Alan Moore’s Killing Joke has become quite the topic around comic book bloggers/livejournalists lately.
Occasional Superheroine got the ball rolling when she discusses her general disinterest in the portrayal of women in comics.
But it’s not a book written for me. Not for *me.* It doesn’t take the perspective of a woman into account. It doesn’t take into account that some women might be so very disgusted with the book & what happens to Barbara Gordon in it.
Laura Hudson counters with her own perspective:
OK, listen: As a woman and as an adult, I can deal with fictional characters performing reprehensible acts towards women—or towards any human being—that turn my stomach. When they’re used not gratuitously but for a purpose, as I believe they were in The Killing Joke, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do. That’s because the characters, their actions—they aren’t there to make me feel good. They’re there to tell me a story, to show me something, and it might be beautiful or it might be ugly but either way I get on board and I take the ride.
TonPo thinks the conflict is pointless:
Ms. Superheroine was disgusted by The Killing Joke. Not disgusted but inspired like Ms. Hudson, or myself at age 13. In my opinion, that is reason enough for someone to dislike a particular work of art, regardless of whether I share that reaction or not.
Kate Willært/Digital_Eraser is torn:
I think it’s pretty obvious that his reason at the time for asking to be able to cripple Batgirl was because he wanted to write a story that would have long-term ramifications — something fairly rare in the DC universe — as well as to shock and disgust the reader. The problem being that, nowadays, it disgusts for the wrong reasons — because it was one of the earliest instances in comics of violence against women used to get a reaction out of a male character (the whole theme of the putrid Identity Crisis), a cliche that today is called Women In Refrigerator Syndrome. I’m kind of curious what Moore’s reaction would be if asked how he felt about inspiring this tired cliche…I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up just one more reason he dislikes the story himself.
So what do you think?