One of the key works of the comic renaissance of the 1980s, The Killing Joke is everything you’ve heard about it. Written by Alan Moore with art and newly revised coloring by Brian Bolland, it’s a dark, arresting take on the Joker’s origins, now available in a deluxe edition hardcover.

It also includes an introduction by Tim Sale, afterward by Bolland, as well as behind the scenes artwork. Christopher Nolan reportedly gave Heath Ledger a copy for inspiration for his upcoming portrayal of the Joker, which like the book, promises to paint the character less as a prankster than as a truly deranged, homicidal maniac.

At 45 pages, it’s a slim volume that packs a punch.

Grade: A

Batman: The Killing Joke is currently available.