Batman: The Killing Joke


I am by no means an avid  graphic novel reader. But I do like Batman and The Joker, and  Batman: The Killing Joke has been on my list to read for awhile now.

In it, Batman walks into Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane to talk with The Joker, only to discover The Joker has escaped and has left an impostor in his place.

I’ve always wondered who The Joker was before he became the villain he is today, and you get his backstory in The Killing Joke, although it may just be one of the many stories told about his origin. The Joker had a wife and a child on the way and after failing to make it as a comedian, he decided to do one big job from the mob in hopes of setting himself and his family up for life.

His wife dies in a freak accident, the big job goes wrong and he ends up burning himself in what appears to be toxic liquid, resulting in a permanent change in his appearance.


You would think his backstory would give the reader some sort of empathy towards his character but it didn’t for me. He is the Joker after all.  He kidnaps the commissioner, shoots his daughter, and takes photos of her while she lies naked and bleeding on the ground. He then uses those photos as a form of torture in order to drive the commissioner crazy.

The gritty graphic novel had a very confusing ending, and  true to the title ends with a joke. I did a google search and everyone has their own ideas on what happened in the end between Batman and The Joker. Did Batman kill The Joker? Or did he take The Joker back to the asylum? Me? I’m not sure at all.


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