#GraphicNovel #Review of Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition

The Killing Joke
The Killing Joke – Five of Five Stars

I’m not a huge Batman guy, or any hero that tries not to kill people. Yes, yes justice is important and and all that. But how many times can we read about throwing a guy in a cell, him getting loose and hurting people again. I’ve grown sick of watching Netflix’s Daredevil for this very reason. Listen to the Punisher, dude: If you want to fix a problem, Kill it!

Batman himself wrestles with a similar gripe throughout the story. There seems to be an underlying question over the possibility of rehabilitation. He spends a great deal of time asking Joker to smooth things over a cup of coffee or dinner. Joker’s idea of bro time differs, naturally, and he chooses psychological torture.

The Killing Joke serves as a deep foray into the algorithm of insanity. Random injustice, one really bad day, extreme physical and mental pain, cosmic irony… The Joker tinkers with these ingredients in an attempt to develop the perfect recipe for madness. He serves up the final product piping fresh to Commissioner Gordon. As he victimizes Gordon and his daughter, Barbara, the joker offers the way out: Madness is the emergency exit.

I have a healthy respect for comic classics such as The Killing Joke. Graphic novels and comics have for too long been relegated to the distant corners of pop culture. Graphic novels have been neglected as being major contributors to modern literary canon, but this injustice is clearly changing.

If you are looking to spend a half hour that leaves you questioning the unwritten contract of rationality then this is for you.