It’s been 25 years since Harley Quinn first appeared on “Batman: The Animated Series” — and DC Comics is celebrating by letting the Maid in Motley take over Batman Day on Saturday.
According to DC, “more than 5,000 libraries, comic shops, bookstores and other partners worldwide will host ‘Harley Quinn Batman Day Takeover’ activations, including cosplay contests, activities for kids and free copies of three special edition issues.” (Visit dccomics.com/batmanday to find Twin Cities area activities, or find your local comic shop by calling 1-800-COMICBO.)
What’s in those three free comics?
• “Batman Day 2017 Special Edition” No. 1 reprints the first chapter of “Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane,” by writer Tom King and artist David Finch (from the recent “Batman” No. 16), which has nothing to do with Harley Quinn, but is cool anyway. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, who handled Harley’s adventures for years, join Bret Blevins in a three-page backup story. The cover, by Ryan Sook, features Batman and Harley Quinn silhouetted by lightning in an homage to “Dark Knight Returns” No. 1.
• “Harley Quinn Batman Day 2017 Special Edition” No. 1 features four tales. Conner, Palmiotti and John Timms provide the first chapter of the “Joker Loves Harley” graphic novel, recounting Harley’s time in Las Vegas with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Paul Dini, who co-created Harley Quinn on “Batman: The Animated Series,” writes a Joker/Harley story, illustrated by Chad Hardin and Alex Sinclair. Chip Zdarsky (“Jughead”) and artist Joe Quinones ape the style of “Animated” for their story. Daniel Kibblesmith (“The Late Show With Steven Colbert,” “Valiant High”) tosses Harley, Ivy and Swamp Thing together in a hurricane, with art by David LaFuente.
• “DC Super Hero Girls Batman Day 2017 Special Edition” No. 1 provides a sneak preview of the upcoming all-ages original graphic novel “DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle.” The franchise de-ages all of the publisher’s major female characters for adventures in high school, and is aimed at younger readers.
Then there are the digital comics. The Harley Quinn 25th anniversary sale runs through Saturday, and includes major Harley comics from the past quarter-century, as well as non-Harley-specific Bat-books. DC’s digital comics are available through readdcentertainment.com, comiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Nook and Madefire.
Don’t forget “Batman and Harley Quinn,” an animated movie in the DC Universe Original Movies series, released in digital, Blu-ray and DVD in August.
If all you want to do is read some good Harley Quinn stories, just get the upcoming “Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years” ($39.99), which includes most of the important stories starring the Maid of Mischief. It includes, for example, the award-winning “Batman: Harley Quinn” special (1999), in which Harley first leaves toxic boyfriend the Joker to star on her own in the DC Universe. It was in this issue that the Cupid of Comedy gained superpowers of a sort, as fellow supervillain Poison Ivy made Harley immune to all toxins (as a shield against the Joker), which embued her with greater strength, stamina and durability as a side effect.