A Dynamic Duo Of Delightfully Dazzling And Delectable Drawings…
“Well hey there fellow fans of fantastic fiction and welcome once again to another enticing episode of Comic Cover Of The Week. And this week we have some rather resplendent renderings for your discerning delectation!”
DC Comics’ recent imprint – Black Label is a line of limited series aimed at a mature audience that began with the somewhat controversial (though, not in my opinion) Batman: Damned in September of 2018. Building upon the success of that first mini-series, DC subsequently launched several new Black Label series which include – Batman: Last Knight On Earth, Superman: Year One, and most recently ‘Harleen’. Their newest recent entry to this distinctly adult line is the Kami Garcia penned – Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity, and the variant cover by marvellous Mike Mayhew is an absolute corker, it has to be said.
Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity charts the first meeting of one Dr Harleen Quinzel and the Jester of Genocide. Kami Garcia offers up an interesting twist on the titular troublesome twosome by re-imagining Harley as forensic psychologist and criminal profiler tasked with helping to hunt down a prolific serial killer with a penchant for murderous theatrics known only as The Joker. Joker/Harley; Criminal Insanity is scheduled for a nine issue run and is available from your local comic-book emporium right now, and in our opinion is well worth investing your time in if you’re in any way, shape, or form a fan of Ms Quinzel and Mr J.
And next on our cosmically cool and collectable comic cover countdown is this really rather rapturous rendering from wonderful Warren Louw of the pernicious plant powered eco-terrorist Poison Ivy.
Continuing on from last month’s premiere issue, we find our lovable (yet highly dangerous) duo, Harley and Ivy on the run from the fractious felon Floronic Man, who is determined to force Ivy to accept her place in connection to the green. With Gotham City even more unstable and treacherous than ever thanks to its recent overthrow and internment by SuperVillain Bane, Harley and Ivy literally dive into a rabbit hole by seeking sanctuary with none other than former Arkham patient Jervis Tetch, more infamously known as The Mad Hatter. Yet what they’re about to experience couldn’t be further removed from a Wonderland!
I’ve been actively reading and collecting comic-books since I was a mere six years of age, my first ever encounter with a Superhero was through the dark and surly one himself – The Batman. From there I became a superfan of the Themysciran Titan – Wonder Woman, and eventually over the decades became a devoted stalwart of DC Comics and their menagerie of costume clad heroes and villains.
Not being content to just absorb the wonderfully fantastic stories wrought from the fevered minds of the various comic creators over the years, like most things I love in life, I was also heavily into the creative process behind the formation of the thrilling and titanic tales brought forth by said tomes… especially the diverse styles of the sundry artists who have regaled us with their wondrous takes on classic characters.
From an early age my favourite artists included such talented individuals as Neal Adams, George Perez, Brian Bolland, Norm Breyfogle, Adam Hughes, Phil Jimenez, Nicola Scott, Emanuel Luppachino and many, many too numerous to mention. Picking a favourite from these would always prove to be an insurmountable challenge… that was until I discovered the astonishing art of one Amanda Conner, from that point on anybody enquiring as to who my fave artist was, would not be able to shut me up as I enthused and rhapsodised over her awesome artwork. Quirky, zany, fun, and instantly recognisable… for me personally, Amanda will always be numero uno!
Amanda’s creative career began in the late 1980’s working for companies such as Archie Comics, Marvel and Harris’ Comics on their Vampirella series (which is where I first discovered her phenomenal oeuvre) But it was her work on the sundry female DC characters that led me to fall in love with her adroit artistic endeavours, especially her work with Starfire, Harley Quinn and Power Girl, which all remain (and always will) my absolute favourite versions of those iconic characters.
On May of this year at the Comic-Con Revolution event in California, Amanda was honoured as the recipient of the Joe Kubert Distinguished Storyteller award, a prestigious achievement given only to the most outstanding comic-book creators, who exemplify both Joe Kubert’s artistic talent and commitment to the nurturing of the comic-book community. And long may she reign…
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.
