On August 2, 2016 the infamous graphic novel by the same name will released in an animated movie for all to see. A first for Warner Brothers, Batman: The Killing Joke will be Rated-R. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their roles from Batman: The Animated Series as Batman and the Joker, respectively. (If anything from this animated movie, hearing the Batman and the Joker that I grew up with once again in something new will be grand). From the minute and half trailer for the upcoming animated movie, this is going to be the story about Batman and Joker’s highly dysfunctional and arguably, co-dependent relationship. Basically, Batman asks the question about how this (referring to this rivalry) will end? Someone will wind up dead.
“All it takes is one bad day,” said Joker, in the trailer. This statement given has a double meaning, obviously. Bruce Wayne lost his parents at the tender age of 8 and this lead him to the path of becoming Batman. Something traumatic happened to Joker that made him. For the longest time, Joker has a revolving door of back story, nothing definite. Joker uses the concept of tragic back story to manipulate (see Batman: The Animated Series for how Joker turned Harley) or to relate to Batman.
As much as I enjoy a good battle between Batman and the Joker, The Killing Joke has darker implications for the Gordon family. Commissioner Jim Gordon and his daughter, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon were shown in the trailer. We see flashes of Batgirl a few times, looking shocked and not doing anything important. Then, there’s the scene when Joker, with a gun and dressed as a tourist in a Hawaiian shirt, shows up at Barbara’s door and there is Barbara’s eyes wide and shocked. Everyone knows what happens. Batgirl should not be regulated to a side character or a bystander in the eternal duel between Batman and Joker. From the trailer, it was the tone that I felt while watching it.
The animation looks good—dark and foreboding as every good Batman animation should have—and the music sounds as dark foreboding. Batman: The Killing Joke will certainly be something DC animation hasn’t quite seen yet. The success of this movie will indicate whether Warner Brothers and DC Comics should or should not make more movies Rated-R, with the violence and gore from the comics brought to life.
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