Alan Moore Batman & Joker

Batman and Joker share a moment

From the Brian Bolland / Alan Moore The Killing Joke

Brian Bolland - the Killing Joke - Batman a

Brian Bolland - the Killing Joke - Batman b

Brian Bolland - the Killing Joke - Batman c

Brian Bolland - the Killing Joke - Batman d

Brian Bolland - the Killing Joke - Batman e

Moore's Batman / Joker

Alan Moore's take on the relationship of the Joker and Batman is that both men were born of grief, and chose different roads toward expressing that grief. Moore's Joker isn't enigmatic in the source of his crazy; it's a tale of humiliation, pressure and tragedy that brought forth a fiendish clown unwilling to take the world as a serious place of any consequence.

There is a lot of distance between Moore's version and the Jerry Robinson/Bob Kane/Bill Finger Joker which is a more stylized criminal, insane and sick, but with recognizable goals besides random murder.

Moore's Joker character is designed to be an anarchic terrorist that mocks Batman's credo of maintaining order (or forcing order, if you consider the Frank Miller version, which stated that as a credo 'the world only makes sense when you force it to.') *

Different that this renovation of Joker is Moore's Batman who is more along the lines of the traditional cape-and-bat symboled hero, dedicated and humorless. But in a detachment from the Bob Kane/Bill Finger Batman (and the Frank Miller Batman, too) Moore's Batman is capable of sharing a moment of laughter with his arch-enemy. This is not possible in the Frank Miller/Bob Kane Batman character, who always presents a complete rejection of the Joker. In Moore's The Killing Joke, Batman and Joker still have shreds of their humanity available.

In Brian Bolland's artwork, shown in the brief sequence on this page, the two men are joined together in sharing the same pool of rain, a traditional visual storytelling symbol of grief.

In this simple way, Bolland/Moore shows the strange bond that exists between the two men, that is, they have the same reference point in the comic book world of Gotham City.

AMAZON: Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition

Original Page October 2013 | Updated March 2018

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