Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition

Batman: The Killing Joke - Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Tim Sale, Richard Starkins I read Alan Moore's "Batman: The Killing Joke" with an open mind. I've read many other installations and novelizations in the Batman franchise, and while this stand-alone seems to be the subject of much debate, I thought it was an interesting portrayal of the Joker's character as being halfway mad and halfway tormented with relation to his backstory. It also told a rather twisted scheme of events involving the tragic circumstances of Gordon's daughter Barbara (Batgirl) - which it honestly surprised and threw me not just for the crime itself, but the brutality and how it was used to torment Gordon. It just tells you that the Joker's one messed up criminal.That said, I think "The Killing Joke" is somewhere on the continuum between brilliant and silly. You have to suspend disbelief for certain elements of the story because they are at odds and aren't necessarily as potently portrayed as other installations (even among the one shots) in the Batman franchise. But honestly, I didn't find the last exchange between Batman and the Joker to be that bad. It's kind of an eerie (and oddly ironic) conclusion to a parallel made between what made the Joker snap and become his respective character while bringing into relevance what made Batman become part of the man that he became. Arkham Asylum did much the same thing, though I think Arkham made it more of a direct point of conflict. What I didn't like was the point at which it was brought up - I don't think Batman would've acted that way on the heels of knowing what happened with Barbara and Gordon (because honestly, if I were him, I'd be kicking the Joker's bum from here to kingdom come). It just didn't seem appropriate given the contextual flow of the story.I liked it for the themes it offered, and I definitely think it's one worth reading and following, but it's not necessarily one of my favorite stories in the Batman franchise. The Joker's been portrayed in much better sequence in other stories.Overall score: 3/5