The Killing Adaptation

I noticed that there was already an article about  Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, but this article will be touching on some other points. You may know that an  animated adaptation for this graphic novel is coming up next year, but all we have for now are a few references to the novel and some scenes recreated in a few of the Batman video games. What this article will show you is a comparison between the rather controversial scene from the novel to it’s video game counterpart.



Looking at the source material first, you can see the young redhead, Barbara Gordon, gets shot almost point blank in front of her father who is sitting on the sofa before he is knocked out and taken hostage.  I don’t know about you, but to me, this whole scene seems to last forever. In actuality, it only lasts for about a minute or two.

The scene doesn’t end here though. The famed psychopath, The Joker, strips Barbara naked and proceeds to take pictures of her while she is in pain and later shows them to her now captured father as a joke.





Now, comparing this scene from the graphic novel to the scene from the Arkham Knight video game shown above, Barbara wasn’t with her father and The Joker didn’t have any henchmen with him. This Barbara also ran away from The Joker while in the graphic novel she seems to just freeze up due to shock. I find this to be very interesting since this slight difference means that the Barbaras are actually two different people personality-wise. You could argue that the graphic novel Barbara is the weaker one, but you can also argue that she is the smarter one. Maybe she didn’t actually freeze up. It’s possible that she already knew it was inevitable and pointless to run away like her video game counterpart did. The video game version of Barbara can also be considered strong though because she ran believing that her fate wasn’t set in stone until it actually happened.

Some other notable differences of these two scenes are: The graphic novel takes place earlier in the day while the video game takes place sometime in the evening, The Joker takes photos of Barbara with her clothes on in the video game adaptation, and the color scheme of the rooms where the scene takes place are a different. The color scheme of the Gordon’s home in the graphic novel is pretty bright and when The Joker enters the room he is letting all of the darkness in as well.

I’m not quite sure how the time would affect the scene overall because I feel like if you swapped the time of the two scenes you would get the same outcome. To conclude, it’s wonderful how adaptations tell the same story differently. They each have their own little details that makes them special and I can’t wait to see how the animated adaptation of The Killing Joke handles this popular and controversial novel and what differences it will have.