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Comic Cover(s) Of The Week: Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1

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That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, hellacious hellcat Harley Quinn turned twenty five this month… which obviously means that this weeks calculatedly celebratory commemorative comic collection of ceremonially charming and cheerful covers (phew! alliteration avalanche!!) is dedicated to the mischievous minx of mayhem.

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“Jeez Loweez Harley Give Us A Chance, We’re Writing The Post As Quickly As We Can!”

Welcome my comic collecting compatriots to an extra special instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, celebrating Ms Quinn’s quarter century turn as one of the medium’s most beloved and zany characters. After (just) surviving our recent up close and personal interview (which you can read right here) with the crazy clowness of crime we would be rightfully remit if we didn’t offer up this week’s episode to our favourite psychedelic psychopath, and hoo boy do we have an awesome set of covers to share with you. Beginning, of course, with our favourite of the bunch, from astounding artistic auteur Amanda Conner:

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The recurring team of Amanda Conner and her hubby and co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti kick off this quad tale anniversary special by recounting Harley’s adventures in Las Vegas alongside her Gotham Siren buddies Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Amanda not only delivers another outstanding cover image but also lends her impressive artistic talent to the tale contained within, proving once again that she is one of the most adroit and skillful creators in the wonderful world of comic book craft.

Her artwork portrays eloquently expressive characterisation, and her writing talent showcases her always exemplary comic timing, Amanda Conner is THE jewel in DC’s crown of comic book composers!

Alongside Amanda’s sterling cover are a host of other variant issues, with our next fave from DC Comics’ Co-Publisher and incredible illustrator Jim Lee:

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And this magnificent masterpiece from Terry and Rachel Dodson:

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‘Celebrate twenty five years of Harley Quinn with this collection of stories by some legendary Harley talent and some who have never drawn her before! How does Harley manage her insanely jam packed life on Coney Island? What haven’t we seen from her past with The Joker? And can even Harley’s psychological acumen crack the twisted mind of Robin: The Boy Wonder? Find out with the Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1, available at your local comic book emporium right now!

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We Can ‘Harley’ Believe It’s Been 25 Years Since Ms Quinn’s First Appearance!

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“Here’s… Harley!!”

That’s right, it’s been a quarter of a century since the mischievous minx of mayhem was first unleashed onto an unsuspecting comic book universe, much to the chagrin of most Superheroes, but conversely to the delight of millions of comic book fans, for Harley truly is… one of the greatest characters ever conceived, and if you don’t agree, then The Joker would like to have a word with you!

Former psychiatrist, Dr Harleen Quinzel was originally an Arkham Asylum intern who, after prolonged psychology sessions with crazed clown The Joker, was coerced into thinking that Batman was the ultimate cause of Joker’s insanely murderous high jinks. Slowly falling in love with the irascible psychotic, Harleen eventually aided the mirthful murderer to escape the asylum and joined him on his insane crusade to dispense madness and murder on the populace of Gotham City.

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Ms Quinn was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and actually made her first ever appearance outside of the comic book format, on the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, in an episode titled “Joker’s Favour”. Actress Arleen Sorkin was Paul Dini’s original inspiration for the clown princess of crime, after he saw her in an episode of Days Of Our Lives, in which she appeared in a dream sequence wearing a Jester outfit. Dini and Sorkin had been friends since college, and he even incorporated certain facets of her personality into the character.

Though initially brought in as a throw away character, Harley proved so massively popular with the DC fanbase that she was ultimately brought into DC Universe continuity in the 1994 graphic novel “Batman Adventures: Mad Love” which recounted her wacky origin tale, and was written and drawn by original co-creators Dini and Timm.

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Harley of course has, since that time, become a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the comic book world, starring in both animated and live action movies, and is also without a doubt, THE most most popular choice for depiction amongst cos-players across the globe. 

Hellacious Harley’s quarter century celebrations begin with (aptly) “Harley Quinn Rebirth #25″, an oversized issue of Ms Quinn’s mega popular monthly series. Written by the masters of mirth – Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with a back up story by Harley’s co-creator Paul Dini.

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Amanda Conner Never Fails To Astonish With Her Fantastic Cover Art – Masterful Writer And Sublime Artist… Is There Nothing This Talented Lady Can’t Do!?

