Grant Morrison's Mind Blowing Killing Joke Revelation

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#1
http://robot6.comicbookresources.co...-why-its-called-the-killing-joke/#more-162457

“No one gets the end,” the writer says, “because Batman kills The Joker. [...] That’s why it’s called The Killing Joke. The Joker tells the ‘Killing Joke’ at the end, Batman reaches out and breaks his neck, and that’s why the laughter stops and the light goes out, ’cause that was the last chance at crossing that bridge. And Alan Moore wrote the ultimate Batman/Joker story — he finished it.”

Uh...wow. I mean, I've read The Killing Joke dozens of times, but...wow. I scoffed at the idea when I read this earlier, but the more I've considered it, the more I realize how spot-on Morrison might be on this.
 
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#2
I guess it is time to break it out again.

It is odd that they left Babs handicapped, but Mr. J. was living...
 
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#3
dcmoment57b.jpg

I guess that makes sense, but I never really considered it seriously. I wonder why they chose to be ambiguous about it.

EDIT: Not as ambiguous as I remembered.
 
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GasBandit

Staff member
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#4
That looks pretty ambiguous to me. I would have assumed Bats just dragged him away or something.
 
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#6
Nice try Grant, but no. If we are to take that seriously, think of all the other comic stories the we could alter just by suggesting something happens off panel that the story or art does not suggest at all. There is nothing in the last page that says Bats killed the Joker. If he, meaning Moore, had meant to even suggest that Joker's neck was broken where is the resounding 'SNAP!' that should appear among all those other sound effects like the laughing and the police sirens? Nope, the most horrific thing that happens in that story is the crippling of Babara Gordon, which DC brilliantly kept as canon leading to Oracle and then New 52 cheapened by making her Batgirl again.
 
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#8
Interesting, never thought of it like that. Well *clap* time to wait & see if Alan Moore does a classic crazy Alan Moore rant!
 
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#9
I'll buy that. Makes sense to me.
It make's Batman's laugh make much more sense. He's laughing because he finally gets the joke. He realizes what he's going to have to do, and that the Joker has won by making him do it. The silhouetted panel even appears far more sinister this way, Batman's face one of rage, and Joker's laughing stance one of much more anguish.
 
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#12
Interesting, never thought of it like that. Well *clap* time to wait & see if Alan Moore does a classic crazy Alan Moore rant!
Alan Moore hates any work he puts out after it becomes popular. As is the case with the Killing Joke.

I don't understand why everyone is blown away by someone who was not involved in the book itself giving their interpretation of an ambiguous ending.
 
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#13
Alan Moore hates any work he puts out after it becomes popular. As is the case with the Killing Joke.

I don't understand why everyone is blown away by someone who was not involved in the book itself giving their interpretation of an ambiguous ending.
Well foe one, it's Morrison, who is a guy that - while I may not like all of his work (Invisibles) - I enjoy most of it and find him to be a very intellectual guy with a lot of really interesting, in-depth ideas about the superhero mythos. And honestly, the way he explains it here? It does actually kind of make sense. You could even add on the visual metaphor of the beam of light between the two of them and the last panel, it's gone, like one of the crazies just killed the other.

Was it Moore's intention? Who knows. Someone elsewhere claims that Moore said in an interview that yes, Batman kills Joker at the end, but he didn't have a source.

But it's still a really interesting interpretation, one that actually fits within everything we're presented with the story, including the title. There's enough evidence to make it believable.
 
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#14
I don't understand why everyone is blown away by someone who was not involved in the book itself giving their interpretation of an ambiguous ending.
Because opinions can be thought provoking. That's what literary discussion is all about. It needn't be an appeal to authority thing in this case, just (for some people) an unexpected interpretation that made them think about the piece in a new light.
 
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#15
Well foe one, it's Morrison, who is a guy that - while I may not like all of his work (Invisibles) - I enjoy most of it and find him to be a very intellectual guy with a lot of really interesting, in-depth ideas about the superhero mythos. And honestly, the way he explains it here? It does actually kind of make sense. You could even add on the visual metaphor of the beam of light between the two of them and the last panel, it's gone, like one of the crazies just killed the other.

