Was The Killing Joke A Reworked Unpublished Batman/Judge Dredd Story?

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Batman: The Killing Joke was a reworked version of an unpublished Batman/Judge Dredd crossover



Reader Pat C. wrote in to ask if it was true that Batman: The Killing Joke was a reworked version of a Batman/Judge Dredd story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, presumably one that featured Judge Death in some role.

As I discussed in a Comic Book Legends Revealed a few years back, Moore and Bolland did, in fact, start work on a Batman/Judge Dredd crossover story. Bolland discussed the story in October 1984, "The whole premise would have been that Judge Dredd is an organ of the law whereas Batman represents justice, and the story revolved around the conflict between those two, and the misunderstandings that would arise from the two completely different ways of looking at how society is run."

However, there was only one connection between that rejected story and The Killing Joke - the two creators involved in the story.

Bolland later discussed the situation with my pal, George Khoury, in Khoury's excellent book for TwoMorrows, True Brit:

George Khoury: At one point you were supposed to do a Batman/Judge Dredd story.

Bolland: Yeah.

Khoury: And this kind of led to the Killing Joke, right?

Bolland: Well, it sort of did in a way, because it meant that Alan and I got to know each other.

As Bolland later noted, he was asked by DC what he wanted to do next after Camelot 3000 and he said he wanted to do a Joker story and he wanted Alan Moore to write it.

That was about it. That was the extent of the connection between the two projects.

So no, Pat, I am going to say there is no real connection between the two stories.


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