‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Ending Explained

There’s a huge accumulation of comedian books and story arcs on the market that completely describe the struggles of Batman as a personality and the inside demons he should face and endure every-time he dons the cape and cowl. A few of these demons belong to his previous, however most torment his current, along with his arch enemy and best adversary, The Joker, being the entrance of most of them. In them, none maybe, is as efficient and in simplistic phrases, fairly mind-blowing as Alan Moore’s one shot graphic novel ‘The Killing Joke’. Within the minds of avid readers and non secular followers, the stated supply materials is immortal. Evidently, it was solely a matter of time earlier than the DCAU tailored it into an animated function.

What truly got here as a shock was that the makers have been prepared to go all out with due respect to the subject material after they selected the R Ranking of the movie, in an effort to protect what true horrors the Joker unleashes on the Gordons and Batman. The outcome within the type of the 2016 animated film we obtained was as an alternative a combined bag, with a number of shining moments that have been principally to the credit score of the supply materials, whereas all the most important criticism was directed in the direction of deviations from the unique. This text, nevertheless, is about that ambiguous ending that pressured the viewers to assume what conspired because the Joker’s plan and that fateful evening drew to an in depth. What was the killing joke, in any case? We try to seek out solutions to the identical.


The story begins with Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) preserving guard over Gotham metropolis, and later pursuing a bunch of robbers, the chief of which appears fixated upon Barbara, one which escalates to harmful ranges quickly. Failing the pursuit, and later being tricked right into a sick recreation by Paris Franz, the gang chief, whereby she is made to find his uncle’s lifeless physique, she is confronted by Batman who advises her that she keep off the case, involved about her security and warning her in regards to the private nature she imbues her crimefighting with, lest she mortally damage one of many criminals upon shedding management. The 2 break into an argument, and the stress is dissipated as each of them give in to mutual emotions in the direction of one another and have intercourse, one thing that was extensively criticised as a deviation from the comics and deemed an pointless angle so as to add to the connection between Batman and Barbara.

Later, in an ambush for Batman, Barbara confronts Franz who riles her up and makes her lose management. Barbara beats him pink and blue proving Batman proper, and never a lot later has a second of realisation as she decides to hold up her cape and transfer on to different issues in life.

That is the place the plot will get actually darkish and sinister because the Joker’s plan comes into play. Batman investigates a really ‘Joker’-esque crime scene with detective Harvey Bullock, and instantly requests to fulfill with Gordon at Arkham Asylum the place the Joker is being held, suspecting him of being behind it. Upon reaching there, Batman realises that the Joker has escaped, leaving a decoy in his place. The escaped Joker plans to rain down hell upon the Gordon household, not directly concentrating on Batman, and shoots Barbara within the abdomen, fatally wounding her and paralysing her for all times. He later assaults Gordon, kidnaps him and takes him to an deserted amusement park, the place he makes him undergo a madhouse trip of types, stripping him bare and exhibiting him footage of Barbara, bare, tortured and in ache.

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Batman is ready to find Gordon in time who, though traumatized from the occasions, instructs Batman to seize the Joker “by the guide” restoring Batman’s religion and foiling the very essence of Joker’s plan, leaving him to final resorts. Joker confronts the Batman, and tries explaining why the world is such a nasty joke, and all it took was “one unhealthy day” to show any sane man into the monster that he at present was. He persuades the Bat to present in, believing one thing of an identical nature is what made Batman what he was at this time. Batman refutes and overpowers the Joker within the fistfight that ensues, and considerably bored with their predicament and fixed squaring off, reaches out to the Joker and gives assist. The Joker refuses citing that it was too late for that, and ends by telling Batman a joke. The 2 of them share a hearty chortle, because the Joker’s chortle stops halfway and Batman’s chortle continues to echo on display, because the digicam pans in the direction of the puddle of water on the bottom and the display cuts to black, with the principle credit rolling in silence.

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In a mid-credits scene, recovered Barbara is proven navigating her wheelchair right into a secret rorm in her condominium with a number of superior tools, beginning up a pc. She then says “again to work!” because the oracle emblem seems on her display.

 The Joker’s origin

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“I’m not precisely positive what occurred. Generally I keep in mind it a method, generally one other. If I’m going to have a previous, I desire it to be a number of alternative!”

