The Killing Joke is arguably one of the best Batman stories of all time. This masterpiece is certainly on par with Moore’s other more famous works like Watchmen and V for Vendetta. The story itself is truly great because it exposes Batman for the fraud that he is. One thing that some people don’t really like about the story is the joke itself. I’ve read online that some people seem to think that the joke ends suddenly and doesn’t make much sense. Hopefully this will clear up some of that confusion, or possibly even muddy the waters a little more.
To understand The Killing Joke you first have to understand the Allegory of the Cave.
In The Killing Joke the asylum is the cave. The Joker in this case is the one that has left the cave and is trying to get Batman to see the world for what it is. Batman lives in a delusion thinking that he can really make a difference going around fighting crime with his mask and cape. Batman never kills anyone so the criminals just go back to the asylum and they escape on an endless loop over and over again. It doesn’t really make much sense. Unless however you take into consideration the fan theory that claims that Batman actually lives in the asylum, then things certainly do get a little more interesting.
I think what Bruce Wayne doesn’t understand is the fact that his company, Wayne Industries, is such a fucking massive company that it causes a lot of the turmoil that happens in the city. It’s the same thing that people talk about today when they talk about big corporations and the harm that they can bring when their power and influence go unchecked. The violence in Gotham could be seen as a direct result of all the shit that Wayne Industries is up to.
We also have to understand the role that The Joker plays in the lore of Batman. There is a common fan theory that is known around the internet about the possibility that The Joker is actually the hero of the story.
The Killing Joke exposes Batman for the joke that he is. (superman is better) It shows that Batman doesn’t live by any real sort of code. The Joker was trying to get him to leave but Batman wants to stay. Maybe Batman is really in the asylum and everything that is happening really is just in his head. Admittedly I am a huge Alan Moore fanboy but I do think that it is one more best works that more has done, let alone being one of the best stories within the lore of the batman universe. Certainly exposing batman in a way that hasn’t really been matched. It is truly one of the best. I’ll be looking forward to the upcoming movie.