The Killing Joke
- This Graphic Novel was very different than anything we have read in class. The graphics in this novel were very sketchy and a little bit grotesque. I mean grotesque in the sense that the images are dark and eerie making us feel uncomfortable by what we are reading. The images within the novel are hyper realistic where every terrible thing within it is portrayed as it would be at a circus. The novel is very dark and makes you feel as if you’re reading a horror story instead of superhero tale. It is unique though because it takes a different look at traditional superhero story and analyzes the villain, which compared to Batman the tones are similar, but the sketches show the difference between the villain’s point of view and the hero’s.
- I think that this story was written as a graphic novel because the pictures really help you realize how horrible the Joker really is. It takes everything to the extreme and you need those vivid images to really see the horrific things that are going on within the story. It wouldn’t be enough to just describe them, you need to see them. Also, this Graphic novel has several innuendos told within the gutters. For example, the rape of Barbra is suggested, but we fill it in. It is not explicit. We do not see a rape scene, but in the gutter we see that it happened. If we were to read this in the book, it would have to either go in detail or we would lose that scene. Lastly, this has several different flashbacks within it to show us how the Joker came to be. I think that would be hard to translate into the movie because you would want to feel sorry for him. You even want to feel bad for him in the comic, but the disturbing images make you realize that it was totally his choice to be the way he his. The pictures compliment the story really well. It’s something, I believe, no other form of art could capture in this piece.
- This comic is about a Super Villain, but it shows that being evil is something you have to consciously do every day. Commissioner Gordon was tortured and forced to see his daughter raped. The Joker says, “You’re one bad day away from being me” which goes against everything both Batman and the Commissioner believe in. Gordon had every chance to have Batman destroy him and end the madness of The Joker however, he knew that if he stooped to his level, he would eventually become him. This is different for the Joker. He felt all he could do was live a life of crime. I think this comic is trying to tell us that you have the choice to become good or bad. You to make that conscious choice every single day, but some people can’t.
- I think the most significant part of this story is when the Joker is speaking to Commissioner Gordon and it’s a close up of the Joker’s face and he says, “Remember? Ohh, I wouldn’t do that! Remembering’s dangerous. I find the past such a worrying, anxious place. The past tense I suppose you’d call it. Ha. Ha. Ha” (21), which makes us see a little bit on why the Joker is the way he is. He didn’t want to choose the life of crime, but he did because he felt that he had to for his family. When he lost his family he had every chance to end it and be someone good. He could’ve started over and remembered the wonderful things that he had with his wife, but he chose to be horrible and inflict pain on other people rather than confronting his own trauma. I think this really helped us see his mental instability a little bit more and realize he cannot face his struggles so he is forcing others to face them for him.