The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
There are a lot of great stories with the Joker in them but this is by far my all time favorite. I bought this when it first came out but was to young to understand the depth and terror that was in the amazing story telling in this book. It has been one of the prizes of my collection and a few years ago I got it out and re-read it. I couldn't believe what I had been missing all these years reading it so young. Since I was on this Joker kick with my reviews this week I decided to bring this out again and read it all over. I love this book more and more with each read.
This is the book that defines the Joker. This is the pinnacle of evil, insanity, and darkness that makes the Joker the worst and the best character in comic book history in my opinion. From what I have read (gossip or truth I don't know) this is the book that Heath Ledger patterned his portrayal of the Joker for The Dark Knight. This book and trying to become the best representation of the Joker is potentially what drove him crazy. Once you see darkness like this there is no going back.
This is the closest thing we get to an origin story for how the Joker came to be. A struggling comedian with a debit problem decides to help a crime boss pull a job to make a good bit of money. He becomes the Red Hood. Trying to distract from what is really going on he takes a header into a vat of acid that bleaches his skin, turns his hair green and his lips blood read. It is also the nudge he needed to slip completely into madness. So much happens in this book I could write for pages about every little detail and how much I love this book but I don't want to ruin anything for anyone who might read this in the future. This book changes some big characters in the Batman mythos.
For any fan of the Batman series this is a must must read. Without any hesitation I give this 5 out of 5 stars. I could read this book over and over and still enjoy this book. The art work is very well done, and Allen Moore out does himself with the writing in this book. I get chills every time I read this book.