Batman: The Killing Joke
ISBN: 9781401216672

From the inside cover blurb:

“Twenty years ago, writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland gave the world a glimpse of the events that made The Joker who he is. Now their brilliantly nightmarish vision returns in a new, definitive edition.”

I’m not sure if I have this right… So this is THE original ‘origins’ of The Joker?

A different one from what has been commonly portrayed.

All the movies and most graphic novels that I’ve come across, so far, tells that The Joker (whose real name remains unknown) was a mere common petty criminal. He was the one who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. And ironically, in murdering the Waynes, he indirectly creates the Batman and subsequently ends up being chased and falling into a chemical bath.

In this version, the man who would be The Joker started off as a lab assistant. He has quit his job to become a stand-up comic. Wasn’t good at it. He has a pregnant wife and was somewhat conned to help some criminals. He only wanted to do that one job and make a better life for his family. But the heist falls apart.

Batman comes onto the scene. A chase. A fall. Chemical contamination. The Joker is born.

In between pages, we also learn of how Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara, became crippled.

My only complaint is that the graphic novel seems too short. But maybe that’s for the better. A longer one would mean an unduly long drawn story, whose end is widely known.

Two thumbs up, in any case.

Foreword by Tim Sale (artist for Heroes) and Afterword by Brian Bolland.