#1 Posted by MrShway88 (655 posts) - - Show Bio

So on this weeks Fatman on Batman, Grant Morrison says that at the end of the Killing Joke Batman kills the Joker. At least it is implied. Did anyone else understand this when they read it? Because I completely missed it but after re-reading it, I can see what Morrison was saying. The sudden stop of laughter and the light turned off.

Grant Morrison said that that was the killing joke.

#2 Posted by Jayc1324 (12207 posts) - - Show Bio

I can understand why people thought that but it never crossed my mind when I read it until I heard someone say it. Maybe someone should ask Alan Moore. Actually now that I think about it, him killing the joker makes the story more powerful and gives more meaning to the story and title.

Online
#3 Posted by THEOCITYLEGEND (1208 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, I never noticed that prior to you bringing this up. It does seem like Batman may have killed him.

#4 Posted by PeppeyHare (4310 posts) - - Show Bio

Never thought of that. Always thought that Batman just knocked him up or something but I did always think that was the moment where Joker broke Batman.

#5 Edited by MasterDetective (832 posts) - - Show Bio

why would he kill him, the police was about to arrive

#6 Posted by sinestro_GL (3152 posts) - - Show Bio

No.

No kill code.

Don't let Morrison dupe you

#7 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinestro_gl said:

No.

No kill code.

Don't let Morrison dupe you

This has been a very long running interpretation of the scene, Morrison isn't "duping" anyone, nor is he the first to have said that that's how the story ends.

Alan Moore himself has said that there are many things he remains unhappy with regarding the Killing Joke, and I would say the ambiguity of the ending is one of them.

#8 Edited by sinestro_GL (3152 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinestro_gl said:

No.

No kill code.

Don't let Morrison dupe you

This has been a very long running interpretation of the scene, Morrison isn't "duping" anyone, nor is he the first to have said that that's how the story ends.

OP says that the topic has recently resurfaced since Morrison brought it up.

#9 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinestro_gl said:

@fadetoblackbolt said:

@sinestro_gl said:

No.

No kill code.

Don't let Morrison dupe you

This has been a very long running interpretation of the scene, Morrison isn't "duping" anyone, nor is he the first to have said that that's how the story ends.

OP says that the topic has recently resurfaced since Morrison brought it up.

...So?

He offered an opinion on something. People are allowed to do that. The OP was obviously unfamiliar with the theory before Morrison said anything. That doesn't mean Morrison is duping anyone, or that he came up with the theory.

#10 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always liked that scene simply for its ambiguity.

#11 Posted by Saren (25674 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, this theory has been around since forever. Since TKJ is in continuity and Joker clearly wasn't dead in later stories, it's not a theory that really goes past the conceptual level.

Although there is a story in Batman Chronicles #5 where Barbara gets mad at Bruce because she heard that he and the Joker were laughing at the end of TKJ and she thought they were laughing at her ---- if she heard that much, stands to reason she'd have heard of Batman trying to kill the Joker if it actually happened.

Moderator
#12 Posted by sinestro_GL (3152 posts) - - Show Bio
#13 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinestro_gl: No, but apparently Morrison is "duping" someone for reiterating the theory?

You made about 4 posts in a row bagging Morrison, which is fine, I do the same for writers I don't like.

But I blame them for things they're responsible for, I don't blame the decline of Marvel on Geoff Johns.

#14 Edited by Billy Batson (58023 posts) - - Show Bio

I too strangle people by their shoulders.

BB

#15 Edited by SupBatz (1734 posts) - - Show Bio

Huh. Never thought of it that way. That's actually really interesting. I choose not to believe that Batman killed the Joker solely because of my vision of Batman as having completely unshakable morals. But I like that there is the open-ended possibility here. Very interesting.

#16 Posted by entropy_aegis (15316 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah I always wondered why the laughter stopped rather abruptly.

No.

No kill code.

Don't let Morrison dupe you

The story wasn't supposed to be in continuity from what I understand,still this theory isn't new and Morrison never wrote the comic so I dont understand what he stands to gain by duping us.

#17 Posted by Saren (25674 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know what Morrison is supposed to be "duping" us about. Batman's nature? That he might be driven to kill? Unlikely given Morrison is one of the staunchest believers in the idea that heroes like Superman and Batman shouldn't kill.

I too strangle people by their shoulders.

BB

He's Batman. He knows how to strangle a man in 328 different ways.

Moderator
#18 Edited by Billy Batson (58023 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know what Morrison is supposed to be "duping" us about. Batman's nature? That he might be driven to kill? Unlikely given Morrison is one of the staunchest believers in the idea that heroes like Superman and Batman shouldn't kill.

@billy_batson said:

I too strangle people by their shoulders.

BB

He's Batman. He knows how to strangle a man in 328 different ways.

He's quite the player too so he's clearly shutting Joker up by kissing him.