The abovementioned piece of dialogue by the Joker is what defines him, and the attribute uncertainty that accompanies him as a personality, similar to the character’s repeated “wanna know the way I obtained these scars” quip from ‘The Darkish Knight’. But nonetheless, ‘The Killing Joke’ stays some of the direct accounts of what might have occurred that evening the ‘Joker’ was born. Working as soon as at a lab with a pregnant spouse to assist, the Joker as a younger, caught-on-his-luck man is proven switching to comedy full time, one thing he’s not excellent at. His jokes are unfunny and his acts fail miserably. Determined to make ends meet, he agrees to steal one thing from his former office for 2 thugs, who insist that he don the pink hood alias whereas committing the theft, secretly intending to border him as the identical.

Tragedy strikes and his life is turned the wrong way up as he receives information of his spouse’s and unborn little one’s demise attributable to a home accident, upon listening to which he decides to again down from the job. He’s anyway coerced into it, and is confronted by the Batman because the job will get botched up. Startled, he stumbles and falls right into a vat of chemical compounds, and is later swept out within the discharge line.

He’s terrified to see his pores and skin and lips bleached completely, and grief stricken from shedding all the things he cared for, he’s pushed to insanity because the Joker rises, owing to his “one unhealthy day”.


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The graphic novel superbly and ingeniously exploits the dichotomous relationship between the Joker and the Batman, in who has the final chortle, with the Joker constantly pushing Batman to extremes, hell bent on proving that each one it took, was one unhealthy day. The story can also be fairly iconic in Batman’s continuity, showcasing how Barbara Gordon remodeled into Oracle from being Batgirl, sadly although, following the evening of horrors that unfolded within the wake of Joker’s plan.

The animated function adaptation nevertheless, turned out to be just a little higher than mediocre. Maybe this was due to my mammoth expectations, maybe one thing else. It nonetheless stays an excellent one time watch, owing to some highly effective strains, first fee voice appearing and a comparatively properly instructed Joker origin story. Nevertheless, the probabilities that they’d with this one, and the deviations in the long run product make me see loads of squandered potential for what might have been a contender for ‘Below the Crimson Hood’.

The Killing Joke

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It’s completely to the movie’s benefit that the dialogues for each the graphic novel, and the animated movie are extraordinarily properly written and carried out. Utilizing that benefit to our benefit, I’m going to let the dialogues, particularly those between Batman and the Joker do loads of the work.

Because the movie attracts to an in depth, Batman displays on the poisonous relationship that the 2 share. Drained and tattered, figuratively, by the monotony of all of it, he has a second of pause earlier than he would often beat the Joker right into a pulp following any of their escapades. He genuinely makes an try to patch issues up by providing rehabilitation to the Joker.

“I don’t wish to damage you. I don’t need both of us to finish up killing the opposite. However we’re operating out of options. Maybe all of it hinges on tonight. I don’t know what it was that bent your life out of practice, however perhaps I’ve been there, too. Perhaps we might work collectively. I might rehabilitate you. You don’t should be alone. We don’t should kill one another. Let me show you how to.”

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The Joker too, clearly refuses, however the method of rebuttal is way much less sarcastic or evil as you would possibly anticipate it to be. It’s, fairly surprisingly, virtually the identical as Batman. In a drained, virtually forsaken tone, he heaves whereas refusing saying that it was far too late for that. Just a few moments later, being the maniacal clown that he’s, he tells Batman a joke that holds much more which means than what informal viewing would possibly impart to it.

You already know, it’s humorous. This jogs my memory of a joke. See, there have been two guys locked in a lunatic asylum and one evening… one evening, they determined they didn’t like that anymore. They determined to flee. So, they made it as much as the roof and there, simply throughout this slim hole, they see rooftops, stretching throughout city, stretching to freedom. Now, the primary man, he jumps proper throughout, no downside. However his good friend, oh, no means, he’s afraid of falling. So, the primary man has an concept. He says, “Hey, I obtained this flashlight with me. I’ll shine it throughout the hole between the buildings and you’ll stroll throughout the beam and be a part of me.” However the second man says, “What do you assume I’m, loopy? You’ll simply flip it off after I’m midway throughout!”

Should you’ve seen the film, what follows. The Joker instantly bursts laughing, whereas Batman finally eases as much as it and shares amusing with him. Inside moments, the Joker’s chortle ceases to be heard, and Batman’s chortle continues echoing by way of, because the digicam seems to be away.

