With “Suicide Squad” opening later this, I thought this would be a good time to tell you all about some of my favorite Harley Quinn stories. I would write about some Suicide Squad stories, but none come to mind.
For this post I’m going to ignore the more famous Harley stories like “Mad Love” and “Batman: Harley Quinn.” Instead, I’m going to tell you about a few Harley Quinn stories you probably missed when they first came out.
But to be clear: these comic stories are by no means necessary to enjoy “Suicide Squad” in theaters. These are just good stories you might enjoy before or after seeing the movie. Got it? good, and here we go:
Batman Gotham Adventures #10
Script by Ty Templeton, pencils by Rick Burchett, inks by Terry Beatty.
Sigh, Gotham Adventures was such a good book, bring it back DC!!!
Anyways, in this issue, Harley Quinn decides to write a book about her life, and she plans to talk about EVERYTHING. As you can imagine, the Joker is none too pleased, and wants to stop Harley from telling all. And because Batman is out-of-town, it’s up to Nightwing and Robin to protect poor old Harley from Mister J.
I think Gotham Adventures #10 was the first time I thought Harley Quinn had potential as a solo character. This was also when I realized that maybe she wasn’t as evil as her puddin’.
Batgirl Adventures #1
written by Paul Dini, art by Rick Burchett
In this one-shot, there’s no Batman or Robin in sight. This comic is all about the relationship between Batgirl and Harley Quinn, and what a fun ride it is!
Things start off when Barbara Gordon sees Harley Quinn out on the streets, trying to invade police headquarters. Barbara changes into her Batgirl uniform and chases Harley through the city, eventually catching up to her at the docks. Harley explains that she had been searching for Batman – or one of his associates – to help her save Poison Ivy.
Batgirl does not believe Harley at first, but is eventually convinced to follow her into one of the ships. Inside, Batgirl finds that Harley had been telling the truth; Ivy has been captured by the Japanese assassin Kitsune.
Harley begs Batgirl to save Ivy, and promises to surrender herself to the police in exchange. Batgirl reluctantly agrees and starts fighting Kitsune’s gang, while Harley rushes to free Ivy.
The art and the characterizations in Batgirl Adventures #1 are both spot-on, from Harley’s nickname for Batgirl (Bratgirl), to the conversation about Harley and Ivy’s friendship. This book may be Rick Burchett’s finest work, and this one-shot is comic book gold.
Harley Quinn: Our Worlds at War #1
Story by Karl Kesel, art by Aron Wiesenfeld; Paul Grist; Paul Chadwick; Steve Lieber; Amanda Conner
The insanity of Harley Quinn’s world collides with the metamorphic sanity of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen in an explosive way! Jimmy’s returned to Earth with information vital to the war effort, but tragically, he’s landed in Gotham, where no one believes him. Now he has to depend on Harley to get him to Metropolis in one piece.
Although the “Our Worlds at War” mega event wasn’t as good as it could have been, there were a couple of nice chapters in the crossover, and Harley Quinn: Our Worlds at War is probably the most underrated chapter. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to see Jimmy Olsen and Harley Quinn teaming up?
If there is one down side to this one-shot, it’s that there’s too many artists. But they’re all so damn good, so I don’t know if it is a downside.
Script by Bronwyn Carlton, art by Staz Johnson; Craig Rosseau
This issue sees the return of Harley Quinn, the cupid of crime! She’s one of the few people who knows Selina Kyle’s real story, and knowledge is power after all. You’ll never look at Catwoman the same way again after this one! Oh yeah, and “This Issue: Batman Dies!!!”
By the time Catwoman #89 came out, the book was on its way to being cancelled. This lead to a lot of readers missing out on this little gem in which Harley Quinn tries to sell a story about Catwoman to TV producers. But when the TV people piss her off, she decided to take them out with Joker gas. Seriously, you gotta read it to believe it!