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Now, before I write a single word more, let me start with this simple disclaimer: I consider Alan Moore the best writer to have ever worked in comics.
There are no qualifiers to that; no qualifications. Moore is unmatched. But The Killing Joke? As a Batman book, it's just bad. That isn't to say there's nothing to like here: this book certainly has its moments; some of which are brilliant, in fact.
But as a story, it doesn't work. Killing Joke is really two stories told in parallel. It provides an origin for the Joker while simultaneously following him on a scheme to drive Commissioner Gordon insane.
While I am not in favor of attempts to make Batman "realistic," I do feel that some elements should be handled carefully if handled at all. And that's really the problem here. Not only did Alan Moore use an absurd origin; he made it more so. In the original, the Red Hood was a hardened criminal before he became the Joker. In this version, he was a comedian having a really bad day.
I think I understand what Moore was trying to do here. That's how far the world is from where I am. The Joker's iconic quote has been an influence for comic book writers over the years, and can even be viewed as potentially inspiring quotes from other comic book characters. For instance, in the latest season of Marvel's Daredevil TV series, The Punisher tells the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, " You're just one bad day away from being me ," an apparent reference to The Joker's "one bad day" line although the reference has not been confirmed.
As previously mentioned, while Barbara Gordon officially retired the Batgirl superheroine in July , The Killing Joke is widely regarded as being the character's final chapter, having been ruthlessly paralyzed by The Joker.
In fact, the extent to which The Joker mutilated Barbara Gordon became an inspiration for the Women in Refrigerators movement in the late '90s, which sought to bring light to the common comic book trope of female characters being either injured, killed, or depowered as a plot device.
In Booster Gold 5, "No Joke," the eponymous superhero is tasked by his father and Time Master Rip Hunter to travel back in time and prevent The Joker from shooting and paralyzing Barbara Gordon at the run-down amusement park. He is instead caught by the Clown Prince of Crime and beaten to a pulp. Rip Hunter rescues Booster Gold just mere moments before The Joker kills him, and pulls him back to their time.
Booster Gold attempted several times to save Barbara, but Rip Hunter later reveals that Barbara's paralysis is inevitable, for she is destined to one day become Oracle. However, despite failing to save Barbara, Batman thanked and befriended Booster Gold for at least trying.
In the story, Zatanna , one of the most powerful sorceresses in the DC Universe, had a precognitive dream showing The Joker shooting and paralyzing Barbara Gordon.
Unfortunately, similar to the circumstances seen in Johns' "No Joke," Zatanna and Wonder Woman were incapable of preventing the incident from transpiring. So, Zatanna planned a very special girls' night out with Batgirl and Wonder Woman, which included dancing -- lots of dancing. Interestingly, the comic reveals the inspiration for the code-name Oracle, which Barbara later assumes.
The name comes from the Oracles at Delphi, who could predict the future but if they tried to change it, the consequences could be "a thousand times worse.
Once he realized his mistake, Flash traveled back once again and stopped his earlier self from changing the past, which in turn created the relaunched New 52 universe. When DC Comics launched their 52 new titles, many characters, origins, and stories were altered.
For instance, Wally West aka Kid Flash , who everyone grew up loving, was recreated and given a vastly different origin story. While many things changed, some elements -- more specifically, stories -- remained intact, and one of those stories was The Killing Joke. In the new universe, however, Barbara Gordon recovered from her paralysis and resumed fighting injustice as Batgirl, although it is revealed that she suffers from post-traumatic stress as a result of being shot by The Joker.
In addition to premiering at San Diego Comic-Con , Batman: The Killing Joke will screen in over 1, theaters -- one-night-only -- on July 25th, at pm and pm, accompanied with a special introduction by Hamill.
In fact, to geeks and many DC Comics fans, he's considered to be the definitive Joker. Conroy has voiced Batman in virtually all of the aforementioned adaptations featuring Hamill as The Joker. Above all, Conroy and Hamill are considered to be the exemplification of what Batman and Joker should be like.
In the acclaimed animated movie Batman: Under the Red Hood , based on the comic book story arc of the same name by writer Judd Winick and artist Doug Mahnke, the Red Hood lures Batman to the Ace Chemical plant, where Joker jumped into a chemical vat, permanently disfiguring himself and, thus, becoming The Joker.
In a interview, Heath Ledger revealed that while he hadn't read any Batman comics prior to being cast as The Joker in Nolan's The Dark Knight , shortly after accepting the role, he was given a copy of The Killing Joke to study.