Batman: The Killing Joke and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Batman: The Killing Joke Paperback – December 1, 1995

See all 19 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$46.00 $36.00
Paperback, December 1, 1995
$49.90 $15.26
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Series: Batman Beyond (DC Comics)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; Graphic Novel edition (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0930289455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930289454
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (565 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The Killing Joke, one of my favorite Batman stories ever, stirred a bit of controversy because the story involves the Joker brutally, pointlessly shooting Commissioner Gordon's daughter in the spine. This is a no-holds-barred take on a truly insane criminal mind, masterfully written by British comics writer Alan Moore. The art by Brian Bolland is so appealing that his depiction of the Joker became a standard and was imitated by many artists to follow.

From School Library Journal

This classic, infamous story in the Batman saga has been recolored with a more effectively cooler palette and set into context with an introduction and an afterword. Escaped from Arkham Asylum, villain deluxe Joker shoots Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon as part of his plan to drive her police commissioner father insane. Intending to prove that anyone can go mad after "one bad day" as he describes in his putative origin story, the Joker also kidnaps and torments Commissioner Gordon. But Gordon remains sane, and Batman recaptures the Joker—the two actually share a laugh at the ambiguous ending. With Barbara Gordon now a paraplegic, the story stands as a chilling profile of madness. The Killing Joke provoked fury among many readers who lamented the disposal of Barbara Gordon as a mere pawn to testosterone; yet Gordon reinvents herself later as superinfohacker Oracle, poster girl for disability empowerment (see Birds of Prey, LJ 7/08). A bonus story at the end paints the quieter, equally chilling madness of a Batman fan fantasizing about killing the superhero—a perfect foil for the publicly gaudy Joker. For adult collections.—M.C.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I read this book in one sitting and loved it through and through.
Keith J. Williams
Batman - The Killing Joke is one of the greatest Joker stories ever told by far not the singular one but one of the best.
The way it ends lets you know just how much Batman and the Joker love to hate eachother.
Matthew M. Fernandez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

219 of 236 people found the following review helpful By trashcanman VINE VOICE on July 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 2:37 Mins
"The Killing Joke" is widely considered to be the be-all-end-all of Joker stories, so what better way to pay homage to the greatest comic book villain of all time near the eve of his re-unveiling in The Dark Knight than by reviewing his definitive story? This is the comic that (sort of) revealed the origin of The Clown Prince of Crime, humanizing him to an extent never before, and truly examined -with pictures rather than words- the antagonistic symbiosis that exists between Joker and his arch nemesis, The Batman. A beloved Gotham regular will never be the same and another will be put through hell before this story is done. Oh, and there are creepy little henchmidgets as well. Gotta love the henchmidgets.

The art is outstanding, the storytelling superb, and the character examinations are vital to understanding both combatants. The "one bad day" premise highlights the "two sides of the same coin" argument that Batman and Joker are in fact more alike than dissimilar. As if Bruce Wayne took a right when his arch-nemesis took a left. The controversial ending leaves little doubt as to Alan Moore's take on the debate, and I like it like that. While many critics have strongly resisted both the comparison and the somewhat sympathetic look at The Joker's past, the truth is that every great character -villain or hero- needs that sort of intricacy to their story to remain relevant in the world of modern fiction. Comics are no longer for children and adults realize that the world is seldom black and white, that all monsters were once men, and that unspeakable darkness and insanity resides deep inside each human mind.
Read more ›
36 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Batman: The Killing Joke is the greatest story ever told about the origin of The Joker. What make this story so brilliant is how Batman, by accident, created his greatest foe. The art in this story is perhaps Brian Bolland's greatest achievement. (No one can draw The Joker better than Bolland. ex: The cover of the Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told). Alan Moore delivers a dark story about Batman and his relationship with the Joker. From the first page when Batman visits The Joker at Arkham Asylum on a dark stormy night, to exactly 24 hours later when Batman confronts The Joker at an abandon carnival is brillantly told by Moore in the format of The Dark Knight tradition. I thought it was brillant to begin and end this story with the same panel (rain falling on the ground) which shows no matter what fates happen to everyone else, Batman and The Joker will always end up where they started..."There were once Two men in a lunatic asylum..." This one-shot format for mature readers is also exceptional how it can merge two stories (Joker's origin and Batman's hunt for him) together. For example, When the Joker's hand is outstreched toward's the clown in fortune teller machine, the panel before shows The Joker reaching for his wife, with the same expression on her face...while his expression is reflected in the backround. It is almost as if he were having a flashback to his orgin. It is also interesting to see Batman confront The Joker and offer to help him, despite all The Joker has done. On the panel where The Joker glances at Batman before he says no to Batman's help is very scary in the fact that The Joker is actually considering to accept help from Batman. I guess the best example of Batman's and The Joker's relationship is on the back cover, with both of them on the same playing card...Forever together and forever different sides of the same coin...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By TheIntruder on April 11, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Killing Joke is one of the few Batman stories where you actually feel for the Joker as a character. In most stories he either comes off as a charicature of a killer or a sinister and dispicable murderer who you can't have any sympathy for. One of Alan Moore's masterpieces, it even has a song that you can sing. Its funny, but the tune just comes to your head. You automatically know how you should be singing it. The pacing is very cinematic and it is not overburdened with words. Wordless captions make the story more fast paced.
Bolland (why doesn't he do more interiors these days?) is the best Joker (and Batman) artist of all time. The expressions of dispair that he draws on the faces of Barbara Gordon, the Joker, Commissioner Gordon and others are among the most realistic I have ever seen.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Andre 2015 on April 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Blurbs on a cover always tell you that whatever book you're holding in your hands is better than the best, that you'd probably die if you'd put it back to where it came from, and more of that kind of nonsense.
In this case (in 1988) they had Tim Burton saying it's his favorite and that it's the first comic he ever loved. The poor fellow. Don't get me wrong: I adore Tim Burton. I love everything he did (after Batman), but there definitely are other great comic books out there.
But still, he is right in saying that this one counts among the best. That is, now it does. Now that Brian Bolland himself has redone the original coloring (by John Higgins). I love Brian Bolland. He is one of my all time favorite artists, a genius in black and white (which best brings out his fine and detailed pencils). And he did a great coloring job here, too. The colors are more pastel and thus bring back a balance to the book I missed in the 1988 paperback.
The original coloring looked as if Mr. Higgins had just bought himself a new set of colors and went for it. There was so much yellow, green and red dripping off the pages that it stopped me from entering the storyline. It looked seventies cheap. Also, to my taste it almost destroyed Brian's genius penciling.
Which is a shame, cause it's a masterpiece (yes, another one) written by Alan Moore. Not for kiddies. The Joker is too brutal for that here. A dark tale about insanity, true insanity, the ways of getting there and what it can lead to. The Joker is meaner and deeper than ever. Batman isn't weak, after all he's Batman, right?! But then, why is it so hard for him this time to deal with the creep? That is, can he?
As a small extra there is a bonus story of a few pages, a few sketches and instead of the tpb's first page with the splattering raindrops, you get a set of bloody eyes staring at you out of the dark.
Highly recommended. Buy this new version and enjoy Mr. Bolland's genius artwork and Mr. Moore's timeless tale.
16 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?