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Batman: The Killing Joke

Alan Moore
Art: Brian Bolland

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 6 June 2015
I've been thinking lately. About you and me. About what's going to happen to us. In the end. We're going to kill each other, aren't we?

The Joker has escaped from Arkham Asylum and is hell bent on proving that there's very little between perceived sanity and his own deranged insanity. Targeting Jim Gordon, he's hell bent on breaking the police commissioner and proving his twisted madness could befall anyone put through similar extremities.

The Killing Joke is the definitive Joker story, binding his origin to Batman and intertwining their fates. Giving us an unstable, psychopathic villain, who's lunacy came from a tragic, if predictable, past as a failed comedian who sympathetically turns to crime to help support his pregnant wife.

Alan Moore's poetic dialogue is in full force and works especially well through the Joker's monologues in his psychedelic, psycho circus. All the while, Brian Bollards vibrant, hyper colours and clean line work are a perfect match, with simple yet effective techniques to contrast the past and present.

Finally, despite its adult themes and shocking imagery, The Killing Joke is a real race-against-the-clock page turner, as Batman must race to save his close friend before The Joker can fulfill his evil plan. A great little stand alone read in a much larger universe that can be completed in one sitting.