Home Graphic novel The Killing Joke’s biggest controversy

The Killing Joke’s biggest controversy


As Barbara Gordon takes over the mantle of Batgirl for “Fear State”, she reflects on her first retirement from the role after The Killing Joke.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Nightwing # 85, on sale now from DC Comics.

Barbara Gordon has been at a superhero crossroads for much of the past year. After suffering severe personal losses during last year’s ‘Joker War’ crossover event, Barbara decided to step down from the Batgirl mantle a second time and instead return to her superhero job as a superhero. ‘Oracle. As she finds herself among the first targets of “Fear State”, Gordon makes the fateful decision to become Batgirl again to help her take back her town. In doing so, Barbara shares her reservations about the most traumatic event of her life that led to her first Batgirl retirement in the controversial Alan Moore and Brian Bolland story. Batman: the murderous joke.

For Barbara, the decision to step away from the Batgirl coat and put it back on was not a decision made without considerable emotional weight and painfully fresh memories of the worst night of her life. The murderous joke asked the Joker to shoot him point blank in the spine to prove a point to Commissioner Jim Gordon and the Dark Knight while Barbara suffered a lengthy paralysis as a result of the assault. Cutting-edge medical technology would restore Barbara’s mobility and lead her to reclaim the character of Batgirl, but “Joker War” has awakened traumatic demons who, associated with the death of her younger brother James Gordon, Jr., have her. caused to retire again from the role of superhero. . As Barbara dons the Batgirl hoodie again in Night wing # 85 (by Tom Taylor, Robbi Rodriguez, Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott), Barbara shares with Dick Grayson one of the most painful aspects of her ordeal after The murderous joke.

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Barbara Gordon Oracle on Killing Joke

Barbara rightly points out that despite The murderous joke being the most traumatic moment of her life, the story ultimately wasn’t about her at all, but rather part of the sick and twisted game of the Joker with his father and Batman. This effectively made Barbara a supporting character in the worst day of her life, in a metatextual nod to her assault being a glorified conspiracy, a controversy that has long been associated with The murderous joke since its initial publication in 1988. With this admission, Nightwing makes his own observation of Barbara’s development since the incident.

Nightwing points out that although The murderous joke was not initially a Barbara Gordon story, it certainly did in the years that followed. The biggest development of the original 1988 graphic novel was Barbara creating Oracle’s superhero cloak and not only providing vital support to the rest of the Bat-Family, but to the DC Universe superhero teams as well. important as the Justice League and leading its own team, the Birds of Prey. Oracle has actually saved the day countless times, perhaps more than her time as Batgirl.

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Night wing bat girl

In or out of the Batgirl mantle, one thing has always been made clear about Barbara Gordon: she’s a superhero through and through, whatever nickname she uses at any given time.

With her usual computer systems and communications network compromised at the start of “Fear State,” Barbara decided to forgo her self-imposed retirement and take a more hands-on approach to keeping Gotham City safe by joining her fellow Batgirls. Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown to help reclaim their town.

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