Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the most celebrated comic books of all time, so fans were eagerly awaiting the animated movie version of the storyline.
Now that it’s finally been released? Not so much.
Moore’s slimline graphic novel didn’t have enough material in it to support a feature-length running time so the DC Comics animation team had to come up with a new plotline to bulk it up.
The Killing Joke is already pretty hardcore, notorious for the Joker’s violent attack on Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, that leaves her paralysed from the waist down.
In new scenes prior to this in the film adaptation, Batgirl is seen getting into a heated row with Batman before the pair kiss and it’s implied they have sex.
Fans at the film’s Comic-Con screening weren’t keen on this addition, with many complaining about Batgirl pining after Bruce Wayne and her character only being defined by men.
“You have talked about how you wanted to give Barbara more story… and yet the story you gave her ended up being about the men in her life,” one fan said at a post-screening Q&A.
Screenwriter Brian Azzarello defended the portrayal, then caused a stir when he called a fan in the audience “a pussy” after they wouldn’t repeat a question posed about Batgirl.
No, I called someone a pussy when they unintelligibly yelled from the back of the room, then wouldn't repeat it https://t.co/15GNyna64F
— Brian Azzarello (@brianazzarello) July 23, 2016
Fans online generally reacted pretty badly to the sequence, which you can see in the video above.
Here’s just a brief sampling of the Twitter pushback on The Killing Joke’s most controversial moment…
Someone should make a version of the Killing Joke with the Batgirl sex scene cut out
— Lindsay (@Steele131) July 26, 2016
babs and bruce have sex in the killing joke??? what the actual fuck??? pic.twitter.com/bquTjsC2Dh
— carol (@capbbarnes) July 22, 2016
batman and batgirl sex scene in the killing joke animated movie…. k den
— ☕ (@AcroNite7) July 22, 2016
The Killing, featuring the voice of Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, is available on Blu-ray now.