Grant Morrison Says “Alan Moore Killed The Joker In 1988”, Richard Starkings Says “Not True”

By August 17, 2013

Holy what the f***, Batman!

In a proverbial “shot heard ’round the world”, Grant Morrison told Kevin Smith during Wednesday’s Fat Man on Batman podcast that the secret ending of Alan Moore’s masterpiece The Killing Joke has Batman killing The Joker.


“No one gets the end(ing) because Batman kills The Joker, that’s why it’s called The Killing Joke. The Joker tells the ‘Killing Joke’ at the end, Batman reaches out and breaks his neck and that’s why the laughter stops and the light goes out, ’cause that was the last chance at crossing that bridge. And Alan Moore wrote the ultimate Batman/Joker story; he finished it.”

I mean, I own The Killing Joke and all signs point to what Morrison’s saying BUT I’d always lived under the belief (and hope) that despite the numerous attempts to destroy each other time and time again, Batman and Joker would never be able to exist without each other and therefore never be able to kill each other.

I honestly assumed he and The Joker were having a reflective moment waiting for the police to take the injured Joker into custody but damn it, I feel like I’m being forced into accepting the possibility that Batman DID intentionally kill someone and that’s just not the Batman I know and love.

But then THIS happened…

Friday evening, font designer and comic book letterer/writer/editor (and letterer of The Killing Joke) Richard Starkings shared an image from tumblr that is “Alan Moore’s script for the last page of Batman: The Killing Joke, 1988″ on his Facebook page, saying “In which Batman does not kill the Joker.”

(I should point out Starkings also said “THEY’RE COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS!” and while true, I’m invested, dang it!)

It happened, it didn’t happen, once there was a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is…AHHHHHHH!!!

I wanna know what YOU think of this whole mishegas; is it something you’ve suspected all along, wish Morrison woulda kept his thoughts to himself or glad that someone else thought the same way you did?

Sound off in the comments below!

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Cricket Lee
Star Wars fangirl. Named Best Kisser by Time Magazine. CEO/Host: Girl Gamer; host of Gecken: GeekNation; writer: Dread Central. You'll have a crush on me soon. Vote Quimby. Twitter: @crixlee
  • Nikolas Marinakis

    I’m pretty sure there’s no definitive answer to the question and I don’t believe that Morrison is any more of an expert on the matter than you. Even if Alan Morre came out and said that he intended his audience to think that Batman has in fact killed the Joker, it would change things not one iota. What matters is your interpretation of the scene, not what somebody else tells you about it.
    Personally though, I always read it as described in the script, i.e. one of them will kill the other eventually and they’re both laughing in desperation because they can never change that ultimate end. Isn’t that way more satisfying?

    • Cricket Lee

      I never said I was an expert on the subject but thanks for the comment! I’m sure it’ll be a debate forevermore 🙂

      • Nikolas Marinakis

        That’s not what I meant. I’m simply pointing out that in this instance, Morrison is only a reader just like you and me so his opinion doesn’t carry any more weight than ours. That said, once a comic is released in the wild, even the author’s original intent doesn’t really matter.