Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Harley Quinn and Batman # 1 Review

The Joke's On Us

Writer: Ty Templeton
Artist: Rick BurchettPublisher: DC ComicsRelease Date: August 2, 2017Cover Price: $3.99

Harley Quinn and Batman is a book I knew nothing about until I went to review it. The book seemed to come out of nowhere. When I actually took a look at it though, it grabbed my attention right away as it seemed to be harkening back to the style of Batman the Animated Series. Usually you get the argument of “Who’s your Batman?” and it mostly revolves around the ’66 Batman and the movies, but for me it was always the Animated Series. In the era of wacky cartoons such as The Animaniacs, or Freakazoid, or even Tiny Toon Adventures we had series like Gargoyles and Batman The Animated Series that went for a more serious tone and pushed the envelope in animation. The Animated Series was my Batman, and this series immediately grabs my attention when it goes with a very similar art style. So does the book live up to the expectations that the art style sets for it? Find out after the jump just what I think about it.

We kick off the book in what seems like the climax of some story with Batman and Nightwing rushing Joker’s Ha-Ha-Hideout after some kind of explosion. While Harley is off to the side chuckling it up, Joker reveals a slew of weapons and props depicting multiple ways the Joker wishes to dispatch the Bat. As Joker goes to use a rocket launcher, not caring that his own men are in the way and will get hurt, it instead backfires and blows up in his face. The next thing Joker attempts is transformer like mech which quickly gets taken down by Batman’s wonderfully remembered “Maneuver #314”!

If I had to give this book any credit it would be that it wasted no time in going completely downhill. You couldn’t possibly have gotten my hopes higher with an art style specifically eliciting a known quantity only to not answer on it at all. Right out of the gate we jump in to a story we don’t really know what’s going on and the whole time we’re just getting Joker throwing caution to the wind and attempting to hurt Batman without worrying about his own men. We basically get slapstick with Joker while Batman mostly protects Jokers men while also fighting them.

With things seeming to fail for Joker he makes his way to the roof in search of his getaway plan. Only to find it’s drifted a bit off the roof and has been used as a calling signal giving away Joker’s hideout. We find out pretty quickly that it was actually Harley that did this to the balloon, and we finally get more of one of the titular characters as before she was mostly to the sidelines laughing. We also find out that Harley put chewing gum in the bazooka that lead to it blowing up in Jokers face, and it all seems to be due to jealousy. Joker cares more about Batman and has more pictures of Batman up than his one and only Harley.  At this time Batman swoops down and knocks out Joker which leads us to an end where Harley once again gets jealous and takes it out on Joker and soon after gets rescued by another Harley and Batman staple character.

Overall this book threw away what little interest it gained from its art style. Harley was basically the only character that resembled her Animated Series counterpart, Batman was barely a character at all other than attempting to save Jokers men from Joker himself, and Joker seemed more like a Looney Tunes character. We have no real story in this issue as we jump in already in the middle of the action. By the end it seems like there is not much actually to this book other than Batman and Harley being in the same issue together and not actually having a story revolve around it. If I had to guess the basis of this book it’d seem like Harley wanting rescued by Batman in a series of people that should care about Harley but possibly don’t put her above other things. I’m pretty much guessing though as we really get nothing from this issue other than some dumb slapstick and Harley being jealous of Batman.

Bits and Pieces:

Don’t expect getting more of the noir and style of Batman: The Animated Series from this book as it seems the influence stops at the character designs. Joker gives us dumb goofy slapstick, Batman is barely present, and Harley is possibly the only character that slightly resembles her Batman: TAS version.  



  1. Recently i read again a bunch of comics based on the Animated series, and i loved them. It´s not rushed, it´s accessible and clever. I love that time period and i guess its hard to mimic them nowadays.

  2. Everyone is on model with The New Batman Adventures versions of the characters, which carried over into Superman and Justice League. Harley's design didn't change between BTAS and TNBA; everyone else's did.