The Killing Joke Nails The Punchline

Posted: July 26, 2016 in Comics, Friends of The Nerdery, Graphic Novels, JD Hardin, Movies, Podcast
Tags: , , , ,

All Batman readers are familiar with the infamous The Killing Joke one shot. For those that aren’t, here’s a little background for you.

Released in March 1988, Alan Moore shattered everyone’s expectations of how dark a comic book villain can be. The book has received both heavy criticism and an abundance of praise. This is the story that crippled Barbara Gordon and cemented the relationship between Batman and the Joker. The Killing Joke has been called one of the best and darkest superhero comic books of all time.

For years, fans have been begging for an on-screen adaptation. We’ve asked specifically for a Mark Hamill (yes, in case you didn’t know, Luke Skywalker is the voice of the Joker) and Kevin Conroy portrayal. We, as fans, have suggested the project be placed into the unfailing hands of Bruce Timm.

Our begging and pleading did not fall on deaf ears. Last night, The Nerdery was joined by CasterQuest and the Nerdy Bitches at a screening of the The Killing Joke. The screening was preceded by Mark Hamill reminiscing his journey from Star Wars to the Joker and from the animated series to The Killing Joke. His recollections of the love of the character and the conflict to his wholesome character in Star Wars are funny and informative and help settle the audience down before the feature.

 The film is followed by an in depth look at the musical score. Titled “Madness Set to Music” the feature takes us deep into composing the perfect music that can manipulate the senses of the watcher. The short documentary also takes us behind the the scenes for the Joker’s big musical number, ” I Go Looney ”

Take a look…


Directed by
  • Sam Liu
Produced by
  • Bruce Timm
  • Alan Burnett
  • Sam Register
Written by Brian Azzarello
Based on Batman: The Killing Joke
by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
  • Kevin Conroy
  • Mark Hamill
  • Tara Strong
  • Ray Wise
Music by
  • Kristopher Carter
  • Michael McCuistion
  • Lolita Ritmanis
Edited by Christopher D. Lozinski
  • DC Comics
  • Warner Bros. Animation
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • July 22, 2016(San Diego Comic-Con)
  • July 25, 2016 (United States)
Running time
76 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3.5 million
Box office $3.6 million


The best way to evaluate The Killing Joke is to break it into three parts, the prologue, the story itself, and the epilogue.

The Prologue

After debuting at SDCC this past weekend, The Killing Joke‘s prologue caused quite a commotion. Already, a story that pushes boundaries to their absolute limit, the prologue seemed to take things a little out of proportion. Centering on Batgirl/Barbara Gordon’s relationship with Batman/Bruce Wayne, the normally intelligent and resourceful Barbara Gordon is, instead, shown to be meek and dependent in contrast. While this coincides with the character in The Killing Joke book, most fans were hoping this would be corrected in the film, even if only slightly. What fans received was the opposite. Batgirl seems to be fixated on Batman in both a sexual and physical capacity. All of that tension culminates Image result for killing joke batman and batgirlwith a fight between them, ending with a “physical surrender” of Barbara Gordon. Personally, I find this scene appalling. The Batgirl character was created to shake off the subordinate and submissive batwomen and batgirls of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and replace them with crime fighting women that Batman could view as equals. Barbara Gordon was just such a replacement. While I agree that the source material did portray her as being rather weak, the film takes this concept to a new abyss. The sexual tension was manufactured just for the film and is completely unnecessary to the development of the plot. The idea that Barbara and Bruce sleep together is a perversion of what Batgirl is meant to stand for to readers and fans the world over. Outside of that, the plot does not do the main story much justice. It doesn’t give any information that the watcher requires to make sense of the film as a whole, and personally, leaves a bitter after taste.

For the Prologue   2.5 out of 5 Capes.

The Story

I’m not one to be run off by a few minutes of plot I don’t agree with. When it came to the story, it is by far the BEST film adaptation of a comic book I have ever seen. Panel for panel, word for word, the film is perfection on a screen. The differences can only be measured in microns. The animation is shockingly close to the art of Brian Bolland. A breathtaking homage to the most well known Batman book out there, I expect this to be one of the best selling DC animated films EVER! 

Film Capture

Comic Book Frame






Film Capture

Comic Book Frame






The Attention to detail shown in the animation is utterly amazing.  The frames above illustrate the incredible work done by Warner Bros. Animation.

I really wish I could elaborate further on this portion of the film, but it’s just too good to spoil with words.

For the story 5 out of 5 Capes

The Epilogue

By far, the shortest segment of The Killing Joke. The epilogue simply gives us not just a look at Barbara Gordon as a paraplegic, but her ascension into the role of The Oracle. Once again, this is an extremely short segment that, at most, is a minute and a half long. The animation is in stride with the rest of the film and nothing seems as if it doesn’t belong. As far as plot elements or its weight on the rest of the film, the epilogue is rather superfluous. However, it does put a tidy bow on any later questions from NR’s (Non-Readers) about Barbara Gordon’s survival post The Killing Joke.

For the Epilogue 5 out of 5 Capes

I highly recommend this to EVERY DC fan out there. For Batman fans, this one is a mandatory MUST OWN!!! Even with a questionable start, The Killing Joke is an animated feature that stands alone and above all others.

OVERALL RATING 5 of 5 Capes !

The movie will be ranging in price from from $14.96 for standard edition DVD to $42.75 for the deluxe edition Blu-Ray pack.

Batman The Killing Joke Blu Ray DVD Digital + Figurine + Graphic Novel best buy

Available on digital


Available on DVD and Blu-Ray



  1. lbruce09 says:

    Reblogged this on Out of Me Head.


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