I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man here -- or a grumpier, older man than I normally sound, anyway -- but seriously, these kids today have it a lot more awesome than I did. In my day, we had to write essays with pens and paper, but today's youngsters, like ComicsAlliance reader Oscar Andrés Rodríguez are learning to adapt The Killing Joke into the medium of shadow puppetry!

Along with his classmates, Rodriguez created a 13-minute Spanish language version of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's classic Batman story, using shadow puppets based on Batman: The Animated Series, and it is well worth watching. Check out the full video of La Broma Mortal as a shadow play after the cut!

The best thing about this version of Killing Joke is that it somehow manages to be every bit as creepy as the original graphic novel. Everything about it seems designed to take full advantage of the story's emphasis on psychological destruction. The bright colors and stark backgrounds are a nice echo of John Higgins' original coloring, and the swirling psychedelic backgrounds add to the effect in a really neat way.

Throw in the jerky motions of the puppets as Jim Gordon's put through the fun house ride and the smile that stays fixed on Barbara Gordon's cartoon face even after she's shot, and you're into some downright horrifying territory -- especially if you're one of the millions (and millions) suffering from some form of puppetphobia. The whole effect is just completely unnerving, in a way that's pretty faithful to the comic.

In fact, the only thing I could think of as I was watching it was that this is totally the way the Joker would relate these events to someone else. He'd probably even do so in Spanish, just because. So while we don't know what grade these guys got from their class -- even though we're gratified to know that schools have finally added the study of Batman to their curricula -- they've definitely gotten an A from ComicsAlliance's prestigious Department of Batmanology.

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