Thoughts on Batman: The Killing Joke

The Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke

While it isn’t without issue, I enjoyed the animated adaptation of the Alan Moore / Brian Bolland classic. The new prologue created by writer Brian Azzarello brings a layer of complexity (and controversy) to Batgirl and her relationship with Batman. It’s not perfect, as Batgirl’s role becomes fairly inconsistent when the main story begins but I definitely feel like it made for a more complete story overall.

The film earns its “R” rating in keeping many (if not all) of the most controversial scenes from the graphic novel in tact, for better or worse. It’s a violent, disturbing film that stays with you long after you finish watching and the finale will leave you with the same uneasy feeling from Moore and Bolland’s original story.

Batgirl in Batman: The Killing Joke

Speaking of which, the WB animation team have done a great job in bringing original artist Brian Bolland’s art to life with several scenes directly lifted from the pages of the book. Fans of the original comic will certainly find the visuals to be a faithful recreation with a splash of Bruce Timm mixed in for good measure.

It won’t be for everyone but The Killing Joke takes what I assumed would be almost impossible to do and pulls it off reasonably well. If you’re willing to put aside some of your preconceived ideas about the characters, I’d recommend checking this one out.