Let me start off by saying, this black and white reprint of The Killing Joke is a gimmick. I know it’s a gimmick. You know it’s a gimmick. But dang in this case, the gimmick works. The Batman Noir series is part of a recent trend where DC is reprinting some of their most popular books in stark black and white, so that you’ll purchase them again or for the first time. While some of the other Batman Noir comics really lose something with their lack of color, The Killing Joke feels like it should have always been this contrasty.
Removing all the color makes one of the darkest stories in the Batman mythos, even darker. If you haven’t read it, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s story dives into the Joker’s origins, and his belief that one bad day is all that separates humanity from madness. While generally considered non-canonical the story had a huge influence on the comics, and how Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan would depict the Joker on film.
So why should you purchase another copy of a book that most Batman fans already have? Well, it’s beautiful. The matte hard cover is gorgeous and the added art looks amazing. This edition also includes both additional comics from 2008’s deluxe edition, but does not have the introduction or epilogue, which I don’t miss. So, if you haven’t read The Killing Joke, or if your current copy is dog-eared and fading and you want something to display on your shelf, definitely pick up a copy.
Batman Noir: The Killing Joke
by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland (Illustrator)
2016, 112 pages, 7.8 x 0.6 x 11.8 inches, Hardcover
$14 Buy on Amazon