American actor Val Kilmer on the set of Batman Forever, directed by Joel Schumacher.
Movies - TV
How The Transformers Paid Tribute To One Of Batman’s Most Famous Moments
The 1988 graphic novel "The Killing Joke" is one of the most famous Batman stories. In it, the Joker tries to push Commissioner Gordon to his psychological breaking point.
The Joker remembers being a regular man corrupted by a bad day, but Gordon doesn't crack. Batman suggests Joker's problem is in his heart, but Joker declines redemption.
"Transformers" issue #187, published less than a year later, homaged this ending. It showed a greater understanding of its point than many other media that later referenced it.
The issue was part of "Space Pirates!," a UK-exclusive story where the warring Autobots and Decepticons team up to protect their homeworld, Cybertron, against evil aliens.
After the conflict is resolved, Soundwave ponders if there could be a permanent truce between the two groups but quickly decides there's too much bad blood to work.
Both scenes show a rare glimpse of humanity from a villain who lacks it. In addition, two of the "Transformers" panels are nearly identical to "The Killing Joke."
Writer Alan Moore stated in the comic, "The two characters [are] simply experiencing a brief moment of lucidity in their ongoing very weird and probably fatal relationship."
The "Transformers" writers picked up on this, which is why their homage has the same theme of two adversaries resigned to eventually kill each other despite wishing otherwise.