Monday, April 4, 2016

The Killing Joke

Let's start here...















The Killing Joke is a heavily anticipated animated movie brought to us from our friends at DC Comics.  If you are not familiar with the source material, let me introduce you to Barbara Gordon.  Barbara is the daughter of Gotham City police Commissioner Jim Gordon.

In real years, she is 48 years old, having her debut in 1967.  She was created for both the comics and the Adam West Batman series simultaneously, and has been a fan favorite ever since.  In March of 1988, as depicted in the beautiful Brian Bolland artwork above, Ms. Gordon was shot by the Joker, to be left paralyzed.  In the following panels, the Joker starts to undress her so he can photograph her.

Pretty gruesome stuff, right?

In the years that followed, Barbara Gordon would become an integral part of the DC Universe as Oracle.  Her prowess behind a keyboard assisted more than just the Bat-family over the years.  And yes, in true comics fashion, she eventually regained the use of her legs, becoming Batgirl, once again.

The movie, set to debut later this year, is either going to knock it out of the park, or it is going to inspire Batman v Superman levels of critique.  Obviously I hope it does well.  It is the iconic Joker story.  Ask any comic fan to name one story that comes to mind when they think of the Joker and The Killing Joke will top the list.  A Death in the Family would probably be second (Joker, less than a year later, kills the Jason Todd version of Robin).

How could this movie fail?  Well, the voice acting will not, as Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Batman and Joker, respectively.  See?  We are off to a great start!  If they deviate from, or dumb down the source material, then a lot of die hard comic fans will be up in arms.  If they do not deviate, the armchair activists are going to get upset all over again over the treatment of Barbara Gordon.

This is a controversial story to animate, and I look forward to it.

Steve's prediction: too early to tell.  I'm not predisposed to hate things (like critics and DC movies).  :)

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