The more you try to stay away from the DC, given the gory, the loud, the stereotype, the cliche and the sheer political incorrectness, the more DC lures you with its irresistible gory, loud, stereotype, cliche and SHEER political incorrectness. Who doesn’t like tidbits of barely implicit animated child-porn with morning tea!
We are all going straight to the hellhole of Arkham along with Alan Moore some day.
Batman The Killing Joke (1988) is arguably Moore’s best – surely one of his best in the Superhero series, specially for its ambiguous ending, where Batman starts laughing uncontrollably with Joker at the latter’s joke about two madmen escaping from an asylum; the city police patrol waits in apprehension with their bright headlights silhouetting the pair, as the reader’s eye gradually pans to the incessant raindrops falling at their feet. But it is a great book also for the Red-hood reconnection from the ’50s, one of the liveliest Bat vs. Joker fight scenes and the BDUMPs – the gates of the tunnel of madness closing one after another behind Commissioner Gordon, as they often do when you or I end up having a real bad day.
Does Batman finally kill Joker? Or the contrary? Or do they embrace in a passionate kiss (and a lot more) as The Hooded Utilitarian (don’t confuse him with the Hooded Justice or any of the other fictitious heroes) suggests! Although it is a matter of contemplation – if the Bat vs. Joker story indeed ends in the mood for love, what would the nature of that love be! A totally evil and insensitive guess would be Naturally Born Killers! Ouch.
However my point of interest here is not the story itself but the reworking of the pictures in the book by the artist Brian Bolland in the year 2008 for the republished deluxe edition. As a Batman-veteran, having read enough of him and having followed Christopher Nolan long enough, thus getting somewhat used to the rants of the enemies-till-death-duo (gays/two faces of the same being – sounds familiar?/just the superhero vs. the archvillain – which would be naive – unless you’ve already seen Unbreakable), the initial theme of the book seems less striking. What acts as a winning factor for this book is Bolland’s haunting version of the Joker – as Tim Sale says in the foreword of The Killing Joke: Brrrrrr. I just got chills.