is one of the most iconic comics in the Batman/Joker mythos and arguably has a place as one of the most iconic comics out there period. I think most people will agree that Bolland's visuals are just unbelievable. The expressions on the faces, the body language, even the colors are as close to perfect as you can get.

description

And Moore is at the top of his game here. Wow. Just...wow!
The ripple effects of what happened here not only created Oracle, but inspired a ton of othe
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Erin
Mar 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Erin by: Zak
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyn
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I asked a GR friend: Marvel or DC?

Her response made me think. She said, “Marvel over all. But DC has the better villains.”

Whu - ?

Well.

Yeah, I’ll be damned, I think she’s right.

Looking at all of the Marvel villains, I think maybe only Red Skull or Bullseye come close to matching the lunatic force of DC’s lineup. Magneto and Doctor Doom are powerful and bad, but also have some incongruous redeeming qualities. Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, Brainiac, Bane, Harley Quinn and all the Batman bad guys headlin
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Alejandro
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A truly masterpiece of the comic books!


This is a prestige format stand-alone story.


Creative Team:

Writer: Alan Moore

Illustrator: Brian Bolland

Colorist: John Higgins


HAVE COURAGE

Nothing’s going to be the same… …not ever again.

A writer should have balls, and I don’t mean the organic meat sacs, since a female writer is the same entitled to have balls. But if you aren’t confortable with the “male metaphor”, I am confident that you already got that I am talking about writing with courage.

A
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Jon Nakapalau
The best Batman/Joker story ever! Alan Moore asks the question no one else ever wanted to ask: how much of who the Joker is can be attributed to Batman? How much of who Batman is can be attributed to the Joker? 'Primordial Unity' and the 'Tragic Birth' of both the Joker and Batman has never been explored more deeply - I think Nietzsche would have liked this story.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Batman: The Killing Joke (Batman), Alan Moore, Brian Bolland (Illustrator), Tim Sale (Introduction)

Batman: The Killing Joke is a 1988 Comic graphic novel featuring the characters Batman and the Joker written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland. The Killing Joke provides an origin story for the super-villain the Joker.

The man who will become the Joker is an unnamed engineer who quits his job at a chemical company to become a stand-up comedian, only to fail miserably.

Desperate to suppo
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Fabian
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Killing Joke does much more for the iconic symbolism & stylistic edge of the Batman mythology than the serious-as-a-heart attack (overrated) Christopher Nolan films. But I am admittedly really in no position to analyze,* I leave this to the millions and lkegions of fans. The afterward by maestro illustrator**- his representation the most demonic and therefore probably my favorite interpretation of the Joker--is correct when he says that Alan Moore has written better stuff. (Watchmen, From He ...more
Jeff
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix
Should some origin stories be better left untold?

Comic publishers will embellish the backstory of character more than necessary or drag it out and milk it, or they’ll retcon the character one too many times until the reader doesn’t know which way is up. If there’s a month, a week, a day, a couple of minutes left undocumented in a character’s background, it’ll be fodder for a future story.

Does the Joker need an origin story?

Some basic facts are presented here: He was once “normal”. He became a
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

OMG! THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME! THE STORY LINE! THE GRAPHICS ARE FREAKING AMAZING!

I'm sure everyone and their cousin has already read this book, but I haven't so here we go. This is about how the joker turned nutsy cuckoo! He had a good job but left it thinking he could be a stand up comedian and support his wife and unborn baby. Well.... that didn't happen, he apparently wasn't funny --->who knew?

Then he goes and tries to get some crime job with some idiots so
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Ronyell
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of The Joker!!!
5.5 stars!!!

OH…MY…GOD…

description

I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Joker, one of Batman’s greatest foes. But after reading “Batman: The Killing Joke” and how the Joker was portrayed in this book, the Joker has officially become one of the most VILE, TWISTED, DARK and most DISTURBING villain I have ever come face to face with…AND I LOVED IT! Being brilliantly written by Alan Moore and being masterfully illustrated by Brian Bolland, “Batman: The Killing Joke” has remained to be one
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Michael Finocchiaro
One of the classic and most brutal Joker vs Batman graphic novels, The Killing Joke is a Batman classic and should be considered one of the essential canonical books in the genre. The Joker is as sinister and terrifying as ever and Batman is pushed to his limits and beyond. A fantastic fast-moving and beautifully drawn epic!
Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
An accurate depiction of what these 45 minutes felt like:

description

Nolan's movies are the reason I got hooked into the world of Batman. Not only did they become some of my favourite films of all time, but they also gave me one of my favourite villains of all time: The Joker.

