It’s nearly impossible to choose one definitive Batman story from comic book lore. From “Year One,” to “Knightfall,” to “The Dark Knight Returns,” each one just as iconic as the last. However, the same cannot be said for his arch-nemesis: The Joker. Ask just about anyone to name the greatest Joker storyline of all time, and most will likely cite Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke.”

 

Over the weekend, comic book fans delighted at the announcement that this superlative book would finally get the attention it deserves, and a proper film adaptation, albeit in animated form.

 

Without giving too much away, “The Killing Joke” revolves around The Joker’s plan to drive Commissioner Gordon insane by putting him through “one bad day.” In the demented eyes of the Joker, he believes the entire world is only one bad day away from ending up like him and Batman, and it is up to The Dark Knight to save the day and prove him wrong.

 

What makes “The Killing Joke” stand out comes from its exploration of the deranged clown’s mind, as well as its unrelenting darkness. We get a glimpse inside Joker’s mind, and see a possible reason for his existence, although it becomes clear that even he does not remember his true origin anymore. It’s also the comic book that saw him shoot Barbara Gordon (Batgirl, to the layperson) through the spine, paralyzing her for life.

 

“The Killing Joke” has become so iconic that countless images and story beats have been appropriated from it over the years for use in other media. Tim Burton used it as a basis for his Joker’s origin in the 1989 film “Batman,” and even the recent “Batman: Arkham Knight” recreated the Joker’s attack on Barbara Gordon in graphic detail.

 

The story also recently started getting new attention when comic book legend Grant Morrison gave a radical — yet completely feasible — new take on the ending of the novel. We won’t spoil it here, but if you’ve read the book, then check out this episode of Kevin Smith’s “Fatman on Batman” podcast.

 

Very few details have been revealed about the upcoming adaptation, with no word regarding who will voice the Clown Prince of Crime. Mark Hamill — a fan favorite from “Batman: The Animated Series,” as well as the “Arkham” franchise — has remained vocal on social media that he would gladly return to the role, if they ever adapted this storyline.

 

Are you excited for an adaptation of “The Killing Joke?” What is your favorite Joker story? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!