Doug’s Thoughts on Batman: The Killing Joke

It went from being beloved to despised in a day, but what’s Doug’s take on the popular Batman story?

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

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31 Comments on "Doug’s Thoughts on Batman: The Killing Joke"

Daemian Lucifer
Guest

The problem with that first half is that it sets up a different story.The killing joke is about fathers and how they react to their children suffering,one poorly,one well.But if you add batsex in the beginning,it shifts the story to be about batman wanting to take revenge on someone who hurt his lover.And while someone who knows the story already can simply ignore that the first part happened,someone new to it will definitely have the second part ruined by the first.Which is why that beginning is such an awful thing.

RockmanX3
Guest

The first 30 minutes was completely unnecessary and I despised the mob guy who had the hard on for Batgirl. Worst Batman Villain Ever.

EA Solinas
Guest

That’s what bothers me a lot — that Batman’s quest is no longer about defending his friends and allies, but about him being pissed off that someone broke “his” woman.

NeoWorm
Guest

Really? How can even have so shallow perception of the characters? “His woman”? Was it really so subtle, that what happened was not meant to be and both Batman and Barbara regretted it that it, went straight over the heads of viewers or you just switched to full rage mode once Batgirl dropped the cowl and stopped watching?

ShadowsTwilight
Guest

Your “dumbass moment” isn’t actually that dumb. Its actually a very common fan theory that has been around since the comic came out, and Allan Moore himself has gone back and forth on whether or not it was true.

Hell, there’s even an argument to be made that that’s what happened in the movie. Did you notice how as the camera pans downwards, Joker’s laughter dies out even as Batman continues to chuckle?

Dapperman64
Guest

Yah, the ambiguity of the ending is one of the many amazing aspects of the story. It presents a philosophical struggle between Batman and the Joker, seems to wrap it up in Batman’s favor, then literally on the last few panels, it very subtlety throws in doubt the potential of completely altering the entire story. Killing joke is not only one of the greatest Batman stories, it might also be the last.

NeoWorm
Guest
Well, DC comics actually quite often explore dark corners and weird consequencies of many characters. Quite a few authors made their definitive views on some characters and how should they end up. Moore’s Killing joke is one of them – a story how Batman maybe finally kills Joker. So is Batman Endgame storyline which is Snyder’s idea how Batman should die (not Zack Snyder, the other one) so is All-stars Superman where Superman dies and you could find few others. DC often let’s their authors do that and than only make it ambivalent, “What if” story or just simply retcons… Read more »
NostalgiaManiac
Guest

There are tons of dark Marvel stories. For example, Daredevil: Born Again, Dark Phoenix Saga, Old Man Logan, The Night when Gwen Stacy Died, Planet Hulk, Future Imperfect, Demon in the Bottle etc.

twinklecake
Guest

Actually, that was a thing the comic hinted. That was a thing you noticed most people missed. In fact, people were talking about this very thing when the movie was announced. It’s not embarrassing. It’s correct.

Fran Ohmsford
Guest

Thank you for letting me know to give this trash a miss. Batman+Batgirl = Disgusting!

Raptor Rex
Guest
Edit: I know I said this once, in the Awesome Comics page, but I feel it’s more appropriate to share my input here. Okay, I’m going to be blunt here, I do not think any of Alan Moore’s work were meant for adaptations. Not that I mind the idea though, however there is context to his work that either shouldn’t be altered or isn’t intended to be translated into cinema; and that’s particularly the case when creative teams take their own liberties to the film and do things that only hurt the story. Another chip that’s been bugging me, DC… Read more »
jennaisageek
Guest

Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill will always be Batman and Joker. my favs forever. <3<3

SpiritWalker18
Guest

Doug your where right about Batman Killing the joker in a episode of Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman Podcast. Grant Morrison gives away Alan Moore’s secret. Here is the link https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DzlekMIf7D4

Dromedary Meat Cactus
Guest
Dromedary Meat Cactus

Alan Moore and Grant Morrison have an adversarial relationship, so that should be taken into account when considering whether or not Morrison’s take on this story is Moore’s own view of what he wrote.

http://www.comicsbeat.com/the-strange-case-of-grant-morrison-and-alan-moore-as-told-by-grant-morrison/

HMorris73
Guest

Alan Moore was actually pretty unambiguous about not intending for Batman to have killed the Joker in a recent Q&A.

“…my intention at the end of that book was to have the two characters simply experiencing a brief moment of lucidity in their ongoing very weird and probably fatal relationship with each other, reaching a moment where they both perceive the hell that they are in, and can only laugh at their preposterous situation.”

https://www.goodreads.com/author/3961.Alan_Moore/questions

Masabak
Guest

The idea of the comic was that Batman Killed the joker, it’s expalined in the delux edition, the one that has a hard cover and comentary from several people

Acetylsalicilique
Guest

Steven Universe Vlogs it’s cool but… what about Adventure Time ?