And I figured it was about damn time I took a leap into where it all actually began– the comics.

There's no doubt that this green-haired madman is universally hailed as perhaps the best antagonist to have ever been created, and one can
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Tim
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is not the perfect Batman story. It’s got several weird choices, some extremely offensive moments and one of the most infamous scenes of violence towards a female character in comic history (story goes that when Moore mentioned the idea of damaging Barbara Gordon’s spine, the higher ups at DC responded to him with “Fine, cripple the bitch”). Flaws aside, it is the perfect Joker story.

These random acts of violence, these weird choices and offensive mockeries… they fit the Joker’s twisted sen
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Sarah
Just finished rereading this. It’s still such a cool comic!

*Batman voice* "WHERE IS HE?"

I can see why this is so popular. The story is great and the illustrations are phenomenal. I love the Joker, he's my favourite batman villain (and possibly my all-time favourite comic/superhero villain too). He is just completely insane and I love it.

I love getting backstories so I loved getting to see an adaptation of why the Joker was the way he was. It was really well done. However, after reading this I
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
2.5 stars rounded up.
This book was much better than "The Watchmen" to me. I may just not be a fan of Alan Moore's writing.
I mean it has this guy!

and I still didn't fan-girl over it.

It was an okay book for me though. You get the origins of the Joker..who I think is one of the best villains ever.

It's a dark one though for those of you who don't like dark. Barbara Gordan (aka-Batgirl) gets shot by the joker and he doesn't stop there. He pulls out full assholeness for this one.

The artwork is
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Scarlet Cameo
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rc-15
English review at the bottom

¿Que puedo decir de esta historia que no se haya dicho ya? ¿Qué es un obra maestra? Lo es, el dialogo es increíble, la deconstrucción del Joker también, pocas historias nos han mostrado tantas capas de este personaje ¿Porqué? Fácil, tenemos su parte más vulnerable, una que pocas veces se había explotado, también tenemos al clásico Joker,al que, como diría Alfred, "Quiere ver arder al mundo"...pero hay otra capa, la que poco se atreven a mostrar y es ¿Porque Batman? (y
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Ahmed  Ejaz
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-books, 2017
"All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy."--Joker
Wow! It's good! I liked this comic. I admit I was afraid because I thought it was published in 1988 and the work of graphics wouldn't be good. But at the same time I wanted to know the origin of Joker. In spite of its release date, the graphics were quite good. I enjoyed reading it. The Joker in this one was portrayed better than that in The Man Who Laughs.
The origin of Joker is heart breaking and pretty typical for o
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Dan Schwent
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cool-covers, comics
I'm probably risking a lynching from the fanboy mob but I liked this a whole lot more than the other well-regarded bat-book, The Dark Knight Returns. It nicely illustrates the Batman/Joker dynamic as well as highlights their similarities. Joker seemed like a psychopath rather than the buffoon he was normally portrayed as at the time. Shooting *spoiler* in the spine and taking pictures in order to try to break *spoiler*. Awesome. My favorite part was the Joker and Batman sharing a laugh while wai ...more
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Batman goes to Arkham Asylum on a fool's errand - to try and talk sense to the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker. But Joker's not there! He's escaped and plans on destroying the Gordon family. Will the Dark Knight save them? Or will Joker have the last laugh...

First off, this is an acknowledged classic and I utterly loved it when I read it several years ago. Re-reading it now, I can say this book most definitely holds up, this is a classic Batman book for a reason. What I forgot was how slim a bo
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Heidi The Reader
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've decided to explore the world of superhero comics. First on my list, Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore.

The story opens on a dark and stormy night. We're heading into Arkham Asylum with Batman. After passing a few famous inmates, we're outside inmate #0801, Name Unknown's cell.

A shadowy figure is playing solitaire within the barred room. It's The Joker.

By far, one of the creepiest villains of the Batman pantheon.

"So when you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, headi
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F
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I know nothing about Batman (apart from seeing the Christian Bale films)
I know nothing about Marvell or comic books or superheros in general but i loved this comic!

My first ever graphic read.
Lenny
Aug 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gabrielle
Updated review, with a few thoughts about the “Joker” movie at the end.

