The Killing Joke is one of the most famous Batman graphic novels of all time. It is also one of the most controversial. The Killing Joke introduces psychological profile of the Joker, arguably the most recognizable and infamous villain in all of all time. Allan Moore provides a backstory for the “clown prince of crime” origin of a struggling comedian who turns into a madman after facing a family tragedy. In an attempt to show Batman that everyone is just one bad day away from going mad, the Joker physically and psychologically attacks the Gordon family in an attempt to mentally break Gotham police commissioner Jim Gordon.
In order to drive commissioner Gordon insane, the Joker divided a plan to hurt his daughter, Barbara Gordon. Barbara (who is also Batgirl) opened the door to her apartment to find the Joker wearing a Hawaiian shirt and his menacing smile holding a revolver. The Joker fires his weapon leaving Barbara paralyzed her. While the Joker’s goons violently attacked commissioner Gordon, the Joker disrobed Barbara and takes pictures of the wounded, frightened girl to humiliate James and his daughter.
The hero of the comic book, Batman is a character well known for never breaking his one rule of never killing. The Joker is someone who definitely pushes Batman to his limits but will he lead him to break his number one rule? Fans are as divided about the question, “Does Batman kill the Joker in The Killing Joke?”
At the very end of the graphic novel, Batman has the Joker and is waiting for the police to arrive. The Joker tells Batman a joke about inmates escaping from an asylum, and shares a slow chuckle that builds into bellowing laughter. Batman places his hands on the Joker’s shoulders, the final two panels show the laughter stopping with a close-up shot of pouring rain forming a puddle as the police arrive. Those who don’t think Batman killed the Joker argue that killing is the line that Batman never crosses.
The Joker is a character who will always go down in comic book history as the ultimate villain who can test the strongest of hero’s. The killing Joke tells the origin story of The Joker and the terrible events he went through to get there. He is a man who comes up with the worst possible way to harm, both physically and mentality , people who stand in his way which is why he is quite possibly the worst villain of them all.
– Ryan Hardwick