Released by Warner Brothers
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016
Starring: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Tara Strong
Written by Brian Azzarello
Directed by Sam Liu
Rated R (some bloody images and disturbing content)
Boy was I wrong. WB Animation did a good job adapting the comic book into a nice cartoon, but they also had to pad the run time. You see, The Killing Joke is short. Like, REALLY short. Holding the hardcover comic in your hand, you are left wondering if there is any paper in between the front and the back covers.
The filmmakers wanted to give Gordon some more to do before she is shot. So they concocted a really bland and boring story that gives us more time with Gordon. She fights to bring down a mobster, named Paris Franz, and show Batman that she can handle her own. While this is all well and good, there is a huge problem with this addition: She sleeps with Batman. That is right. Barbra Gordon sleeps with Bruce Wayne. This was the big addition to the story.
It seems to me and the rest of the internet that Gordon is nothing more than a sex puppet. Two of the major acts that involve Gordon also involve sex. She is not seen as a woman or as Commissioner Gordon’s daughter (although the filmmakers try to give her something else to do, but that just leads to the first sex act.) Her actions in the film are that of a one-dimensional woman who serves no other purpose in the story than to get penetrated.
The Killing Joke proper gives the Joker’s origin that is intercut with the present as the Joker shoots Barbra Gordon and kidnaps and tortures her father. Batman, of course, comes to save the day and the film ends very ambiguously.
Since this is the most requested storyline, WB Animation went and got the actors who are the definitive voices of Batman. We get Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tara Strong as Batgirl, and Mark Hamill as the Joker. All three of these actors nail their roles in the film and give it a much needed authentic feel. I have always loved these three in their roles here, with all of them being the go to for each role. There are so many different Batmans that it is hard to say who is the best, but Hamill, hands down, is THE Joker. The way he embodies the Joker, his playful tone, his menacing forcefulness, and his laugh. If we could have Hamill record every Batman comic where the Joker appears so that, after his death, we would still be able to hear Hamill as the Joker would be fine by me.