BB

#19 Posted by TDK_1997 (14892 posts) - - Show Bio

That's just an assumption by Morrison and actually that theory has been around for a long time but it has been shown that the Joker lives because the Killing Joke has became part of the continuity in which the Joker has been alive.

#20 Posted by sinestro_GL (3152 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinestro_gl:

But I blame them for things they're responsible for, I don't blame the decline of Marvel on Geoff Johns.

I dunno...I do think that Morrison has been rather antagonizing lately...such as saying that people will hate the ending of Batman Inc..

#21 Edited by MrShway88 (655 posts) - - Show Bio

I know didn't that this theory was around for a while. I just heard it yesterday. I am totally against Batman killing but I thought this story started out as an elseworld, but because of it's popularity, they added it into continuity.

#22 Edited by RustyRoy (12706 posts) - - Show Bio

I've never thought about that because TKJ was canon and Joker shows up after that in the canon timeline but if we take this as a standalone AU book which any Moore book should be taken as then it makes sense, Batman did say either he or Joker has to kill the other one day.

#23 Posted by consolemaster001 (5569 posts) - - Show Bio

Well i never noticed it before....

#24 Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse (6330 posts) - - Show Bio

The entire point of the end of The Killing Joke was proving that Joker was wrong about people. If this was true, it would kind of ruin the entire point...

#25 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

It is an interesting interpretation but I do not think that is what Moore was going for.

In my opinion, they just stopped laughing because they do not want others to realize how similar they actually are. It will be their secret but the world cannot know that Batman is just as crazy as the Joker.

#26 Edited by Billy Batson (58023 posts) - - Show Bio

http://mistahphil.tumblr.com/image/58448812482

Julian Darius says:

08/16/2013 at 5:51 pm

I talked about all of this a while back in my book on “The Killing Joke” (titled “And the Universe So Big”).

Morrison’s right that Batman kills the Joker — IF you’re willing to see it. But he’s wrong about the snapping-the-neck business (which isn’t going on, in those panels). It’s the Joker’s own toxin.

That’s why the Joker starts laughing (differently) in that panel. It’s also why he doesn’t fall; “The Killing Joke” establishes that the toxin paralyzes people (like that guy on the amusement park animal, held in place). You can also see the Joker’s hand stiffening, in the panel following the “hit” (which is inconsistent with strangulation, in which people tend to defend their neck, but consistent with what we’ve already seen of the toxin).

Also, there’s that strange page earlier, during a fight scene, in which Batman, after tumbling from a blow, spends half of it staring at his hand… right after he’s kicked the needle out of the Joker’s. It’s a totally bizarre page no one seems to talk about.

And the whole rain motif? It’s circles of water, with lines of rain crashing into the center. A visual echo of the poison needle device. (Moore used similar visual echoes in “Watchmen.”)

It’s all right there. But part of the genius of the work is that you can so easily ignore it, if you want.

http://sequart.org/author/julian-darius/

BB

#27 Edited by batmannflash (6219 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, I always thought that Batman killed the Joker in the Killing Joke. Here me out! It was sort of implied throughout the story. When Joker tells the joke at the end, he was implying that they're both lunatics and there's no hope for him. The Joker doesn't trust Batman and will never change. At the end, both of them laugh because Joker knows that Batman's lost it too. Look at the those panels. Batman's laughing and smiling while chocking him. I thought Killing Joke wasn't in continuity. I thought Barbara's injury simply was carried into continuity, while the other stuff (Joker's origin, maybe Batman killing Joker) were just left alone.

That was the big joke! Batman is insane as well. His parent's death left him taking the route to Batman. It's ironic that the hero isn't so different from the Joker after all. Which is why they share a laugh. Batman agrees with the joke that they're both crazy

#28 Posted by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio
#29 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, I always thought that Batman killed the Joker in the Killing Joke. Here me out! It was sort of implied throughout the story. When Joker tells the joke at the end, he was implying that they're both lunatics and there's no hope for him. The Joker doesn't trust Batman and will never change. At the end, both of them laugh because Joker knows that Batman's lost it too. Look at the those panels. Batman's laughing and smiling while chocking him. I thought Killing Joke wasn't in continuity. I thought Barbara's injury simply was carried into continuity, while the other stuff (Joker's origin, maybe Batman killing Joker) were just left alone.

That was the big joke! Batman is insane as well. His parent's death left him taking the route to Batman. It's ironic that the hero isn't so different from the Joker after all. Which is why they share a laugh. Batman agrees with the joke that they're both crazy

The story does say that both are crazy but that does not mean that Batman kills the Joker. The craziness is not even implied. Moore explains throughout that both the Joker and Batman were normal people who went through "one bad day" and lost their mind as a result. It does not happen to all people (ie Gordon) but it does happen to those two.
But the thing is they're two sides of the same coin. Yes, both are doing what they do because of their "one bad day" but they are polar opposite in what they actually do. Their "one bad day" turned them into absolutes but opposite absolutes. That is why Batman killing the Joker at that moment would not work.

