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[identity profile] stig.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily

Okay, everyone remember Batman & Robin #3 a few weeks ago? It was the last chapter of a beginning arc featured Commissioner Gordon, a break-out, a Circus, a villain who enjoyed abusing people in order to 'improve' them, a member of the Bat-Family in peril, and the use of a household game (Dominoes) as an accessory to murder.

These traits are all shared with Alan Moore & Brian Bolland's Batman: The Killing Joke, which features THIS iconic panel:

Later rendered in beautifully improved colour by Brian Bolland, thus:

And here, now, courtesy of Rich Johnstone, is the kicker. Behold, the cover to Batman & Robin #3.

See the trick yet? No? How about I show you it with the dressing...

Beginning to get an idea? Now, we flip the cover horizontally...and vertically...and we get the following...

Now compare that to the first image of this post. Look at the staring eyes. Look at the red hair. Look at the grasping gloves with the fingers in more-or-less the right position. Look at the green titles, forming a double-set of menacing teeth in the purple grin.

Quitely says that it's an unintentional illusion, that he may try to create a more deliberate continuation of it later. I don't believe the former statement. Batman & Robin #1-3 could easily be described as "Batman Minus Joker", with the great man's presence haunting the events rather than actively taking part in them. To that end, it seems almost as if with Batman lost in time, the Joker becomes a discorporate spirit...

Anyway. Thoughts?

Date: 2009-09-07 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chains_of_irony.insanejournal.com
Wow. Cool theory.

Date: 2009-09-07 09:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queen_marshed.insanejournal.com
Can't sleep. Clown will eat me.

Date: 2009-09-07 10:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] parsimonia.insanejournal.com
My thoughts exactly.

Date: 2009-09-07 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jelly_ace.insanejournal.com
Huh? I don't get the picture. Illustrate further, pretty please?

Date: 2009-09-07 02:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jelly_ace.insanejournal.com
Ok, now I see it.
The whole purpose of Joker is to annoy Batman, so yeah, he might be lost when his favorite vigilante in long underwear is missing. Bats is his r'aison d'etre, I think. It's almost kinda like symbiosis.

Date: 2009-09-07 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlbarnett.insanejournal.com
Actually the more I look the less I see it. The supposed "fingers" seem to be in completely the wrong positions as compared to where the Joker is ruffling his hair

Date: 2009-09-07 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lakrids404.insanejournal.com
To that end, it seems almost as if with Batman lost in time, the Joker becomes a discorporate spirit...
Like this?

Image (http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FMWgdCjIJZJ_4NqGYaKB7w?authkey=Gv1sRgCLqY1Z-9sZSHvgE&feat=embedwebsite)

Date: 2009-09-07 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] captain_clown.insanejournal.com
Heh. The 'Darling' cracks me up everytime.

Date: 2009-09-07 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taggerung301.insanejournal.com
hah, that's cool!
good eye catching that!

Date: 2009-09-07 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlbarnett.insanejournal.com
I don't really see it. Maybe the eyes, but that's it.

Date: 2009-09-07 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fungo_squiggly.insanejournal.com
Yeah, I don't really see it, either.

Date: 2009-09-07 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] toasty_fresh.insanejournal.com
Same . . . I mean, I see a face, but I don't think it's that similar to the Joker picture myself.

Date: 2009-09-07 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxhack.insanejournal.com
My eyes are blind, for I see naught.

Date: 2009-09-07 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
I can sort of see it, but it seems too different for it to be a true homage, and I'm guessing IS a coincidence.

Date: 2009-09-07 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trelas.insanejournal.com
You know, this is the first time I saw that page colored by Bolland and I have to say that even I didn''t think it to be possible, I may love it even more. The colors just make it much more striking for me.

As for the cover, a good catch and seems appropriate considering the setting and certain hints to the identity of a certain charact

Date: 2009-09-07 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 20thcenturyvole.insanejournal.com
Oh, nice. I see it! The clutching fingers, the bat-symbol grin - that's pretty damn cool.

