Search This Site

Friday, March 17, 2017

Ramblings of A Comic Geek: Killing the Joke

Of the Batman comics that I grew up reading, this possibly my favorite story. I can still read Batman: The Killing Joke and enjoy it to this day, which can't be said for a lot of the comics I grew up reading and loved.

This is old news, but Jared Leto posted the cover of Batman's The Killing Joke on Snapchat and a few are once again speculating that this classic story might be told in an upcoming DCeU flick. 

I'm like, dude, Leto's been making Killing Joke references 'n shiz way back in 2015 as seen in this recreation photo David Ayers tweeted during that year. Maybe it's just his favorite Joker story?

So, comic sites are one again getting all goofy about The Killing Joke playing out on the big screen, but just how much of it is what's on my mind. While I highly doubt that the story line of The Killing Joke will be the entire premise of whatever upcoming DC/Warner movie, I do think a flashback of the events that occurred in The Killing Joke for a future movie is highly plausible.

The reason for that is the character of Oracle. If you're going to have Barbara Gordon as Oracle, it's pretty much a given that her condition and how she got more into the hacking and intell side of crime fighting should be addressed, and that has a lot to do with what happened in the classic comic story.

I don't really expect whatever film this may happen in to take up a lot elements from this classic by legendary Alan Moore, but it kind of could. If the movie decides to tell the origin of the Joker, the Killing Joke does have a great retelling of how the Clown Prince of Crime came to be.

That could backfire, though, for a film. What worked amazingly well for Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight was the mystery that surrounded the Joker. You didn't know who he was or what his deal was even, which made him appear even that much more dangerous.

Then he'd throw you off with stories about his father or wife that teased the audience into wondering if they were true or if the Joker was just messin' with people. I thought it was brilliant not just for the movie or the character but also with playing around with the audience.

I don't mind either way, but for some villains, I think it can actually harm the mystique. For example, Darth Vader. After watching his origin in Episode 3, I really didn't need to know it.

It actually kind of ruined it for me. Maybe not you, but for me, I thought they needed to rewrite that shiz.

The Joker in The Dark Knight was just a villain, no explanation as to why or what propelled him to be chaos incarnate. He just is, a bad, bad man. The direction they took worked, and I must say worked well.

With all that out of the way, translating the Joker's origin from panel to screen could work if done right or well. I'm not against it. I guess what I'm asking is if it's really needed?

Is the Joker a villain that we need to feel some kind of sympathy for? I mean, a failed comedian whose expecting a child on the way and can't afford to take care of his family.

Desperate, he then gets involved with some shady mob guys or criminals for an apparently "easy job".

The robbery of course is botched, and the one of the shady criminals sell him out as the ring leader of this robbery. The police believe he is also, and we later learn this is not the first string of robberies that the shady crooks used a fall guy to wear the red hood mask.


If that origin is used, I wonder how much Hollyweird will change it up to make it a bit more modern. 

The original origin of Joker in Detective Comics #168 just had him as a master criminal called the Red Hood who dives into a vat of chemicals to escape while being chased by Batman and Robin. 

At the end of the original origin issue, it's revealed that the Red Hood is actually the crazy clown. 

The 1989 Batman did an origin for the Joker loosely based on the comics and it worked, but Burton's Batman had an entirely different tone and was a different beast. We've already seen Harley Quinn dive into a vat of whatever chemicals in Suicide Squad, so do we really need to see Joker doing the same thing again for his big screen origin?

What do you guys think? Think a Killing Joke origin of the Joker would be cool for an upcoming movie or would it just ruin things?

Want to See A Joker Origin in A Movie?

Could care less
Yes, it would be cool
Not really
Poll Maker

I'm thinking this has a good chance of happening in Gotham City Sirens. I mean, Harley Quinn is tied to the Joker after all. I think telling what happened to Babs in The Killing Joke on-screen in a flashback is a given. 

I think it would be cool if they twisted things around and went even further by incorporating into the flashback segment of the Joker violently beating Jason Todd from Batman #427. Why not have Joker go on a rampage taking revenge on some of the Batman Family? 

They already hinted at a Robin's death in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.


  1. Funny, cause I just read the Killing Joke for the first time a few weeks ago. I really liked the origin and how it made the Joker a tragic figure and not just a lunatic. His wife dying because of a disfunctional babybottle warmer, ok, a little strange, but hey, you can read those things in the newspaper. What I also liked was the way Moore blended pieces of the Joker Origin into the ongoing story. I can imagine that very well on screen. Well, I guess you can imagine my vote now ;-)


    1. Thanks for voting, Ace. I'm on the fence about a Joker origin in an upcoming movie. Just hope it's done good is all.

  2. Man, I don't really want to see any Joker origin on the big screen. I agree that the Heath Ledger Joker in The Dark Knight was amazing, due in part because of the lack of background and not knowing anything about his past.

    If they end up showing an origin in an upcoming movie, it will probably ruin something for me a little bit. It will be like the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween. It was a lot scarier when Michael Myers was just, in the words of Dr. Loomis, "pure evil". Once Rob Zombie gave us all an origin as to why he was the way he was, it took something away from the character.

    Don't get me wrong, anyone that has read The Killing Joke already knows the Joker's backstory, but to put in on the big screen will just ruin it for me a little bit. I'll take a line from the movie Scream. "It's a lot scarier when there's no motive".

    Just my 2 cents
    ~ Gerry D

  3. If done correctly. I would love to see a Killing Joke plot play out on the big screen.

  4. If they do decide to do a Joker Origin they should tell it from multiple points of view. So that no definitive origin is possible !

  5. A good origin story can drive a movie. A bad one just slows it down, eg the later Spider-man movies where they insisted on retelling his origin when we all knew it.