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#TheKillingJoke Preview

Announced at Comic-Con last year, an animated adaptation of Alan Moore's classic Batman graphic novel The Killing Joke is almost upon us. The Animated Series' Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are back on voice duties as The Dark Knight and The Joker, and the first look, in the form of a ten-minute behind-the-scenes, was released over the weekend.

Moore wrote the standalone The Killing Joke in 1988, with stunning artwork provided by Brian Bolland. It gives us parallel timelines of a modern-day Joker Arkham escape and vendetta coupled with the Joker's origin story (although we still don't learn who he is). It was initially concieved as not being part of any ongoing continuity, but its controversial treatment of Barbara Gordon led to its being folded into canon as the beginning of her becoming Oracle.

Intriguingly, that thread has seen some serious attention in the adaptation, with what looks like some significant extra time devoted to Barbara in costume as Batgirl. None of that comes from the comic.

Elsewhere, however, it's looking like a pretty faithful take, to the extent that there's talk of it getting an R-rating for its disturbing content.

Batman: The Killing Joke will get its world premiere at this year's Comic-Con and then hit Blu-ray, DVD and digital later in the summer. Sam Liu, who was also behind the animated adaptations of The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, is the director.

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