#30 Posted by batmannflash (6219 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthshap: understandable. It's just a theory. It's a very ambiguous ending

#31 Posted by chrisj_1 (261 posts) - - Show Bio

The entire point of the end of The Killing Joke was proving that Joker was wrong about people. If this was true, it would kind of ruin the entire point...

Not really considering the "you had a bad day too once" line, I think the idea is that the Jokers right but it's ambiguous on purpose so really either answer is correct (unless you consider the whole thing canon in which case the Joker would be wrong)

#33 Edited by RulerOfThisUniverse (6330 posts) - - Show Bio

@chrisj_1: At the end, Commissioner Gordon tells him to do it by the book to show him that they're way works. If Batman were to kill the Joker, it would kind of ruin that.

#34 Posted by Billy Batson (58023 posts) - - Show Bio

@billy_batson: Interesting stuff, can't unsee it now.

The script page doesn't mention Joker getting killed.

Well, I always thought that Batman killed the Joker in the Killing Joke. Here me out! It was sort of implied throughout the story. When Joker tells the joke at the end, he was implying that they're both lunatics and there's no hope for him. The Joker doesn't trust Batman and will never change. At the end, both of them laugh because Joker knows that Batman's lost it too. Look at the those panels. Batman's laughing and smiling while chocking him. I thought Killing Joke wasn't in continuity. I thought Barbara's injury simply was carried into continuity, while the other stuff (Joker's origin, maybe Batman killing Joker) were just left alone.

That was the big joke! Batman is insane as well. His parent's death left him taking the route to Batman. It's ironic that the hero isn't so different from the Joker after all. Which is why they share a laugh. Batman agrees with the joke that they're both crazy

You too choke people by their shoulders?!?!?! :o

BB

#35 Posted by chrisj_1 (261 posts) - - Show Bio

@chrisj_1: At the end, Commissioner Gordon tells him to do it by the book to show him that they're way works. If Batman were to kill the Joker, it would kind of ruin that.

Oh no I'm not saying Batman was there to kill him what I'm saying is that the point of the book is that the Joker is right and Batman is proof of that.

#36 Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse (6330 posts) - - Show Bio
#37 Posted by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio
#38 Edited by Kelevra216 (131 posts) - - Show Bio
@rulerofthisuniverse said:

@chrisj_1: At the end, Commissioner Gordon tells him to do it by the book to show him that they're way works. If Batman were to kill the Joker, it would kind of ruin that.

It's been a while since I read the whole book thoroughly but just looking at the page, Batman says "I'll do my best" and as he runs off Gordon keeps shouting to do it by the book, like he knows Batman is on the edge at the moment.

There's also the part where Batman has been thinking lately... "we're going to kill each other, aren't we? Perhaps sooner... Perhaps later."

_____

I came to the same conclusion after reading it and thinking about the last few pages for so long, that it did happen.

There's actually quite a few pieces of evidence to support the theory:

  • Such as Batman saying they're running out of alternatives
  • That night is the night to sort everything out and if they don't we're locked onto a suicide course
  • Bats offering The Joker some help and saying "we don't have to kill each other."
  • Joker then refuses Bats help. (To me, that was it for Batman).

Reading it again, Batman laughing was unexpected and it felt like he cracked. It's practically like insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Then there's the light between Batman and Joker showing the closing distance between them, the abrupt end to his laughter and finally it's lights out.

#39 Posted by gator4eva (396 posts) - - Show Bio

It never even crossed my mind that Batman killed the Joker and for some reason I've never heard that theory but it makes sense now that I think about it. Very interesting. It'd only make sense if it isn't continuity though.

#40 Posted by gumflabica (2240 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait... isn't the Killing Joke canon? If so, how could the joker have been killed...?

#41 Posted by The_Lunact_And_Manic (3286 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman: I'LL SHAKE YOU TO HELL! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

#42 Posted by BigCimmerian (8305 posts) - - Show Bio

lol Batman didn't kill him, Joker is still alive, the Killing Joke is canon even in New 52.

#43 Posted by RustyRoy (12706 posts) - - Show Bio

I too strangle people by their shoulders.

BB

He's got one hand in the shoulder.

#44 Posted by DarkKnight1939 (148 posts) - - Show Bio

Some interesting theories are mentioned here. They is certainly some evidence towards Batman killing the Joker, we do see Batman 'crack' in one way or another, despite the comics universe treating it like canon. I've always just accepted as just being ambigious. Was it the writers intention it to be ambigious, and for it to be canon (given it was a graphic novel one-shot)?

#45 Edited by Wilbertus (330 posts) - - Show Bio