This really is one of the funniest HQ comics released to date, an hilarious issue packed with action, suspense, sentimentality… and beaver jokes (well of course there are beaver jokes… it’s a Harley comic by those masterly mirthful maestros Amanda and Jimmy!) In fact, as great as all the tales jam packed into this issue are (Paul Dini making a triumphant return to his creation obviously being a stand out) it was the ridiculously brilliant birthday chapter by Amanda and her hubby Jimmy that I enjoyed the most. I mean, let’s be honest, BEAVER jokes are sooooo childish and ever so slightly politically incorrect but, under the direction of the dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti they are hilarious and had me giggling and snorting like a school child (much to the consternation of the other patrons in the cafe I was reading it in!!)

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Poison Ivy And Harley Discuss, Beavers… Erm!

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Enough Already!! My Ribs Are Beginning To Ache!!!

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OK, OK Fellow Cafe Patrons, I’m Laughing And Crying Because This Is An Extremely Funny Comic, I’m Not Mad… Promise (Then Again, I’m Laughing Out Loud In A Public Place About Beaver Jokes… Soooooo)

Happy 25th Anniversary To Our Favourite Clown Princess!

(Please Note: No beavers were hurt during the writing of this post… just tossed, stuffed, kidnapped and made fun of… so that’s OK then!)

Comic Cover Of The Week: Harley’s Little Black Book #6

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“Feetal’s Gizz” why didn’t anyone think of this pernicious pairing before now (OK, I admit, it didn’t even cross my mind until I saw the previews for this latest issue) but the Main Man and the Mistress of Mayhem teaming up is a match made in heaven (actually, in their particular case, Hell) That’s right my DC Comics’ loving compatriots, Harley Quinn and Lobo are together at last, and it’s as unpredictable, chaotic and crazy as you could imagine… which is great!

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Now I’m sure that by now, even if you aren’t a huge fan of reading comics (tell me that ain’t so) you all know who the hellacious Harley Quinn is, but maybe you have never crossed paths with the invincible, space biking Czarnian psychotic Lobo, well never fear… the Precinct is here, and you can read up on the Main Man’s troubled history right here… phew! are you still with us after that briefly violent respite into Lobo’s malevolently malign backstory, you are!? In that case you will love this delectably dangerous duo’s teaming, and there is also icing on this deliciously depraved cake in the form of artistic auteur Simon Bisley!

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British artist Simon Bisley is the person most people think of when referring to Lobo, thanks to his stellar work on the character throughout the 90’s, alongside Keith Giffen they made Lobo a household name to comic book aficionado’s across the globe. ‘It’s good to be bad’ was pretty much their mantra, and Lobo is so bad, he makes Harley seem (almost) angelic in comparison!

This book contains so much toilet humour, sexual innuendo, extreme ultra violence and offensive material that it probably shouldn’t be read by anyone… well anyone who is offended by such things, the rest of us should just dive on into a fantastically funny comic brought to us by that dynamically delightful writing duo Amanda Conner (who also drew the classic cover) and Jimmy Palmiotti, once more showing us that as far as comedic storytelling in comic books is concerned, they are the unequivocal vituosi of the art.

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Simon Bisley’s Awesome Variant Cover Is Fraggin’ Fantastic!!

“Lobo’s back, the main man and Harley Quinn have a lot in common – motorcycles and mayhem for starters, so it’s long past time they found each other! This could be the start of a fraggin’ beautiful friendship… or they could destroy the planet. Or both! it can be two things!”

Harley’s Little Black Book #6 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Brought to you by – Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Simon Bisley… go and fraggin’ buy it, you don’t want Lobo to find out you didn’t!!

Comic Cover Of The Week: Harley Quinn #28

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Copyright: DC Comics

Welcome, my comic collecting cohorts, to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and let me say right off the bat that the Innuendo is strong in this one…                 This is yet another fantastic entry into the ongoing misadventures of Ms Quinn. Red Tool (a thinly veiled parody of Deadpool, I mean look at the costume) has fallen in love with our favourite mischievous minx, and having gone to the trouble of kidnapping Harl’ and tattooing his phone number on her derriere, has now arranged a rather elaborate wedding ceremony.

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Harley, of course, is none too happy about the scenario and decides that Red Tool is just that, a tool, and sets about doing what she does best – kick arse, chew gum and assault her foe with her seemingly endless array of world class wisecracks.

Yet again the amiable Amanda Conner delivers the goods, her cover illustration is, as ever, outstanding and her writing, along with her husband Jimmy Palmiotti goes above and beyond even her usual stratospheric prowess with a fantastically fun, innuendo laden issue. The interior art by John Timms is good, but I long for the days when Amanda Conner illustrated Harley’s adventures personally as, to me, she will always be the definitive artist of the Clown Princess Of Crime.