KezzieZ
Guest

Yeah, I think what happens at the end is actually supposed to be ambiguous, so I don’t think your assumption had been stupid or wrong.

It’s a shame about that first half-hour, though. I would have loved if Barbara actually had more to do than essentially being a woman in the refrigerator for Batman and Gordon’s collective manpain. Unfortunately, it should have been well-written and someone didn’t get the memo.

I’ve never been a fan of the Batman/Batgirl idea, either (not even in Batman Beyond where I don’t remember it being delved into too much). It’s a creepy dynamic.

happymel
Guest

Yeah, this is what I’ve been hearing from every other critic as well. I never read the original Killing Joke so I have no interest in seeing this one. Many characters (both men and women) are used as story devices so that wouldn’t really bother me if I did see this movie.

MavenCree
Guest

Your funny Killing Joke story…. Um Doug… that was an EXTREMELY popular fan theory. Youre not alone buddy. :)
And they didn
t really clarify it in the movie either because the Joker stops laughing at one point, but Bats still is.

redjirachi
Guest

Grant Morrison had the same conclusion as you

Brodinsons
Guest
I get what they were trying to do with the first section of the film with Batgirl. I think that if they had managed to pull it off better it would have really improved the movie by making us care more about Barbara. Unfortunately, it just made Batgirl AND Batman seem like irrational jerks. Overall, I thought that The Killing Joke was pretty good. It’s kind of strange to me that people are so huffy about how the first half “ruins” the second, considering that the first part, although flawed, is still beautiful technically, with great voice acting and animation.… Read more »
MobTownhero
Guest

The writing ruins the 1st half, because the batsex scene could have actually been done well. Bruce and Barbera have always had a relationship.

OtakuMommy
Guest
Watching it, I felt like I was watching two completely different stories that had no cohesion. One had nothing to do with the other, so you end up watching this Batgirl story that didn’t quite mesh with the rest of it (although I think it is kind of hinted that there’s some possible sexual tension between the two of them due to the conversations that she has with her sassy gay friend in the library). It might have been good if it was its own thing, but since they’re wanting to present it as part of “The Killing Joke” story… Read more »
Legene
Guest

The first part was probably to avoid that people criticizing this with the “women in refrigerators” syndrome where the side character suffers or dies just to motivate the hero. You know, like Uncle Ben or Bucky.
If you strip off the first half, there’d be complaints about that instead.
That said, it sounds like the lead-in to add more to Batgirl’s character could’ve been done better. But I don’t thin the movie would’ve been done without something to that effect.

NeoWorm
Guest
If you want somebody that liked the first half more than the Killing joke part – Here I am. Reason is simple – I already read Killing joke, it’s not new, I already know the point. Batgirl story was actually something that I knew about from other Bruce Timm works (Batman Beyond tv series, Batman Beyond 2.0 comics and a few bits from Mystery of Batwoman movie). It probably floated around the creative team for some time (like 15-20 years) and since it was all about sex, they coudn’t do that in the tv series for kids. So it makes… Read more »
jennaisageek
Guest

I was on the fence about it. Sometimes I thought he might have killed him cuz he stopped laughing. and they never showed him in any other panel. but then I thought maybe he was just laughing with him. I was never sure.

Dalek1998
Guest

Can you please do a review on the little prince.this movie is amazing.its on par with the current pixar movies.

Jhoe
Guest
First I want to say, I agree with you on the pacing of the film and that there were many moments that could have really been flushed out. Especially like you said, right after the Joker got his chemical dump. As for the first 30 min of Batgirl, I was not surprised or disappointed that they had Batgirl and Batman have sex. In the New Adventure of Batman and Robin (Season 3 of Batman the Animated series, and also in The Adventure of Batman and Superman (the few Cross over episodes of the Superman Animated series), and an episode of… Read more »
Themis
Guest

Saw it a few days back and came to hear your embarashing story (as you said “spoilers” and i had stopped). Well, I though the same and I haven’t read the comic. In the end you can only hear batman laughing for a few seconds… I don’t claim he really did strangle him, but it could be open to interpretation indeed…

Mark Rodriguez
Guest

No, you were right Doug. That’s what you’re supposed to think, and yes that frame does look like he’s at least strangling the Joker, maybe not to death, but that’s what it looks like.

The animated movie kinda takes it a step further. Notice how Batman puts his hands on the Joker as they’re both laughing, and the camera starts to pan up. Notice how when they’re out of the shot….. Batman is the only one laughing…..

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