The Crippling Of Barbara Gordon In The Killing Joke Sells For Six Figures

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It is the page that changed Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, forever. Until 2011, that is. Never meant to be a part of official Batman continuity, The Killing Joke saw a confrontation between Batman and The Joker leading to the Joker trying to turn Gordon into a madman by attacking his daughter, just as the Joker lost a wife and unborn child and Bruce Wayne lost his parents. As the story was then accepted into continuity with the rest of the DC Universe, Barbara Gordon, without the use of her legs, became Oracle, and a member of the Birds Of Prey.

With accusations of misogyny over the treatment of the character, combined with accusations of being disablist over restoring her physical attributes, even the writer Alan Moore seems to have gone off it.

Nevertheless, it us still considered by many to be the best Batman comic of all, terribly influential and a damn fine short story in its own right. And, yes, I probably side with that.

When I curated an exhibition of comic book artwork at Harrods many years ago (but I still go on about it), pages from The Killing Joke were quite a find and had to be heavily insured.

Not for quite as much as this though. Because the original artwork page that saw Barbara Gordon shot through the spine, has sold for $107,550 from Heritage Auctions, a record for this comic. And the notoriousness of this page will no doubt have added to its value.

Batgirl is being reinterpreted soon with yellow Doc Martens boots. This is a whole world away…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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