Unpopular opinion time, though: I don't like the recolouring of The Killing Joke. It seems washed-out and full of unnecessary bloom, and I miss the sickly yellow highlights that dominated the original. I'm pleased to own a copy of the original (second-hand bookshops that don't know jack about comics FTW!).

Date: 2009-09-07 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadwing.insanejournal.com
I like them both, though I do agree that the Circus Scenes look 'washed out' compared to the trippy/sickly/intense colorings of the original version though I DO love the Boland colorings of the Flashback Sequences over the originals.

Well unpopular though it may be, I agree..

Date: 2009-09-07 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steverodgers5.insanejournal.com
I would have like to have had it in a better format, but I detest the re-colouring.

The old style may have dated it to that Watchmen era, but I always thought that was part of what made the artwork so classic..

Although what annoys me most, (And I get really, irrationally upset about this..)is the removing of the yellow oval around the bat on Bruce's chest!

Partly because I've always rather liked the reasoning from Frank Miller's line in DKR...About bats doing that deliberately to make it a target where he could armour up, and distract a gunmans attention from trying to shoot him in the face. And I kind of like the look of it..

But also in this instance, I really didn't see the need. As Barbara's shooting places it frimly in that era, when he would have been wearing that in every issue, not to mention that he didn't even re-draw it to look like the current bat emblem..Just removed the yellow..


Date: 2009-09-07 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.insanejournal.com
I too like both, for different reasons. Kind of like how I enjoy both the American and European edits of DAWN OF THE DEAD; they both stand alone as different, striking reflections of the same work.

The new version's washed-out colors bring a sober sense of cold reality to the story, whereas the original reflects the garish carnival colored madness of the Joker's world and perspective. They both work quite effectively in different ways.

Date: 2009-09-07 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greenmask.insanejournal.com
I kind of like the idea that is IS accidental.. it's an interesting bit of meta. That Jokerishness is seen as so integral to "batman" that even when the guy under the cowl is different, and the villain is different, it still manifests. By itsself!


Date: 2009-09-07 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blakeyrat.insanejournal.com
Or humans happen to be really good at pattern recognition, even finding patterns where none exist.

Sorry, but had to say it.

Date: 2009-09-07 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greenmask.insanejournal.com
Well natch, but that way isn't fun.

Date: 2009-09-08 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashtoreth.insanejournal.com
But it does say things about the humans seeing the patterns! Namely, that people seem to miss the original Joker as an intrinsic part of the True Batman.

Date: 2009-09-08 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greenmask.insanejournal.com

Good call!

Date: 2009-09-07 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mullon.insanejournal.com

Date: 2009-09-07 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kenn_el.insanejournal.com
It's issue #3, and the word 'Batman' is on the cover 3 times!And 2 times 3 is 6, and 666 is the mark of the beast! And a sign of the End Times! And ...

Date: 2009-09-07 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
667, the neighbour of the Beast

Date: 2009-09-07 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] statham1986.insanejournal.com
Wow. Totally creepy, and it isn't one of those things that's even difficult to see and completely bizarre, it's quite clear. Still, given the talent for imagery that Quitely has, I'm not too surprised.

And count me as one of the few that didn't like the Killing Joke's recolouring at all, and will most definitely be rebuying his old paperback edition when DC publish it again. I didn't like the bringing focus onto particular things, like the shellfish and the Red Hood helment - I thought the demented, delirious yellows were absolutely perfect for the undeniably surreal mindscape of the Joker, whereas the recolouring grounds it horribly in realism and takes away from the idea that he might be lying, or he might be telling the truth.

Date: 2009-09-08 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thehefner.insanejournal.com
Agreed on the recoloring, for the most part. But the tears of blood are one of those examples where... yeah, it may be more realistic, but from a storytelling standpoint, I find it a bit over the top. Especially in comparison to the tears, which is more powerful for how it speaks to the character at that point, from what he went through to what he's become at that moment. It's one of those times where I'll take artistic license--or whatever one wants to call this--over realism.


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