I just read the comic The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. For the most part, my comics reading has been over on the Marvel side and I rarely read DC comics. But while I enjoy the new “reboot” Batman movies, I’d yet to pick up the comics. (This may have something to do with my head still hung up on Batman as portrayed by Adam West and cameos in Scooby Doo).
But this comic wow’ed me. It’s a one-off and it portrays the symbiosis of the villian and the superhero. Batman can’t exist without the Joker and the Joker, not without Batman. We all know the origins of Batman. But the Joker has always been someone of a mystery. This comic introduces his origins, and in doing so, shows the power of positioning the bad guy as hero of his own world. The Joker is the only one true to himself, in his mind. And the questions he poses, about the darkness that must lurk inside Batman, inside all of us, is powerful.
In a few short words, a collection of incredible imagery, and a … killing joke at the end, I find this comic to be an inspiring work that shows how getting into the depth of a dark character can make the story more real. The Joker may be drawn on flat paper, but he’s no cardboard cutout villain.
Who’s your favorite super villain? I used to think Loki, from the Avengers movies, but I think The Joker, with Heath Ledger’s amazing portrayal in The Dark Knight, and after reading more about his absolute darkness, he might stand a chance to be the new favorite. Maybe. I’ll go watch The Avengers again, just to test this theory…. Or maybe Riddick qualifies.
Okay, so I’m not sure, but the contenders all have one thing in common, a rich backstory.
Ella Drake is a dark paranormal and science fiction romance author. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads. Her Science Fiction Romance, Desert Blade is a near-future post-apocalyptic romance from Carina Press. Currently available SFR: Silver Bound, Jaq’s Harp, Braided Silk & Firestorm on E’Terra. And now from Lyrical Press, MetalMark.