The Batman has had plenty of great stories that have helped define the character, from Knightfall through to The Court of Owls, but when it comes to his arch-nemesis the Joker, there’s only one tale that truly sums up that horrific clown prince of crime.
And that’s The Killing Joke. It’s a legendary tale that aims to give the Joker an origin story of sorts, while proving that he doesn’t actually need any background or history at all. The Joker as an undecipherable menace that stalks the dark knight, is perfect the way it is.
The Killing Joke was written by Alan Moore and drawn by Brian Bolland way back in 1988, and it’s still a magnificent read. The story itself is simple: Hellbent on proving that anyone can be as insane as him provided that they have “just one bad day”, the Joker kidnaps commissioner Gordon and runs him through a gauntlet of misery, that includes the Joker shooting his daughter (who also happens to be Batgirl) at point-blank range and crippling her for life.
It’s one of the darkest Batman stories out there, and one that Warner Bros. animation wing has confirmed will be given an animated adaptation. That’s fantastic news then. When given the chance to work on established comic books and bring them to the big screen, Warner Bros. Animation has done some spectacular work.
The Dark Knight Returns was a two part epic that was faithful to the source books, All Star Superman is still one of my all-time favourite animated films and The New Frontier was silver age storytelling at its best.
Here’s the best news however: The Killing Joke will feature Mark Hamill’s signature Joker. The Star Wars actor had previously tweeted that he had high hopes for being cast in the flick:
You’re not the only one w/ fingers crossed! https://t.co/PcKlgRQFaU
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 17, 2015
And according to Collider, not only has Hamill been cast, he’s already finished recording his lines for the flick. The joke may be on us after all. That’s genuinely good news. Hammil’s Joker is the definitive version of the character, so having his voice in a Joker story that has stood the test of time, makes me far too happy.
And hopefully it’ll be the kind of news that reveals that the best Batman voice, Kevin Conroy, has also returned for The Killing Joke. That’d be one hell of an animated reunion.
Last Updated: July 28, 2015