Sunday, March 22, 2009


Disclaimer: This is my favorite graphic novel so this will pretty much be all praise.
"The Killing Joke" is the best Joker graphic novel to date in my opinion. Alan Moore takes the usual Joker plot but turns it into something entirely unique. First of all, he goes there all the way with the Joker's twisted cruelty - no silly pranks here but a bullet straight in the gut (in Barbara's case). But on the flip side of this, there is also a real sense of tragedy not usually present in Joker stories. The last panel on page 8 is a perfect example of this. The flash back has just ended with the Joker reaching out to his wife Jeanie, and in this panel, the present, he is reaching out to a clown - incredible foreshadowing. Above the clown it says "Laughing Clown" but in the reflection we see that the Joker is not wearing his trademark smile. His expression is sullen and almost lost. The transitions between the flashbacks and present are great. Most of them have the same poses. The one I like in particular is on pages 23 and 24. In the flash back, the Joker has his hands covering his downturned face in despair and in the present it's Gordon in the same position. This goes along with the Joker's theme that it only takes one bad day to make you crazy - like him.
"The Killing Joker" is fantastic artwise as well. Bolland's rendition of the Joker is probably my favorite along with Alex Roth's. Even though the book is short there are so many panels that the reader feels like a lot is going on. The first panel and the last panel are of the same thing - rain hitting a puddle. This goes along with Batman's monologue. I chose the picture above because it's one of my favorite panels. The desperation and sadness on the Joker's face is so moving. It has always stood out to me.
Since my last entry was about Watchmen, I can't help but see how similar the Joker and the Comedian are in that they both believe that "It's all a joke." And yet they are quite different. Blake worked for the government, seemed to genuinely have feelings for Sally, and cracked when he found out about Veidt's plan. The Joker works for no one but himself, cares about no one, and wouldn't give a damn about 15 million people dying. Still they are an interesting pair. I wonder what a conversation would be like between those two!

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully, time will tell. I just damn sure hope that dc are still big enough to pull a comeback like that.