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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 07/16/2008

Batman: The Joke That Just "Kills"

By Michael Cavna

The Joker takes his best shot at the commissioner. (DC Comics)

As we here at Comic Riffs eagerly await Friday's cinematic release of the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight," we are counting down the top five Joker moments of all time...

The Countdown: Joker Moment No. 3:

The moment: The outcome of "The Killing Joke."

The full story: In an attempt to prove that it only takes one bad day to make even the most upstanding citizen go crazy, the Joker sets out to make Commissioner Gordon lose his mind. This is the theme behind one of the greatest Joker stories ever told in "The Killing Joke," written by Alan Moore, with art by Brian Bolland. The Joker starts by shooting and paralyzing Barbara Gordon, daughter of the commissioner (simultaneously ending the career of Batgirl without even knowing it). He then kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, forcing him to view less-than-tasteful photos of his wounded daughter. Batman swoops in to stop the bleeding as always, but not before permanent damage is done. That's right: Batgirl is paralyzed for life.

What are your favorite moments? Share them in the comments section.

-- David Betancourt

By Michael Cavna  | July 16, 2008; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Superheroes  
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