The Killing Joke is another reason I can’t get into Alan Moore stories, although for me Watchmen was bad enough. In it, Barbara Gordon (retired from being Batgirl at this point) is shot, paralyzed, and presumably raped by the Joker. DC decided to make this canon, which admittedly resulted in an interesting direction for Barbara as Oracle. In the new animated movie coming out, Barbara is still Batgirl and still shot, paralyzed, and presumably raped by the Joker to push Commissioner Gordon over the edge. (In this story Joker wants to prove one bad day can make anyone evil.) But it gets worse, and may tarnish Bruce Timm’s reputation as Batman’s best animated story creator. According to this report by ComicsAlliance Batman and Batgirl sleep together on the top of a building like she’s the New 52’s Catwoman. He also hinted at a Bruce/Barbara romance in Batman Beyond. And IO9 reports more disturbing changes to Barbara’s character. The movie also forgets that Barbara retired, but I’m thinking this isn’t in the movie version because Bruce Timm wanted to make Barbara hook up with Bruce Wayne. Read that sentence again and see if you get the same conclusion I did.
Granted, Barbara is supposed to be too old for Dick Grayson, the original Robin and current (again, thank you) Nightwing, yet that is a relationship that gets set up which ALSO happened in the DCAU and people think was a thing in the comics. (The original “Bat-Girl”, Betty Kane, was the one who dated Robin. Long story. In the Fox cartoon she was de-aged to the same age as Dick.) For some reason Timm really wants to set up the two Bats and it just comes off as fanfic, because this never happened in the comics, including The Killing Joke. Also there was no Batgirl as listed above. Fans defended the R rating to make this a faithful adaptation, but it looks like Timm is really running with the rating. Also that Telltale Games series I mentioned before is getting a “M for Mature” rating. And yet things like Justice League Action (more on that tomorrow) and Batman Unlimited keep pushing him to kids. And some of you get mad there’s a Rambo cartoon for kids? Throw in Gotham and I’m really concerned as to what DC and Warner Brothers are doing to the Dark Knight. This isn’t Spawn, people!
I’d do a full article but this is a book I was never interested in until it was sucked into DC canon, and I care less about the movie. While it’s nice to see Batman get a new animated theatrical movie, even with a limited run, it’s too bad this is the one we’re getting. I’ll happily miss it. Watch Mask Of The Phantasm instead.