As for the antagonist Red Tool, the whole premise really is rather meta to be honest. You see Red Tool is an obvious parody of Marvel’s Deadpool, who in turn was originally created as a parody of DC’s Deathstroke, a perfect loop of satirical caricature creativity!

Harley Quinn #28 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti. Art by: John Timms. Cover by: Amanda Conner.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Harley’s Little Black Book #3

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Once again we peruse the local comic book shelves in an attempt to pick out the greatest comic cover in a sea of masterful illustrations. And, as ever, it’s tough, with so many fantastically drawn covers appearing each and every week how on earth do you go about choosing just one? For me the choice is always easy whenever one of my favourite artists, Amanda Conner, provides the gateway image for a comic, and it also helps that she always seems to be the lead cover artist on some of my favourite characters from the DC Comics’ Universe.

And lo, what do we see before us but yet another Conner cover masterpiece, intertwined with two of DC’s greatest female protagonists, Mistress of MagicZatanna and everyone’s favourite Mischievous MisfitHarley Quinn.

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Harley’s bi-monthly team up book continues its successful march onwards, and this month unites her with, arguably, DC’s most powerful character Zatanna. Also along for the zany ride are Harley’s new best buddies, a cast of awesomely odd British Superheroes with fantastic names such as Big Bad Ben and The Pub Crawler (being British myself and having gone on many a pub crawl in my time – this name certainly resonates with me. But for all the beer I drank, I never gained superpowers… maybe I just need to consume more!!) 

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Whilst Harley accommodates her British buds from the London Legion of Superheroes, she also becomes the unwitting host to a group of ghosts, who move into Harley’s Hacienda after their haunted mansion in Coney Island is demolished. Luckily Mistress of Magic Zatanna is booked at Big Tony’s cabaret nearby and agrees to help Harley convince the ghosts to move on to the next world… what could possibly go wrong!?

Harley’s Little Black Book #3 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Interior art by: Joseph Michael Linser. Cover art by: Amanda Conner.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Starfire #8

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Copyright: DC Comics

Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and this episode our spotlight of the sublime falls upon “Starfire #8” and yet another stunning piece by the amazing talent that is Amanda Conner. 

“Lovers and other Dangers” is the concluding episode began last issue that sees former Teen Titan sweethearts, Kori and Dick Grayson sharing a tender moment together before all hell breaks loose. Kori has had to deal with many dangerous adversaries since her new series began, from murderous bounty hunters to devastating hurricanes, but her biggest test may yet come from having to choose between her former beau and new love interest Sol.

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The dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti produce yet another fantastic issue that focuses as much on Kori’s relationships and emotional stability, as it does on typical Superhero tropes, which is one of the reasons why this is still currently the stand-out ongoing comic series for me, the other being Emanuela Lupacchino’s exquisite artwork, beautifully realised as ever with vibrant colours that make each and every panel literally jump off the page.

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Adult Colouring Book Variant Cover By Dave Taylor

Starfire #8 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover by: Amanda Conner. Interior art by: Emanuela Lupacchino. Variant cover by: Dave Taylor.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Starfire #7

"The name's Grayson... Dick Grayson"

“The name’s Grayson… Dick Grayson”

Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another “Comic Cover Of The Week,” and this time our spotlight of the splendiferous falls upon “Starfire #7” and another wonderful piece of art by the amazing Amanda Conner.

This issue, old flames reunite when Dick Grayson crashes a cruise liner party in search of some terrorists selling illegal tech and unexpectedly runs into his once, long term love Koriand’r (Starfire), who is attending the party with new beau Sol. The former Teen Titans’ members and lovers were hot stuff together throughout most of the eighties and nineties, and their serendipitous reconciliation is a poignant one, especially for Kori who believed that Dick had previously been killed.

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Titans together again…

Starfire #7 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover art by: Amanda Conner. Interior art by Emanuela Lupacchino.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Harley Quinn’s Little Black Book #1

Copyright: DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of “Comic Cover Of The Week,” and once more our spotlight of excellence falls upon the amazing Amanda Conner, and yet another Harley Quinn comic. The Mistress of Mayhem stars in an all new series that takes cues from classic DC team up books such as “Brave and the Bold,” but with a crazy Quinn spin.

