23. Batman: The Killing Joke
by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
Published by DC Comics
Say what you want about Death in the Family, but I'm firmly convinced The Killing Joke is the quintessential Joker story. Little else in the litany of Joker tales does as much to capture the sheer mania and psychosis of this classic (and perhaps greatest) Batman villian.
Why is this book important to comic book history? Let's see...
Joker shooting and paralyzing Batgirl Barbara Gordon? Check. The redefining of the Joker origin? Check. One heck of a story by Moore and Bolland? Check.