Dark Humor: A Review Of Batman The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke is the highly anticipated animated film adaptation of Alan Moore's 1988 graphic novel of the same name. Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Tara Strong, reprise their 90's animated series roles of Batman, the Joker, and Batgirl respectively.

However, this cartoon is not for the kids. It is rated R, and for good reason. The story revolves around The Joker shooting Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara (a.k.a. Batgirl.), and kidnapping the commissioner and putting him through psychological torture in an attempt to prove that anyone could become as insane as him. "All it takes is one bad day".

Not only is the film dark, but it contains plenty of murder, violence, sexual innuendo, implies a sexual encounter between the two bat heroes, and a rape. Nothing is ever shown, but the inferences can be made.

The reality is you cannot tell this particular Batman story without the R rating, so I would definitely not recommend it for everyone. All that in mind, this is a labor of love to the hardcore Batman fan. I have been a fan of the animated films DC produces for a long time and as far as faithfully telling this classic story, they did an almost perfect job.

The cast is wonderful jumping back into their roles, which is no surprise. This is the cast you want for this story, and the story they—especially Hamill, deserve. 

However, if you decide to watch this I recommend the reader skip the first 15-20 minutes. That portion is not in any way related to The Killing Joke. It is an extra Batgirl story designed to give her injury a bigger emotional impact and set up the relationship between her and Batman. But, Barbara's injury, as important to the lore as it is, isn't what The Killing Joke is about. After about the first 10 minutes I got bored with the extra story and was kind of saddened by the short runtime.

Overall, I think this is a good quality animated project and a classic Batman story that you should watch at your own discretion.


Samuel Loyd Cooper

Samuel "Sam" Cooper is a YouTuber/videographer and a co-host of the podcast TRC Radio. He has a BA in mass communications from Louisinna State University Shreveport.

My Website: slcvisualmedia.com