I don't read comic books. Graphic novels, yeah, but I feel like I never have time to get into a serialized comic series. So I can say that this is my first modern Batman comic.
I think I would have got even more out of it if I were to have read the other comics in this series, but as a standalone, it's still gripping and horrific. The writing, showing a lot of Batman and the Joker's relationship, is wonderful. The art as well, a lot of the scenes and images in this book will likely stick with me.
It's a sharply-written, memorable, and altogether great work. No previous experience with Batman (or comics in general) is necessary to appreciate this smart and haunting story.