Eagerly anticipated by many to be the ‘definitive’ adaptation of one of DC’s most treasured one-shot novels, The Killing Joke is easily DC’s most recognizable and beloved comic books, and with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill on board as the voices of Batman and the Joker, it seemed this adaptation would be a solid success.
Unfortunately, some poor animation and outright bizarre new segments absolutely ruin what should have been a straightforward adaptation. When sticking to the main story, it’s fine (if nothing spectacular), but attempting to introduce new motives, new elements and new themes fall completely flat in a completely misfired way to handle the darker themes with more depth.
What’s new is a 20 minute prologue detailing the fracturing relationship between Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl and Batman. The main problem with this new segment and that in trying to add more depth to Barbara Gordon, it basically does the opposite and exacerbates the problem that the original one-shot had, in that Batgirl is nothing more than a sexualised object used as a mere prop. In an attempt ot humanize Barbara, the film turns her into a cliché.