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Fridge / The Killing Joke

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Fridge Brilliance

  • The Joker was a failed comedian who only started gaining notoriety when his jokes became more... mean-spirited. Many legendary insult comics and anti-comics started out the same way.
  • Many people were pissed over Moore's Disposable Woman treatment of Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joke, me included. This review of the story, however, made me realize something important: that was what the Joker wanted. Barbara is a young, athletic woman, and has probably done her fair share of community work (and not just as Batgirl). Joker, however, had probably hoped to make everyone in Gotham (not to mention the audience) remember her as "that poor girl that was shot by Joker", and nothing more (much like Sarah Essen Gordon). But, thanks to one John Ostrander and one Kim Yale, he failed at that - Barbara's more well-known than ever as Oracle.
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  • There is much to praise in Brian Bolland's art. In each panel Joker is in, he is fully capable of smirking maliciously. But when he smiles, it never reaches his eyes.
  • The Joker's final... joke... takes on a whole other level when you realize the two mental patients are supposed to be Batman and Joker, with a level ambiguity thrown in depending on which patient is which, depending on where you stand on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism:
    • If you're a cynic, then the patient who jumps is the Joker, making the final plunge into madness, whilst the patient who stays is Batman, struggling to hold on to his sanity.
    • If You're an idealist, then the patient who jumps is Batman, breaking free of the madness and retaining his sanity, and the patient who stays is the Joker, left to wallow in his madness.
    • Either case, no wonder Batman was laughing.
    • It works on so many levels too. The lunatic who escaped tried to help the other to get over the gap, but a beam of light isn't exactly a safe bridge. Either it's Batman, who's trying to save the Joker, ultimately a hopeless endeavor, or it's the Joker, who's trying to turn Batman mad, also a hopeless endeavor.
Fridge Logic.
  • How is Joker's gun empty at the end? He never fires it through the entire fight and the only time he uses it through the whole book is the one bullet at Barbara.
    • Potentially from only having one bullet in it, which he used on Barbara? Or his last bullet was used on Barbara; the others were fired just before the comic started.
    • Answering this is probably the reason that the animated adaptation has it instead as one of Joker's gag guns.
    • The Doylist answer is probably that Moore didn't put much effort into the plot to begin with, and just recycled this particular resolution from V for Vendetta, where it was much better foreshadowed.


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