Batman: The Killing Joke - Reprints


The Killing Joke is included in the 2006 trade paperback collection DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore.

In March 2008, a deluxe hardcover version of the book was released, featuring recoloring of the book by Brian Bolland. The new colors featured black-and-white flashbacks, as opposed to Higgins' colors, along with one or two items per panel colored in pink or red, up until the helmet of the Red Hood is revealed. In addition to recoloring the pages, Bolland also altered some facial expressions and added minor artwork. Also included is a colored version of Bolland's "An Innocent Guy" (originally published in Batman Black and White), an introduction by Tim Sale, and an epilogue by Bolland.

Critical reaction to the new coloring has been mixed to positive. Aaron Albert of said that "the washed-out tones of the flashback sections help to make the transitions between the sections more fluid" and that "the first reveal of the Joker after his transformation has more impact." Van Jensen of ComicMix said that "the new colors really do improve the book, giving it a subtlety and grimness not present in the original."

James Donnelly of Pop Syndicate said that the original version "is outdone by Bolland’s recoloring", which he said "gives the comic a more timeless quality." Seb Patrick of Den of Geek had a lukewarm reaction, calling the recoloring of the flashbacks "superb" but commented that "some of the changes seem to have less of a point—increasing definition for the sake of it, but giving the book too much of a present-day feel rather than looking like it was printed in the 1980s."

A comparison of the original coloring and the deluxe hardcover edition coloring can be found here.

The deluxe edition also makes a change to the front cover: where the original edition's speech bubble had the Joker saying "SMILE", with no punctuation, the newer cover italicizes it and adds an exclamation point: "SMILE!"

Read more about this topic:  Batman: The Killing Joke

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