Batman: The Killing Joke
Welcome back everyone! This week we’ll talk about one of the most iconic characters and graphic novels there is in the comic industry. This book has shaken and shaped the DC Universe in many ways and has been critically acclaimed by many.
Without further ado, I present to you: Batman: The Killing Joke
This book was released on March 29, 1988 and despite all my efforts, I’ve failed to find the print run…so if you happen to know it (first print only), drop a comment! The first print sells for about $70 so if you want to collect it, that’s the one to go for. You can differentiate the printings by the color of the title on the cover of the book (light green is the 1st print). Written by Alan Moore and drawn by Brian Bolland., there are 14 prints and one Deluxe Hardcover edition of this book, so if you were wondering if it’s a good read, there’s your answer.
Bolland did an amazing job with the art and he also managed to make the cover one of the most recognizable Joker images there is to this day. If you’ve read this one-shot, you surely know how relevant the cover art is to the book as well as what it is implying; I think that’s what really makes it awesome. There are so many covers out there that have nothing to do with the story in the comic (not complaining), but this one really does. It’s one of those books that have a historic value in the comic industry and that will keep being sought after.
Now it was hard to find a book that could stand up to The Killing Joke, but I was able to find not just one, but two! The first one is Batgirl Vol.4 #39B Harley Quinn Variant:
Seem familiar? This one was released February 15, 2015 with a print run of 40,880 (including standard cover), so it’s hard to tell how many of these there are actually out there. Right now you can have it for no more than $10 and I’m pretty sure they can still be found in dollar bins. The art is done by Cliff Chiang and while there is nothing extraordinary about it, it is not that bad either.
At first glance, I would have passed on this one, but with a closer look, there is no doubt that the artist tried to do a homage to The Killing Joke in his own way, with a more modern touch. I think it’s an interesting cover to have, but knowing what that moment with the camera means to Batgirl in The Killing Joke, I find it a bit awkward that we see her replicating it on her own cover…
The other cover is really more ‘’Joker’’ like : Batman Confidential #23
This book came out on November 12, 2008 with a low print run of 22,905. As of today, this comic is selling for a maximum of $10. The cover art is done by the very talented French artist Stéphane Roux. If you don’t know him, I suggest you Google his name after you’ve read this article to see what he’s all about; his sketches are incredible!
Everything about this cover is attractive. First of all, there is the Joker, beautifully drawn, in a pose that reminds me of the cover art of The Killing Joke (but with a peanut!). The colors are simple but very well used and the black background really makes the character pop out. Joker covers have a really strong fanbase and we can’t argue why this one might be on their list. For those reasons, I think that this cover might see a bump in the near future, once the market realizes how low the print run is.
I hope you can find these covers in the dollar bins, but if not, even at cover price it’s still a cheap gamble to take at the moment. So go ahead and jump on the speculator bandwagon! Here’s the original sketch cover art (not mine) of Batman Confidential #23 for you black and white lovers! See you next week!