Iconic cover of one of the greatest Batman stories of all time is reproduced on a silver foil

The New Zealand Mint’s Premium Silver Foil range has churned up some interesting designs since they debuted last year, all of them part of their popular culture ranges. The focus has been on tweaked reproductions of either movie posters (Star Wars, Star Trek mainly), or classic comic book covers (DC, Star Wars). The latest release is certainly a classic of the comic book world, but of a much more modern variety.

Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s seminal story of conflict between the Caped Crusader and his greatest nemesis, The Joker, has entered comic book legend for its brutal theme, complex interplay, and outstanding artwork. This isn’t like the old Zap and Kerpowww stories of old, but a deep look at the effect of trauma on the human psyche, and the consequences for others. It also has a quite sublime piece of cover art.

Brian Bolland is a talented cover artist and despite reaching even greater highs than seen here, especially with his work on the British character Judge Dredd, this is his signature work. Even if the graphic novel was an average piece of literature, this would be a desirable piece of artwork, but the classic status of the novel lifts this up much higher. It’s a terrific choice for presentation in this large silver format.

This isn’t a coin, despite others in the range getting issued for Niue, but in other respects it’s the same. Just over an ounce in weight at 35 grams, and reaching out to an expansive 175 x 262mm, it comes sealed in acrylic with a frame that allows for easy display. Comic book art is very popular, of course, and this is one of the very best ways to show it off. Selling for around $130.00 USD, it is available today.


Batman: The Killing Joke is a 1988 DC Comics one-shot graphic novel featuring the characters Batman and the Joker written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland. The Killing Joke provides an origin story for the supervillain the Joker, loosely adapted from the 1951 story arc “The Man Behind the Red Hood!”. The Joker’s origin is presented via flashback, while simultaneously depicting his attempt to drive Jim Gordon insane and Batman’s desperate attempt to stop him.

Created by Moore and Bolland as their own take on the Joker’s source and psychology, the story became famous for its origin of the Joker as a tragic character; a family man and failed comedian who suffered “one bad day” that finally drove him insane. Moore stated that he attempted to show the similarities and contrasts between Batman and the Joker. The story’s effects on the mainstream Batman continuity also included the shooting and paralysis of Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl), an event that laid the groundwork for her to develop the identity of Oracle.

Many critics consider the graphic novel to be the definitive Joker story and one of the best Batman stories ever published. The comic won the Eisner Award for ‘Best Graphic Album’ in 1989 and appeared on The New York Times Best Seller List in May 2009. In 2006, The Killing Joke was reprinted as part of the trade paperback DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore. In 2008, DC Comics reprinted the story in a deluxe hardcover edition, which features new coloring by Bolland, with a more sombre, realistic, and subdued palette than the original. Elements of The Killing Joke have inspired or been incorporated into other aspects of Batman media.

The book explores Moore’s assertion that, psychologically, “Batman and the Joker are mirror images of each other” by delving into the relationship between the two. The story itself shows how the Joker and Batman came to terms with their respective life-altering tragedies, which both eventually lead to their present lives and confrontation. Critic Geoff Klock further explained that “both Batman and the Joker are creations of a random and tragic ‘one bad day’. Batman spends his life forging meaning from the random tragedy, whereas the Joker reflects the absurdity of life, and all its random injustice”.


DENOMINATION Not applicable
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 35.0 grams
DIMENSIONS 175 x 262 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated
BOX / COA Yes / Yes