The Killing Joke’s Lasting Resonance

Batman The Killing Joke First PanelsWhat does Batman mean to me? That seems like a fitting question to ask at the beginning of our month-long celebration of Batman’s 75th Anniversary. Naturally, there are many different ways that I could answer this question. Like so many pop cultural figures, Batman has been able to remain a fixture by adapting and reflecting the various eras he has lived through. It is probably not a coincidence that Editor Julius Schwartz was able to fashion his “New Look” Batman, free of camp, at the same time the overall mood of the country was darkening. So, perhaps it is most fitting if I answer “What does Batman mean to me” by returning to specific story I read at a specific age.

(And, yes, this will involve Cosmo dating himself—you have been warned).

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