Batman: Harley Quinn
by Paul Dini, Yvel
Guichet, Aaron Sowd
(DC Comics, 1999)

Harley Quinn was created as a colorful villain for Batman's animated television series. Quickly proving too popular to remained confined to only one medium, she escaped and became a regular character in Batman's comic line, too -- even getting her own title. Harley Quinn by Paul Dini (and boasting a killer cover by Alex Ross) is the story that introduced her to comics readers (like me) who seldom can be bothered to switch on the TV.

It's a great introduction, capturing perfectly the villain's sense of fun and tragic romance. A psychiatrist on the Arkham Asylum staff, she falls for her favorite client, the Joker, and vows to emulate his criminal ways -- as well as his prankster schtick. But the Joker isn't keen on too much romance; girlfriends, to him, are as disposable as henchmen, and we all know how long they last in his gang -- and all too soon the lovesick Quinn is mixing it up with the Batman, Poison Ivy and others in an attempt to woo back (or, on the other hand, kill) her former beau.

Set against the backdrop of Gotham City post-earthquake, Harley Quinn is the best way to meet Gotham's newest femme fatale.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 5 July 2003

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