With Harley Quinn series regulars Amanda Conner and husband Jimmy Palmiotti on writing duties, this new book has the same quirky style and tone as her regular monthly. Amanda Conner provides most of the interior art as well as the fantastic cover, with occasional Harley collaborator John Timms stepping in for a short flashback sequence.

Harley-Quinn-Little-Black-Book-Variant-Cover Harley Quinn’s Little Black Book also heralds this month’s DC variant cover theme, with ten titles  shipping in black opaque comic bags, each containing one of three variants; one in full colour, the  second inked black and white, and the third featuring just the original pencil artwork. 

Plus, some lucky purchasers have been opening their black bagged copies to find ultra rare original covers that contain artwork drawn directly onto the blank cover. These original sketch edition specials are in small supply and feature art from the likes of, J Scott Campbell and Joe Quinones, so if you manage to secure one of these extremely scarce alternates count yourself very lucky indeed.

Harley Quinn’s Little Black Book is available from your local comic book emporium right now.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Harley Quinn Road Trip Special #1

Copyright: DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Welcome back fellow fans of fantastic fiction to another instalment of  Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week our spotlight of splendour falls upon “Harley Quinn: Road Trip Special #1.” What do you get when you take DC’s most popular female psychotic, throw in a little feline felon, plus a dash of vined vixen?, the long awaited return of the excessively popular trio known as the Gotham City Sirens, of course! That’s right Harley, Catwoman and Poison Ivy team up once more on a crazy cross country road trip chock full of mirth, madness and mayhem.

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“We’re back!”

Writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti present us with another fast and frantic issue that really showcases why the popular 2009-2011 series Gotham City Sirens needs to return… pronto! As with most stories starring the mischievous minx of mirth, this offers a fun and light-hearted tale that follows our terrific trio as they travel across America, so Harley can attempt to fulfill her Uncle’s dying wish to transport his ashes to Long Island… and of course, as always, utter chaos ensues.

Harley Quinn: Road Trip Special is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover by: Amanda Conner. Interior art by: Bret Blevins

Comic Cover Of The Week: Starfire #2

(DC Comics-2015)

(DC Comics-2015)

New comics Wednesday is upon us once more, and this weeks cover spotlight falls upon Starfire #2, another magnificent piece by the always astounding Amanda Conner. Even though we are only into the second issue of this brand new series starring everyone’s favourite alien princess, I am already hooked. Awesome cover aside, the story itself is an amusing and heartwarming tale of an outsider coming to terms with her sense of place in a distinctly different culture. Conner and Palmiotti’s narrative is hilarious as ever, easily as funny as their fantastic run on the Harley Quinn series, and the interior art by Emanuela Lupacchino is absolutely stunning.

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Starfire #2 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover by: Amanda Conner. Variant cover and interior art by: Emanuela Lupacchino.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Starfire #1

(DC Comics, 2015)

(DC Comics, 2015)

The pick of this week’s comic covers stars everyone’s favourite alien princess, the inimitable Starfire. Brought to you by the talent behind the extremely successful Harley Quinn series, the amazing Amanda Conner and her fellow comic book creator (and husband) Jimmy Palmiotti. It’s a new beginning for Koriand’r (Starfire) former Teen Titan, and one time member of the Outlaws, as she seeks the advice of Stella Gomez, Sheriff of Key West, on the best place to live now that she is making her own way in the world.

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Finally, Koriand’r gets her own series. As much as I enjoyed her part in the “Red Hood and the Outlaws” run (which comes highly recommended, by the way) I have always thought that as a character, Starfire is more than capable of carrying her own ongoing solo comic. And here it is, brought to you by two of comics most popular and talented creators. If you haven’t read any of her previous adventures, now is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with DC’s fiery alien warrior princess, with this brand new monthly series.

Starfire #1 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. Cover by: Amanda Conner. Variant cover by: Emanuella Lupacchino. Interior art by: Emanuella Lupacchino.

New Comics Spotlight: Harley Quinn #8.

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Welcome comic fans to another new comics Wednesday, today we are recommending our favourite Cupid of crime..the inimitable Harley Quinn, Mr J’s favourite lady has no less than three variant covers for her July issue. The monthly comic book series has been a massive success so far with the fans as they follow the misadventures of the Mistress of mischief, we have been enjoying miss Quinn’s adventures immensely which is no surprise when you have a comic book dream-team like Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner creating her monthly escapades. This is another fantastically fun issue with Harley finally facing off with her mysterious assassins and deciding it’s time to unleash the ‘Scatapult’! 

Precinct1313 rating: 5 mallets out of 5.