After 25 years The Killing Joke is still capable of sparking debates and the latest one to have a fire lit under it’s backside again is the question of “How far did the Joker go when he tortured Barbara Gordon?”
A page of original artwork was tweeted by Bill Hynes (a former employee of Gosh comics in London) depicting a naked and bleeding Barbara in the photographs shown to her father suggesting the violence she suffered may have been more sexualised. The panels were later changed to focus on a close up of her face.
Brian Bolland has even confirmed the image to be genuine and was quoted on his blog:
“Here’s a page I drew for Killing Joke. I drew what was in the script. That’s my job. I was asked to tone it down a bit. I don’t know how the person who posted it got this image.”
Readers have often debated whether the Joker raped Barbara or not and has been insisted that it’s not in the characters nature and that he’s more interested in humiliating his victims as well as violently torturing them but it seems this newly found image may be argument the contrary.
What do you think? Are people looking too much into it or do you think this suggests the violence went too far? Have a look at both the original inked page (NSFW) and the edit that made it to print here and let us know what you think.