---

With the much-hyped upcoming “Joker” movie coming soon – and my various feeds being bombarded with tantalizing trailers, reviews and opinion pieces (I found this article especially interesting: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...), I felt an itch to revisit the infamous origin-story graphic novel “The Killing Joke”. The Joker has always been my favorite thing about Batman comics: the Bat himself bores me silly, but hi
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Mario
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
So when you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there's always madness. Madness is the emergency exit.


Since the animated movie is coming out soon, I decided to finally read this graphic novel. And I'm so glad I did. Joker has always been my favorite batman villain and it was nice to finally get some backstory on his character. And despite the great plot, my favorite thing about this graphic nove
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Chad
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I've probably re-read this a half dozen times over the years. It's one of the first "mature" takes on the Batman and Joker dynamic and how they are mirror images of one another. This is one of those iconic comic books that every fan of the medium should read. Alan Moore's Joker is creepy as hell with an evil menace lurking behind his sense of humor that chills you to the bone. Batman is written as a stodgy jerk who has trouble towing the line without going too far. Joker is definitely the star o ...more
Pantelis Andreou
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
‘If I’m going to have a past, i prefer it to be multiple choice.’

This one has some of the most iconic moments in comic book history. The art is just on point and simply perfect, with a dark and gritty look.

The backstory here is what i loved, it shows how miserable and unfair life can treat someone with no justice in the end. Also it leaves you with so much ambiguity as to what is going to happen.

I can see myself reading it again and again, exploring new clues and ideas behind the words and artwo
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Ayman Gomaa
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
We must ask ourselves why we love the joker <3 !!!!
why is he our favorite Villain <3 !!!
The killing joke and indeed it was , this comic focused a lot about the joker and his philosophy and his twisted mind , but this was my first time to really get to know the real story about the joker and how he become the joker and i really liked it :D .

i see now why a lot of comics fan rate this as one of the favorites ever , it was brilliant and Alan Moore writing makes it the best <3

..... After i saw Jar
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¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪
So when you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where screaming in unbearable, remember there's always madness. Madness is the emergency exit... You can just step outside, and close the door on all these dreadful things that happened. You can lock them away... forever.



I decided to re-read this old favourite because I am preparing a video on my favourite graphic novels, and I couldn't skip this one. Batman has always been my favourite com
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15,698 followers
Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moor
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Other books in the series

Batman: One-Shots (1 - 10 of 162 books)
  • Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk
  • Batman Special (1984) #1
  • Batman: Son of the Demon
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth
  • Batman: The Official Comic Adaptation Of The Warner Bros. Motion Picture
  • Batman: Bride of the Demon
  • Batman: Digital Justice
  • Batman: Full Circle
  • Batman: Holy Terror

Articles featuring this book

You probably know coauthors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck as James S.A. Corey—their shared pen name. And you probably know them from their wildly po...
149 likes · 20 comments
“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.” 547 likes
“MEMORY'S SO TREACHEROUS. ONE MOMENT YOU'RE LOST IN A CARNIVAL OF DELIGHTS, WITH POIGNANT CHILDHOOD AROMAS , THE FLASHING NEON OF PUBERTY, ALL THAT SENTIMENTAL CANDY-FLOSS ...

THE NEXT , IT LEADS YOU SOMEWHERE YOU DON'T WANT TO GO...

...SOMEWHERE DARK AND COLD, FILLED WITH THE DAMP, AMBIGUOUS SHAPES OF THINKS YOU'D HOPED WERE FORGOTTEN.

MEMORIES CAN BE VILE, REPULSIVE LITTLE BRUTES. LIKE CHILDREN, I SUPPOSE. HAHA.

BUT CAN WE LIVE WITHOUT THEM? MEMORIES ARE WHAT OUR REASON IS BASED UPON. IF WE CAN'T FACE THEM, WE DENY REASON ITSELF!

ALGHOUGH, WHY NOT? WE AREN'T CONTRACTUALLY TIED DOWN TO RATIONALITY!

THERE IS NO SANITY CLAUSE!

SO WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF LOCKED ONTO AN UNPLEASANT TRAIN OF THOUGHT, HEADING FOR THE PLACES IN YOUR PAST WHERE THE SCREAMING IS UNBEARABLE, REMEMBER THERE'S ALWAYS MADNESS.

MADNESS IS THE EMERGENCY EXIT...

YOU CAN JUST STEP OUTSIDE, AND CLOSE THE DOOR ON ALL THOSE DREADFUL THINGS THAT HAPPENED. YOU CAN LOCK THEM AWAY...

FOREVER.”
399 likes
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