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.
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.
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!!)
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!)
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure…
David Ayer Sends Out A Siren Call…
Best be prepared folks, I may just get a tad bit over-excited on this one… just sayin’.
‘Gotham City Sirens!, Gotham City Sirens!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!!!, Gotham Cit… Phew!’
OK, now that I’ve calmed down (a bit) let’s get straight to the epic news that DC Comics’ troublesome trio, Gotham City Sirens, have been announced as a major motion picture as part of the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe. Suicide Squad director, David Ayer will be returning to helm the flick, and it will also mark the return of Margot Robbie as the Hellacious Harley Quinn.
Gotham City Sirens is one of our all time favourite comic book runs here in Precinct1313, the scintillating series was first published in 2009 and brought together three of Batman’s most famous female foes, feline felon – Catwoman, vined vixen – Poison Ivy, and of course mischievous misfit – Harley Quinn. The series lasted just two short years despite being a financial and critical success, to make way for DC’s ‘New52’ reboot. However, the Triumvirate of Temperamental Troublemakers have come together to cause mischief, mirth and misbehaviour several times since then, mostly in Harl’s own long running (and most excellent) comic book series.
Little else is currently known about the project, but Warner Bros have announced that the marvellous movie will be scripted by Geneva Dworet-Robertson, who is also currently writing the screenplay for another famous fictional female, Lara Croft, for the 2018 dated ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot.
Exciting times ahead indeed, my fellow fans of fantastic fiction, what with next year’s Justice League movie and of course Wonder Woman’s solo film, let’s be honest it’s about time that more female led comic book movies were being developed, and DC have an infinite amount of Superheroines and Villainesses they can bring to the silver screen, we have our fingers crossed for Batwoman, Power Girl and The Huntress being next.
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.
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
New comics Wednesday is upon us once more, and having just returned from my local purveyor of stupendous, spandex-clad superheroes with this weeks purchases, I have to say the cover that stands out the most for me is the Harley Quinn Convergence #1, the soft pastels effect is gorgeous. Convergence is DC’s month long epic saga that brings together every single hero and villain who ever existed, across all timelines and alternate realities.
Plot Synopsis: Harley’s life has become mundane and almost normal (!?) over the past year, but will she be ready to return to her crazy old ways when Catwoman and Poison Ivy recruit her to help fight… Captain Carrot!!
Harley Quinn Convergence #1 is available right now at your local comic book emporium. Written by: Steve Pugh. Interior art by: John Dell and Phil Winslade. Cover art by: Steve Pugh. Variant cover by: Chip Kidd.
Has it really been 25 years since the release of the stupendous Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth? Hard to believe it has been so long since this outstanding piece of Batman lore was delivered to us by master storyteller Grant Morrison and comic artist supreme Dave McKean.
This classic tale is considered one of the greatest comic books of all time, garnering many awards at the time for both its dark storyline and the amazingly twisted art. It is also Grant Morrison’s first ever Batman tale, after this Morrison would go on to be one of the most prolific writers of the Caped Crusader’s adventures down the years.
It is April fools day and the insane inmates of Arkham have taken control of the asylum, in exchange for the hostages they want … the Batman, and so the Dark Knight must traverse a nightmarish journey into the twisted minds of some of Arkham’s most dangerous denizens including Poison Ivy, Two Face, the Scarecrow and of course the clown prince of crime himself … the Joker in full on demented mode. This is one of the darkest and most disturbing of all of the Batman’s adventures, taking you on a carnival ride of horror and dark wonder. Dave McKean’s artwork on this is sublime, really drawing you into the unhinged and disturbing world of maniacal Supervillains and murderers with its strange and dreamlike visual quality. Also of note is the lettering of the book by Gaspar Saladino, with each of the different characters having their very own font style, this was the very first comic to really do this and it has become a popular trait of the comics medium since.
The anniversary edition is available right now in both hardcover and softcover versions, weighing in at 216 pages in length.
Precinct1313 Rating: 5 degenerate Supervillains out of 5