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Nothing that the Joker says or does is with out consequence, and the identical is the case right here too. The primary affected person who makes it by way of is an analogy for Batman, following the “one unhealthy day” in his life, implying that he didn’t give in to madness because the Joker did. The second, reluctant affected person is the Joker, who regardless of being provided assist, considers himself too far gone into the darkness to even take into account a return. The flashlight in each instances is then a metaphorical ‘bridge’ between the 2 sufferers, between the 2 adversaries, between sanity and madness. Metaphorical, however in the end in useless. The Joker realises that the Batman can’t assist him, even when he himself may need thought-about looking for assist for a second, as is seen from a twitch in his facial expressions. The predicament turns into much more fascinating in case you reverse the entire scenario and take into account Joker to be the primary affected person, asking Batman to present in to his personal inherent insanity. The 2 of them then share a hearty chortle on the joke, and that, girls and gents, is The Killing joke.

The Ending

One of many issues that the animated movie does get proper is the ending, which is unsurprisingly by leaving it as ambiguous because the graphic novel. Its ambiguity is what incited discussions upon discussions on the subject, and the genius behind two of essentially the most possible outcomes of the ending is what introduced individuals in absolute awe of it. Following the killing joke, one of many following two endings went underway, each equally possible and dwelling in genius.

The primary, the extra possible one, is that two foes shared a hearty chortle and known as it a day. Upon the Joker’s refusal of Batman’s provide of assist, each of them understood that they have been too far in it to again down now. Perhaps, what the Joker stated was true, in any case. Perhaps they have been destined to do that ceaselessly.

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The Joker is aware of Batman to be a person of a better ethical floor, regardless of being conscious that it was one thing horrible in his life that broke him and made him what he was, not too totally different from his personal story. He additionally is aware of him to be clever sufficient to decipher the context behind the ‘killing joke’. Batman could also be laughing on the sheer helplessness of the entire scenario and each of them, and the crossroads the 2 discover themselves in on the finish of each escapade, narrowly hinging on Batman’s code that he doesn’t break and the Joker hell bent on bending that very nerve. Joker could also be laughing merely due to how the scenario turned out, regardless of him surrendering and permitting Batman to “kick the hell out of him, and get his standing ovation!”

Batman accepts that the Joker gained’t cease, and doesn’t wish to be saved. Joker accepts that Batman gained’t budge both, particularly after he selected to supply assist regardless of all that he did with Barbara and Jim Gordon. It’s a chortle of acceptance, in addition to of denial, figuring out the 2 will likely be caught in the identical cycle ceaselessly, every of them the right nemesis to the opposite.

The second, much less probably, but in some way possible all the identical since Alan Moore meant this to be a separate continuity. This ending is extra like a want looking for fulfilment for Batman, that perhaps lastly did come true. This one states that Batman truly did give in. He snapped, misplaced management, a lot just like the best way Barbara did initially of the movie with Franz. He succumbed to the very management he thought was his ethical compass and violated the code he swore by: the no kill rule. For these of you continue to questioning, sure, loads of theories do consider that Batman killed the Joker, most certainly by snapping his neck.

The movie additional corroborated the idea. Should you hear carefully, and by carefully, I imply buying the flexibility to empty out all white noise, you may hear the faint sound of a snap, instantly after which the Joker’s chortle stops, and Batman continues laughing. This concept would imply that Batman lastly turned what the Joker needed him to. The Joker saved pushing Batman to psychological and bodily extremes to show a degree, and that he did.

As reflective as this movie is on the connection between the 2, it additionally showcases certainly one of Joker’s most ugly crimes in his campaign towards Batman and proving he was proper all alongside, and this one sits proper beside the homicide of Jason Todd. Solely this time, it’s completely potential that he pushed too exhausting, and Batman snapped. It’s exactly by this very logic that the followers of ‘Batman V Superman’ defended Affleck’s Batman overtly killing on display. It’s the very assertion Jason Todd confronted Batman with upon returning because the Crimson Hood. To sum it up, I couldn’t have discovered a greater approach to finish this one, than to cite the holy altar of DC Animated Motion pictures.

Batman: You don’t perceive. I don’t assume you’ve ever understood.
Jason Todd: What? That your ethical code simply gained’t permit for that (killing the Joker)? It’s too exhausting to cross that line?
Batman: No! God Almighty, no. It’d be too damned simple. All I’ve ever needed to do is kill him. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t take into consideration subjecting him to each horrendous torture he’s dealt out to others, after which finish him. But when I do this, if I permit myself to go down into that place.. I’ll by no means come again.

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