(Video and image via BleedingCool) On Kevin Smith’s radio show, Grant Morrison discusses why Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke is important… because Batman kills the Joker at the end. (unnecessary foul language… because it’s Kevin Smith, I guess) Like many guys my age into comic books, I got this way back when it was first printed and even met Brian Bolland and got him to sign the thing. But I never interpreted the last few panels as Batman killing the Joker. Apparently this discussion was going on back in the day but via word of mouth rather than on the non-existent internet chat rooms and in blogs (like this one).
When it was first printed, it was clear that this was not a story set within continuity. The level of violence and disturbing imagery was so outside of the norm that it was clear how this was a story that could not exist in the same world as the Batman monthly books. However, since the events have been enveloped into continuity such as the Joker crippling Barbara Gordon, that line has become blurred. Of course the tone of the monthly DC comics has also changed so that questioning this story’s placement in continuity seems absurd. Therefore, Batman could not have killed the Joker, right?
But look at the evidence…
There has been much fuss over this since the story took over the net yesterday. Then the script was shared which has gotten a healthy amount of notice and puts an end to this debate over the ‘Did Batman kill the Joker?’ question. As can be seen in the actual script, Batman does not kill the Joker… so where did Grant get this from or is it just a situation in which he misinterpreted the source material?
Or was this just a simple publicity stunt?