I can’t recall how I got interested in The Killing Joke, but I did. A stop at our favorite comic book store today and a horribly timed tantrum by the Prince resulted in an accidental purchase of this graphic novel by the King for me. I was very grateful for it and after Prince went to sleep tonight, I shut down the computer and read it.
HOLY CRAP, y’all! I know I’m behind on the Batman bandwagon (he really, really is not for me) and this was the first storyline I read about Batman and I might be hooked…because Joker and the Gordons are awesome! Batman? Eh, he’s still not doing it for me.
Now, here’s the thing that struck me after reading The Killing Joke:
* Batman created Joker,
* Joker was a man with good intentions derailed by bad decisions and unfortunate circumstances (he went to the mob to do a job so he could get money to move his pregnant wife into a better neighborhood, who can’t find a little sympathy for a man like that?)
* Of course the job goes south and Batman shows up
Who would he be if he didn’t lose his wife and child? Would he still have ultimately still have been Batman’s nemesis? According to the King they have a very intertwined history so it’s fair to assume destiny would have been the same regardless of the timeline.
And what about the Gordons?
*Joker shoots Barbara G point-blank in the pelvis (and makes several book-themed jokes about her as she lies bleeding on the floor)
* He then takes her father, Commissioner Gordon, to his decrypted amusement park and tries to make him crazy.
* Commissioner G stays sane enough to tell Batman to “do it by the book!”, when he arrives to catch Joker.
As I’ve said, this is the first Batman anything I’ve read. I’m not really surprised that I feel a sympathy of sorts for Joker, because of the storyline that was told in this graphic novel. For some people, Joker is just an evil person that’s the cut-and-dry of it. For others, like me apparently, there’s a side that wistfully makes you wonder if he was always crazy or if Batman gave him a push at his lowest, darkest moment that sent him into the crazy, dark abyss of insanity.
I’ve been a fan of Birds of Prey (the tv series and I’ve read some of the comic books as well), but I never really knew who put Barbara in the chair. Now I know. I’m beginning to feel like there’s a deeper pull into the DC Universe that I’ll have to read and get into, more than just Justice League of America, Catwoman and Birds of Prey.
I might have to actually read more Batman so I can read more Joker!