So, I’ve heard that, apparently, DC is planning to do an animated movie of The Killing Joke. For those unfamiliar, that’s where Barbara Gordon got her spine shot by Joker, causing her to become wheelchair-bound. It’s also where Troy Baker got a lot of his material for his voiceover work in Arkham Origins. lol But I digress; if DC is honestly going to do this movie, there’s a couple of things I’m gonna have to ask that they do in order for me to be okay with them doing this movie (it’s extremely dark and a bit on the loathed side by feminists).
First and foremost, they’re going to HAVE to end the movie with an epilogue showing Babs becoming Oracle. We need to see her resolve in the face of what happened to her, that she refused to let Joker make her a victim or an object with which to taunt her father and try to drive him insane. And, to be blunt, that’s exactly what Alan Moore did with her. He was given the okay by Len Wein to, and I quote, “cripple the bitch”, a move that even Moore admits they should’ve “reined him in on”. Furthermore, not only was she shot, but she was also stripped down naked and had photos taken of her (which I’m also gonna have to insist is removed from the movie). For the purposes of the original story, Barbara Gordon was little more than a prop and a victim and was written as such by Alan Moore, and with all due respect to the Eisner Award Winner, a success I could never hope to have, that was WRONG. And frankly, the part involving her being sexually abused (which, yes, for any who doubt it, that DOES qualify) didn’t even need to be in the story. Everything else, the analysis of what makes the Joker who he is, why he does what he does, and if everyone is really just one bad day away from snapping, all of it could’ve been done without that crucial element.
Now, you may ask, “But isn’t Babs’ spine getting shot a disservice to the character as well? Why aren’t you insisting that be removed?” Well, you’re right, it was a disservice to the character when it was done. However, in the fallout from the story, after it was decided to be made canon (because, and I’ll admit to not being 100% sure of this, I don’t believe the book was originally intended to be so), Kim Yale and John Ostrander decided to take what happened and develop Barbara into a whole new kind of character, one that could be a hero to readers with physical disabilities. And thus, Oracle was born. So, while The Killing Joke did do this horrible thing to Babs, it’s also part of her development into something bigger and better…at least, until the New 52 came in and said that she had a surgery to fix her spine, and thus robbing the people her story spoke to of their hero, although we DID get to see her again during Convergence. As such, as horrible as it is, you really can’t remove that from her story. But, that’s only if you also get to see how she rises from that horrible deed. She needs to be able to show that she won’t just be a Woman in a Refrigerator.
… … …Oh yeah, and I’m also gonna need Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy voicing Joker and Batman. I’m sorry, but if you grew up in the 90’s, those two ARE those characters. They are the voices you immediately think of when it comes to those characters. When you read their dialogue in comics and you don’t hear their voices…frankly, and I’m sorry to say this, you’re doing it wrong. Mark Hamill is Joker, and Kevin Conroy is Batman. End of story.
Anyway, those are my must-haves for The Killing Joke, should the movie be made. Is there anything you think should be added? Do you even believe DC SHOULD be making this movie, or should they instead try to do a whole new story that analyses the same themes without the sickening imagery? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll see what happens from here. Ja né!