Was it Moore's intention? Who knows. Someone elsewhere claims that Moore said in an interview that yes, Batman kills Joker at the end, but he didn't have a source.

But it's still a really interesting interpretation, one that actually fits within everything we're presented with the story, including the title. There's enough evidence to make it believable.
I'm a HUGE Grant Morrison fan, I've pointed out multiple times that Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth is by far my favorite Batman comic. I just don't see what he's said that's so mind blowing. Had no one ever considered that this was a possiblity in a one shot stand alone story?

It's obviously not cannon, given that the Joker was alive and well and Babs was crippled in the main continuity, but I had always considered the ending somewhat open to interpretation.
 
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#16
I'm a HUGE Grant Morrison fan, I've pointed out multiple times that Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth is by far my favorite Batman comic. I just don't see what he's said that's so mind blowing. Had no one ever considered that this was a possiblity in a one shot stand alone story?

It's obviously not cannon, given that the Joker was alive and well and Babs was crippled in the main continuity, but I had always considered the ending somewhat open to interpretation.
See, I guess that's the thing. This is the first time I've ever heard that interpretation. Before, I'd always assumed Bats just hauled Joker off the jail as usual. Even Mark Waid's mind was blown when he linked it on Twitter.
 
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#17
Alan Moore hates any work he puts out after it becomes popular. As is the case with the Killing Joke.
Really? I thought that he had an angry pride of his work, like when Grant asked Alan if it was okay for him to write for one of his characters and Alan snapped at him?
Or was he angry just because he is full of anger?
 
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#19
Indeed, a scary angry magical genious.

Honestly I wasn't that blown away by the theory, I always thought Joker and Bats just walked away and their laughter dissipated in the background. Its a cool theory mind you, but I've had better mind fucks.
 

Espy

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#21
Yeah, no I never even considered that to be the real ending. It's way more amazing this way. Way more fitting too. I'm playing through all the Arkham games again, and I guess this is the cynical side of me (that me 10 years ago would have hated for saying this) but yeah, dude totally responsible for these crazies and he doesn't have the guts to end them because they give him a reason to live. So yeah, this ending makes sense to 33 year old me.
 
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#23
It could even be that it was Moore's intent to have it end with him killing the Joker, but DC editorial wouldn't allow it.

Even though they'd let Barbara get crippled.

Obligitory: Women in Refrigerators
I remember seeing somewhere that Moore actually asked DC if it was ok to shoot Barbara, and they sent back a note saying "Cripple that bitch."

That's unsettling.
 

Espy

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#24
I think the ambiguous nature of it is perfect. Morrison points that out, that hey, it can fit into continuity and the cops just haul Joker away or it could be read the way he says and then Moore wrote the last Batman story under everyones nose. Brilliant.
 

figmentPez

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#25
Yeah, no I never even considered that to be the real ending. It's way more amazing this way. Way more fitting too. I'm playing through all the Arkham games again, and I guess this is the cynical side of me (that me 10 years ago would have hated for saying this) but yeah, dude totally responsible for these crazies and he doesn't have the guts to end them because they give him a reason to live. So yeah, this ending makes sense to 33 year old me.
One of the things that bugs me most about an ongoing killer like the Joker is that he's only alive via plot armor. In the real world when someone commits as many acts of terror as the Joker, and doesn't control a country, he gets hunted down and shot on sight. If there were some super-vigilante who left Bin Laden tied up for the cops, and the cop who found him just shot Bin Laden instead of taking him into custody, the cop would probably get arrested but then receive a presidential pardon.

The only reason a Gotham cop would be blamed for shooting a handcuffed Joker is because plot armor would cause that poor cop to shoot an innocent instead, or end up arming the Joker, or shooting a Joker-look-a-like. Well, Batman would blame the cop, but any sane person wouldn't blame whoever killed the Joker, not after the Joker has proven that he can't be held by any prison facility, has no hope of being "cured" and generally no way to be stopped. Yet they keep ramping up the violence, and the psychopathy and the horrific things that Joker continues to do just to prove that he's the big bad evil.

I don't like Batman written as a superhuman incarnation of godlike justice, and I don't like Joker written as a supernatural force of evil.
 
