10 out of 10 - salloria
Batman pays the Joker a visit in Arkham Asylum to hopefully talk him out of the inevitable, deadly conclusion to their "relationship." Unfortunately, this Joker is an imposter and the real Joker has escaped, and all he wants to do is prove a point: under the right circumstances, anyone can go mad by having a bad day…
Alan Moore, through the Joker, almost succeeds in proving his point, and the tale is horrifying and awe-inspiring at the same time. He doesn't pull any punches - if the slight nudity and brutality are any indications - to tell the story of what could drive a man insane. Jim Gordon, the targeted victim, proves that not all men are created equal, and as a result, the Joker eventually fails, but not before drastically altering the lives of Gotham's crime fighters forever. Moore also uses flashbacks on the Joker before he became the Clown Prince of Crime - all of which may not be true - to really drive his point home, and the grand finale between the Joker and Batman couldn't have been better portrayed.
Brian Bolland takes his cue from Moore and draws one hell of an issue. The constant back-and-forth scenes, the nightmarish abandoned circus locale, the uncomfortable Barbara Gordon scenes and a Batman that has had enough… all of these instances, plus more, help to make this issue as great as it truly is. As incredible as Moore's writing here is, I don't think the final product could have been any better without Bolland and his artistic endeavors here.
Arguably the best one-shot in the history of comics, and regardless of readers' preferences, this is essential reading for any fan of the medium itself.