Thank You, Twitter, For Making Me Laugh When I’m So Angry Over This Killing Joke Spoiler


I laugh so I don’t cry. Spoilers for the Warner Bros. R-rated animated feature, The Killing Joke, ahead.

I said I wasn’t going to write about this until (if/when) I actually get to watch the movie but I think it’s fair to vent a bit here with some humor. The Killing Joke film reportedly includes a sexual encounter between Barbara Gordon and Bruce Wayne. This Twitter user pulled a GIF of the scene, the film debuts at San Diego Comic-Con tonight.

Yes, there were implications of a Babs/Bruce relationship in Batman Beyond but this is rubbing a lot of folks the wrong way, myself included, because of how it treats this famous DC Comics character. As CBR writer Anthony Couto so daftly put it just an hour ago, “Considering what happens to Batgirl later in the film at the hands of the Joker, it makes sense that the filmmakers would want to create a deeper emotional tie between Bruce and Barbara.” Or they could, you know, not put them in a sexual relationship and instead beef up their mentor/mentee/family bond??? Just a thought!

I’m sure we’ll be hearing lots more about this over the next week/month (I honestly wish I’d postponed my vacation so I didn’t have to see the sh*t hit the fan) but for now, please let me share with you some reactions from Twitter that honestly made me laugh. It’s all I can do not to punch a wall right now.

Here’s one from me, for now.


[UPDATE] Wrote a fuller report for HitFix about the happenings at the SDCC screening.

57 Responses to “Thank You, Twitter, For Making Me Laugh When I’m So Angry Over This Killing Joke Spoiler”

  1. Vic Mazonas says:

    So… am I paranoid for immediately thinking they’re going to frame *the horrific violence visited on Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joke* in terms of the mainpain it causes Batman?

    Because that’s the main reason I can think for why you’d take an already well-established mentor/mentee hero/sidekick duo relationship and add fucking in the mix, or why you’d feel the need to specifically to make a “deeper emotional bond” “considering what happens to Batgirl”.

    I was already kinda nauseous over this whole thing even happening. This? Seals the deal for me. Never watching this shit.

  2. MisterShoebox says:

    I just…you know, crap like this is why Alan Moore broke ties with the film industry, DC. Douchebag Collective, that’s you. I just…I’m at a loss for words.

    Mark, Kevin, Tara, I’m so sorry. You guys deserve so much better than this.

  3. VindicaSean says:

    Somewhat related: I made Gail Simone laugh about it on Twitter, too, so that’s something. She got deluged by people who would not brook her reservations about the story and further reservations about the additions made for the movie.

    • Michael Hancock says:

      Simone’s had to put up with so much entitled nonsense and harassment over the years. She’s amazing for putting up with it (and for, you know, being a great writer). Good on you for brightening what has to be a lousy day for her.

  4. […] it turns out, that includes Barbara having a sexual relationship with Bruce Wayne/Batman. In the graphic novel Batgirl is used mainly as a prop to show harm done to both Batman and […]

  5. D.A.V.E. says:

    Bruce Timm needs to retire. If you want to see animated works that actually respect Barbara, there’s always The Batman and Beware the Batman. Brave and the Bold works too, but she’s just makes small appearances.

  6. Oh well that makes it all better…

    • Oliver Jonas Queen says:

      This also really bothered me more than it should. Azzarello has been around for awhile now,and for someone like him,to be onstage representing DC Comics,to engage with an audience member in this way….just disappointing. All the way around,

  7. Retconning the story into yet another fridging, ignoring the ethical implications of “grooming” someone he has a “duty of care” over. Suddenly Murderbat from the the BvS movie doesn’t feel like the worst violation of those characters.

  8. Zatar says:

    So they actually managed to make one of the most famous examples of “Women in Refrigerators” (arguably more famous then the actual women in the actual Refrigerator” and somehow made it worst?

    Come on Tim you were the one who made move these characters I want to like you money. Stop making it so hard.

    • Oliver Jonas Queen says:

      Somebody online said they basically made the Fridge bigger and deeper….thought that about summed it up!

  9. VindicaSean says:

    Oh great. It gets worse: after the sex, they make Batgirl come across as clingy about it. Bootleg clip on Youtube:

  10. VBartilucci says:

    I don’t have enough Nope gifs.

  11. Dzzy says:

    The utter disappoint I feel with every bit of news about this craptastic storyline being adapted. Ugh. They could have used this movie as an opportunity to fix The Killing Joke, but no. This story further takes away Barbara’s agency and is now just turning her into another tragic romantic interest to further the male protagonist’s ‘growth’ and story.

    I have never seen Barbara as a romantic interest for Bats. Ever. God forbid they have a deep, platonic relationship >=(

  12. MichaelSacal says:

    It is Batgirl who initiates the deed, so don’t go blaming Batman or wanting to make it about him wanting to sleep with her (though he clearly did. No one forced anyone), but put the responsibility where it belongs. HE could have gone the rest of his life without taking things in this direction. Clearly, as developed, she couldn’t.

    • You’re saying a lot of things here no one said. Also, they are fictional characters, the writer made them do this stuff.

      • MichaelSacal says:

        The inference is in these two posts. It makes it sound as the weight of the responsibility for what happens is on his shoulders, as if he is the instigator.

        Whitney Drake • 2 hours ago
        It’s really sad that they think the only way the guys buying this are going to buy that there’s some sort of emotional stakes for Batman is if they’re sleeping together.

