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One of the most compelling origins for one of the most infamous comic book villians of all time, Alan Moore's The Killing Joke, provides a heartbreaking answer to the history and motivations behind the Joker.
If you haven't already read it, I am hesitant to give too much about this groundbreaking graphic novel's plot away. I will, however, go so far as to say that the Joker was once all too human and that his issues with Batman go far deeper than just a need to kill Gotham's Dark Knight. The Joker doesn't want to only kill his nemesis but to drag him into the insanity and hell that a series of bad events cast his own agonized soul into years before.
It will always be confusing to me why The Killing Joke has not yet been adapted for film. The story by Alan Moore is so strong and powerful that it begs to be told. However, Brian Bolland's art is so beautiful and detailed, from the Joker sitting on a pile of dolls to a few scattered rain drops in a dark puddle, that I will happily try to overlook this sad fact.
The last few images and the final dialogue where the Joker confesses some of his emotions to his foe via a joke are some of the most poignant in the whole realm of comics, past and present.