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#26
One of the things that bugs me most about an ongoing killer like the Joker is that he's only alive via plot armor. In the real world when someone commits as many acts of terror as the Joker, and doesn't control a country, he gets hunted down and shot on sight. If there were some super-vigilante who left Bin Laden tied up for the cops, and the cop who found him just shot Bin Laden instead of taking him into custody, the cop would probably get arrested but then receive a presidential pardon.

The only reason a Gotham cop would be blamed for shooting a handcuffed Joker is because plot armor would cause that poor cop to shoot an innocent instead, or end up arming the Joker, or shooting a Joker-look-a-like. Well, Batman would blame the cop, but any sane person wouldn't blame whoever killed the Joker, not after the Joker has proven that he can't be held by any prison facility, has no hope of being "cured" and generally no way to be stopped. Yet they keep ramping up the violence, and the psychopathy and the horrific things that Joker continues to do just to prove that he's the big bad evil.

I don't like Batman written as a superhuman incarnation of godlike justice, and I don't like Joker written as a supernatural force of evil.
The alternative is no stories with the Joker in them. EVER AGAIN. Is it against all logic? Sure it is, but so is people only aging a few years yet having worn bell bottoms when they were 19 and are wearing current fashions now at 21, or that the property damage caused by any single superhero fight would bankrupt even the most prosperous city in repair bills alone, yet they seem fine all the time. It's one of the things that you just have to accept when you're dealing with the medium.
 
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#27
If there were some super-vigilante who left Bin Laden tied up for the cops, and the cop who found him just shot Bin Laden instead of taking him into custody, the cop would probably get arrested but then receive a presidential pardon.
I would really hope not, because that's cold blooded murder.
 
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#28
I don't like Joker written as a supernatural force of evil.
I've come to love the Joker more since I found stories going this route. It was something in my mind when watching the animated series, particularly the World's Finest crossover with Superman. It seems like he's dead ... but they never find the body. And I knew he wouldn't be dead, he never is.

Then I read The Dark Knight Returns and one of the Joker's doctors notes a feeling like there's something supernatural about him. The other doctor tells him to be a man of science or some shit like that, but I was on the first guy's side and glad it had been put into words.

I've never read The Killing Joke, but looking at that last page, I can't see how anyone interpreted it as anything else. But that's looking at the page alone and perhaps if I'd read the whole thing (before this thread) I'd have come to a different conclusion.
 
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#29
Is this 1989 or something? This isn't a new mind shattering revelation, it's been one of the primary theories since the story was published.

Get off my lawn.
 
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#30
Killing Joke has always been a hugely overrated terrible story anyway, if Morrison's theory were true it would still be hugely overrated and an even more terrible story.
 
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#32
Killing Joke has always been a hugely overrated terrible story anyway, if Morrison's theory were true it would still be hugely overrated and an even more terrible story.
I don't... I can't even.... That's like saying that the Pheonix Saga was the worst X-Men story. If you don't like the Killing Joke, I can only assume that you don't like Batman. It's the quintessential Batman story.
 
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#33
Admittedly I haven't read a ton of Batman comics, but the Killing Joke was probably the best Batman comic I've read. Followed by the Knightfall saga.
 
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#34
I don't... I can't even.... That's like saying that the Phoenix Saga was the worst X-Men story. If you don't like the Killing Joke, I can only assume that you don't like Batman. It's the quintessential Batman story.
No it's a terrible Batman story all about how Joker is right, and Batman's just as insane and wrong as he is. There is nothing heroic about it and (this is particularly true if you subscribe to Morrison's fan theory) just pisses on Batman the whole way through, as he is inept, ineffectual and holds a view of the world that we are told is ultimately flawed, foolish, and literally laughable. The only reason the book is even remembered is because Alan Moore wrote it and Barbra Gordon was shot, nearly ruining the character forever. This "shocking" women in refrigerators moment itself becomes memorable and relevant largely because of Kim Yale and John Ostrander being upset about Babs getting crippled and deciding to revive the character as Oracle.

The best thing to come out of the Killing Joke was done by two other writers.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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#35
The only thing people like better than a hero is to see him fail.

Wait, wrong comic brand.
 
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