Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Batman: The Killing Joke written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Brian Bolland.... A Review
Let me first say, I am not a superhero kind of girl. I Use to watch Batman and Superman on TV when I was very young, but I never read any of the comic books. I do like graphic novels and comic books though, so I will sit down and read one every now and then. But this one is different...
I kept hearing about Jaoquim Phoenix's awards for his outstanding performance of Joker in the movie by the same name. So I rented it to see what all the fuss was about. Let me tell you, it was depressing. Really depressing. BUT, what a performance by Jaoquin Phoenix! He was amazing as Joker. And the film was amazing too. Remember, I'm not really a superhero kind of girl, so what I was expecting was not what I got. The movie is not a superhero movie, but a human look at the man behind the Joker. Who was he? How did his circumstances make him into the Joker? All so very fascinating, which made me wonder about the comic it was based on.
Way back in 1988, DC comics ran a one-shot, basically a story that begins and ends with one comic book. It was about the origin of Joker written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland. Because of the release of the movie, based on this comic, DC reprinted a deluxe hardcover version with beautiful new coloring and some backstory of how the comic was created... and it is wonderful! There have been so many improvements on how these comics are produced that Brian Bolland went back and colored the story the way he always wanted to (along with a few fixes here and there in the illustrations that he always wanted to do too). And the coloring is beautiful.
Now the story was changed a little for the movie. In the comic, the Joker has a Fiance and he wants a better life for them and their future children. He left his job in the local chemical plant, is a failure as a comic, and is convinced to do something by some thugs to earn a little money. Things go terribly wrong though and the rest as they say, is history. This is a great story! The other thing the movie changed was the way the Joker looks. In the movie it's all grease paint, but in the comic it is something entirely different. (you need to read this to find out!) The comic has some aspects of violence, but humourous in other spots. The interaction between Batman and Joker is great too. And the end of the story puts a human side to the "relationship" between Batman and Joker. The book doesn't stop there though, because there are a few bonus stories and a section on how the story is put together with the first drawings and how the artist shows the writer the intent of the scenes. The back of the book is filled with Brian Bolland drawings, who is an award winning artist, some in full color, of Joker and Batman in various other projects that he's done. The original story is 53 pages, the book itself is 96 pages total. There is a 30th anniversary edition that has more of the original comic book included at twice the price as the Deluxe edition I read, but I am very satisfied with the edition I read.
Final Course... Great story! I thoroughtly enjoyed it and found it entertaining. The artwork is beautiful! Brian Bolland did an amazing job coloring it as well. I would recommend this to any comic book fan, movie fan, and for someone who really hasn't gotten into comic books, but would like to give comics a try. Now this is considered a graphic novel, but when I think of graphic novels I think of much longer and thicker works. Published by DC Comics in September of 2019.