        I wasn’t a fan of it in Batman Beyond – because I’d liked that they had a mentor/student then later equals relationship that was platonic. So I’m really going to pass.
        3 • Reply•Share ›
        bandit_queen Whitney Drake • 2 hours ago
        Exactly–It’s like they’re saying sexual desire is the only emotional connection men are capable of. What a sad, limited view of half of humanity.

        • I’ll let those folks speak for themselves but that’s not what I take from that at all. I believe they’re referring to what the writer was thinking in terms of the overall story. That Batman could only truly care if she got assaulted by the Joker if they were in a romantic relationship, so they gave him one.

          • MichaelSacal says:

            Well, it’s not really a relationship since for one he didn’t call her back and kept her at arm’s length afterward. She had to initiate contact again on the pretense of them discussing the case they were working on, which he told her to back away from for her safety.

            I don’t see a thread between their sleeping together and his emotional reaction to Joker shooting her. The sex had more to do with the dissolution of their partnership more than anything else.

        • bandit_queen says:

          I absolutely was not talking about Batman being “responsible” for what happened. As Jill said, I was talking about the writer’s choice, not the characters’.

    • Kryptoknight says:

      I don’t think anyone here has blamed Batman, the character, for the relationship nor have we speculated who started it. So far all the comments I’ve seen seem to be damning the writers for thinking that such a (icky) relationship is necessary to up the emotional stakes for Batman.

  13. MichaelSacal says:

    Batman Beyond had already established long ago that Barbara and Bruce had an intimate relationship that ended badly. This is just Timm fulfilling that long-gestating seed, having found the perfect place for it, an R-rated Batman animated movie.It is the most important bit in an otherwise extremely long and boring opening sequence of scenes.

  14. Dylan Freitag says:

    This about sums up my reaction to seeing this news via twitter

  15. Burn DC to the ground, start over.

    • Mina Kobold says:

      But I like Justice League Action’s Wonder Woman! She looks so cool!

      *is not superficial and easily swayed by neat designs, nopes*

      • When we rebuild DC from the ashes, we can reuse whatever we want; punky Wonder Woman can stay, but personally I’d much rather JLA be 20 minute episodes instead of this 11 minute episode nonsense.

      • Oliver Jonas Queen says:

        Hopefully we dont find out in Episode 3 that she’s locked into an abusive BDSM relationship with Dr. Psycho….although it wouldnt actually surprise me at this point.

  16. Shoe says:

    As a plot point, it’s unnecessary. We as fans know how Bruce feels about people close to him getting hurt, killed, etc. Having Barbara sleep with him doesn’t make her any more or less valuable to the Batman I’ve known. He would not tolerate her injuries under any circumstance. So why even do it? I don’t even know what to say about the implications on a feminist level. What I’m thinking is not even coherent…just grrrrrrrr…

    • MisterShoebox says:

      ….You Shoe? I thought I was Shoe. We have a pair of Shoes. Anyway, all of this. If you want to pad out the movie, fine, but like….pad it out with something worthwhile instead of cliche’d tripe, you know?

  17. the silver ravens says:

    time for my favorite nope gif

  18. Troll_Post_Sorry says:

    And suddenly Zach Snyder’s take on the DCEU doesn’t look so bad

  19. Nuuni Nuunani says:

    I just want to point out that not to long ago, alot of people were screaming that we need Bruce Timm to start heading the DC movies and that his vision would vastly improve upon it and make it great. 8D

  20. Kryptoknight says:

    Hook up with my mentor whom is also basically the father of the person that I was in a long, complicated, serious relationship with whom is also friends with my father? Why sure!

    Said no one ever. -____-

  21. Ezio says:

    Barbara and Bruce!? This is a terrible idea.

  22. It’s really sad that they think the only way the guys buying this are going to buy that there’s some sort of emotional stakes for Batman is if they’re sleeping together.

    I wasn’t a fan of it in Batman Beyond – because I’d liked that they had a mentor/student then later equals relationship that was platonic. So I’m really going to pass.

    • bandit_queen says:

      Exactly–It’s like they’re saying sexual desire is the only emotional connection men are capable of. What a sad, limited view of half of humanity.

  23. RobNiner says:

    Oh my god, why.

  24. Mina Kobold says:

    Not a fan, nopes nope.

  25. Glenn Dobson says:

    I didn’t like it Batman Beyond either. 1. He was her mentor 2. BATS had already paired her with Dick (Robin). This is a bit of a turn off.

    • Ryan Colson says:

      TAS s4 basically hooked Bruce and Babs up too

    • Oliver Jonas Queen says:

      I was OK with it in Batman Beyond,but even there it WAS played as a shocking/disgusting/wrong turn….they played that as a major reason WHY the Bat-Family broke up and neither Dick nor Barbara had had much contact with Bruce over the years. Basically-there were consequences and fallout because of the decision. But to take that same relationship and force it into the already-controversial KILLING JOKER narrative just….totally misses the point. By a wide,wide margin. This is like throwing gasoline on an already burning building.

  26. Social Justice Kamen Rider says:

    …are they trying to make Bruce’s character motivation in TKJ to be that he and Babs can’t do it wheel barrow-style anymore?

  27. bandit_queen says:

    It’s like they’re trying to up the ante on TKJ as a controversial/hated story. Maybe trying to show those SJWs how much they don’t care about writing good stories for women? Or attempting to compete with the hydra!Cap conflagration?

  28. AgentFoo says:

    Arrtrghghghrbbabtbgbgllggblglerjrghghrrbrrbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr >:(

  29. VindicaSean says:

    *incoherent, Charlie Kelly babble-screaming*