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Trivia / The Killing Joke

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  • Big Name Fan: Tim Burton states on one of the cover's review blurbs that The Killing Joke was one of the first comics he ever fell in love with.
  • Bilingual Bonus/Easter Egg/Brand X: On the cover, Joker is depicted with a "Witz" ("joke" in German) camera with a "Witzmacher Kawalarz" ("joker" in German and Polish) lens.
  • Black Sheep Hit: The Killing Joke is this for Moore. Alongside Watchmen and V for Vendetta it's his most famous and influential story. The success of The Killing Joke has likewise made Moore a prominent influence on Batman to the point of being consulted by Tim Burton, despite the fact that Moore is not a fan of Batman in general, and that the superhero Moore prefers is Superman and the DC licensed character he worked for the longest was Swamp Thing which paradoxically has had comparatively little cross-media influence on its respective characters compared to this Joker one-shotnote ; and is otherwise not really representative of his style and themes, his work in superhero stories in general, his work in DC, or his work in The '80s. Moore has stated that among the two Batman comics he worked on, "Mortal Clay" a brief story on Preston Payne/Clayface III is his favorite.
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  • Creator Backlash: Alan Moore (and Brian Bolland) personally don't think it's as great as most people say it is, and in an interview Moore once said of the comic, "As for writing, it is not one of my finest hours." Specifically, Moore has said that he regrets the story's lack of interest in how Barbara herself dealt with being shot and paralysed, and the contribution that its fully canonical status made to the whole DC universe getting Darker and Edgier. He also felt that the seriousness and overly psychological approach in the story ultimately did not reveal a great deal about the characters and that it became just another "nasty" story about Joker and Batman.
  • Follow the Leader: Brian Bolland's interpretation of the Joker (very lanky, vaguely upward spiky hair, somewhat vampiric features) has dominated how the Joker has been drawn since the book came out. In particular, the "why aren't you laughing? panel has been (deliberately in Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader) cribbed multiple times.
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  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Moore is reputed to consider this the weakest of his DC works, as he believes that the aesthetics of Watchmen were a poor fit for a "mere" Batman story. He later explained that ultimately Joker and Batman were intended to function as comic-book larger-than-life figures and are entertaining as such, but attempts to introduce realism would end up making the story nasty but without being as fun as a superhero comic. This later informed his attempts at Reconstruction of superhero comics in Supreme and America's Best Comics label. Moore also states that of the two Batman stories he worked on, "Mortal Clay" is better.
  • Shrug of God: In his afterword in the deluxe edition, Brian Bolland says that he'll address the interpretation that Batman kills The Joker at the end. As he's addressing it his aforementioned 800 word count cuts him off mid paragraph.
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  • Word of God: As opposed to the Shrug of God regarding whether or not Batman killed the Joker, Moore has been more deliberate on what happened during a certain other scene that fans speculated on. Word of God stated that when Joker snapped those nudes of Barb after he shot her (to use to drive Commissioner Gordon insane), it was all softcore. As opposed to some fan speculation, he didn't rape her.

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