Here’s Why Gotham Used The Killing Joke For Jeremiah’s Arc


Like any TV show or movie influenced by comic books, Gotham has often looked to the source material for guidance over the years, even if it’s proven to be a radical reinterpretation of the Batman mythos. That said, The Killing Joke happened to be the latest which was paid tribute in last night’s episode, “A Dark Knight: One Bad Day.”

Naturally, there were those who were jeering and throwing popcorn when they first learned this would be happening, but I find it important to remind everyone that what this series did is better described as being “inspired by,” rather than a strict adaptation. I mean, of course Bruce Wayne has yet to become the Dark Knight and we have no Batgirl to speak of, but that doesn’t mean the producers can’t use the work of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland as a blueprint of sorts.

Had you tuned in last night, then you’d know that The Killing Joke‘s DNA was retained, yet it was merely part of the equation. In short, Bruce was forced to endure a wild ride instead of Jim Gordon, with Selina Kyle being shot point blank by the Joker rather than Barbara Gordon. Still, it remains to be seen if the would be Catwoman will be paralyzed just as Babs was in the comics.

Getting back to how going in this direction was a risk, executive producer John Stephens recently had this to say to Cinema Blend regarding why The Killing Joke served as Jeremiah Valeksa’s first major arc:

“You know, a lot of these things evolve pretty organically, to be honest with you. Part of it is that we always wanted to do a Killing Joke story. Once you start going down this road and doing a Batman prequel and have this wealth of material, there’s certain things you just want to do. The Killing Joke is certainly one of them. So once we had the idea of Jeremiah himself being driven insane by his brother, and we knew he had this obsession with Bruce and wanted to drive Bruce insane, then one thing really just followed another, where Killing Joke became the obvious mold to put on top of the story.”

Keep in mind that another beloved Batman story, No Man’s Land, factors heavily into Gotham‘s season finale, so be sure to check that out next Thursday night on Fox.