Mark Hamill’s Joker is coming out of retirement for one last laugh.
It was announced Monday the artist formerly known as Luke Skywalker will voice Mr. J once again for DC’s Animated version of “The Killing Joke.”
Plans to finally make an animated feature of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel had been unvelied earlier this month at San Diego Comic Con.
While he had retired The Joker in 2011 after voicing the Clown Prince of Crime in the “Arkham City” video game, Hamill had reportedly expressed interest in returning to the role if “The Killing Joke” were to be made into an animated feature.
Not only did Hamill and fans alike get their wish, but according to Collider, Hamill has already recorded his voice for the feature.
The film will be released direct-to-video next year.
Who’d have thought something so awesome could come from a story revolving around one bad day?
One of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time comes in the form of Alan Moore, Brian Bolland and John Higgins’ “The Killing Joke”.
The 1988 one-shot dives into The Joker’s past in the closest thing we get to an origin story (since the clown prince of crime prefers his origin to be multiple choice). Believing in the theory that one bad day can shatter a persons psyche, Joker uses Commissioner Jim Gordon as his personal guinea pig – tormenting him in one of the more vile crimes we’ve seen him commit.
Batman of course is on his way to rescue Gordon. With very little time on his side, he hopes that he isn’t too late or wrong in his counter-theory that willpower determines whether or not one will snap under their circumstances.
What makes The Killing Joke unique is how it develops The Joker. For the first time, we empathize for him. We see him as a tragic hero misshapen by society. There is a realism here that only Moore can tap into with his writing matched with Bolland and Higgins’s art. The Killing Joke is especially grisly in the heinous acts Joker commits for the sole purpose of proving a point.
In 2008 The Killing Joke was re-released as a deluxe edition, containing liner notes and recolored by Bolland in order to restore his artistic intentions to the novel.
There are very few novels that stand the test of time as The Killing Joke has, being one of the few story arcs kept in constant in “The New 52” series, serving as influence for Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight,” and being referenced in the “Arkham” games and “Batman the Animated Series”. If you’re looking to start getting into comics or just in the neighborhood of finding a great book, pick up The Killing Joke.