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Start your review of Harley Quinn: Mad Love. Say hello to your new improved Harley Quinn: Mad Love! Harley Quinn was created in that animated TV series, and she become so popular that she was introduced to the official DC Universe, not only in the pages of Batman and Detective Comics but also getting several ongoing comic book titles, multiple mini-series, one-shots, becoming regular character in Suicide Squad title. In comedy, timing was everything.
And now, in this superb prose novel, you will read the ultimate Harley Quinn origin story, featuring all the original Mad Love story, BUT quite extended, showing Dr.
Harleen Quinzel since she was a little kid in Brooklyn, NY, some of her high school experiences, along with more in detail her college years in Gotham University, and And the coolest part, is that Paul Dini co-creator of Harley Quinn with the collaboration of Pat Cadigan who I knew her work thanks to a Lost in Space prose novel , they embraced the task of developing the ultimate origin story for your favorite criminally insane psychiatrist, obviously using the already presented material on the original Mad Love but also employing some material about her past, developed in comic books, along with extending the original scenes, even adding totally new ones.
View all 3 comments. There are so many reasons why I should not have read this book. I flat out admit my prejudice here and accept it. Nonetheless, as I walked around the bookstore picking up There are so many reasons why I should not have read this book. I bought it and began reading as soon as I got home. When I was growing up, the Batman animated series was pretty much the best thing in the world to me. All my favorite episodes though featured the Joker, and the best of the best featured Harley.
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And Mad Love was the best of the best. Honestly, to this day I have no clue how the censors allowed this episode to happen. I remember even as a kid being rather shocked when the evil, but always comical Joker, stopped being funny and flat out started to hit her. The reason this rather horrific episode works is because our sympathy was always with Harley.
They made us laugh with him before, but after Mad Love, it was impossible to watch his actions particularly around Harley without seeing him in a completely different light. This is the third take on the story that I know of. It was as mentioned before, an episode of the animated series. It was also done as a comic, and now finally as a novel.
Why has this particular story been told so many different times and through different mediums?
I feel that there is a very legitimate case to be made with this story as well. This is, to put it simply, the definitive Harley Quinn story. It tells us about her time as a psychiatrist and the great game the Joker made of their time together, slowly manipulating her and playing off everything she wanted to hear.
It tells us the aftermath of this, and while often quite funny, the story is frankly a tragedy. The book is co-written by Paul Dini, who was one of the original creators of the show, and one of the creators of Harley herself. His sympathy is still very much with her. This is in part thanks to the amount of time that has passed since the initial creation of the character, as she has grown in the comics as well and the novel certainly takes advantage of these more recent developments in certain parts of the book.
The writing is, while not great literary prose, quite well done. Certainly better than I would have expected. Here though in a literary format, we see her in a different, more realistic way while still staying true to the previous takes on the story as well.
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There is one notable big change beyond the backstory though. That may not sit well with all fans, but personally after seeing Harley fall so many times, it was nice to see her get back up. View 1 comment. Beware of spoilers if you aren't familiar with Harley's story, or with the famous "Mad Love" episode or comic! Most people know that Harleen Quinzel was once a promising psychiatrist and gymnast!
In the course of treating him, she fell madly in love with him, helped him break free and joined him in his life of crime and mayhem. But even in the Batman animated series, it becomes obvious rather quickly that this is a one-sided relationship and that the Joker is not only manipulating her, but is often violent towards her.
And yet, she remains completely loyal to him - right until she isn't. I'd always wondered why Harley behaved the way she did. Why would she give her career up, why would she put up with the repeated abuse and occasional murder attempts , why would she put on that super annoying Brooklyn wise-cracking accent?! Paul Dini and Pat Cardigan - the original creators of the hammer-wielding pocket-psycho, did a perfect job of going far into Harley's past so that readers could finally make some sense of her and her stupid accent.
And really, if you've ever had mixed feelings about Harley the way I did, this book just might help you resolve them. Her complicated, tragic childhood brings to light many aspects of her personality which will eventually be magnified by her criminal alter ego - it also explains why the Joker was able to tell her exactly what she needed to heard to flip over to the dark side, for lack of a better way of putting it. While this is not a fancy novel it's a little rushed around the edges , it's a wonderfully entertaining read that humanizes one of the DC Universe's most cartoonish character and brings her to life as the girl who fell for the wrong guy.
That said, as good a cautionary tale as her story might be, I'm still a Joker fangirl through and through. Most fans are familiar with the broader details behind her transformation into the motley-clad femme fatale who is a frequent accomplice and love interest for the Joker. Before she became Harley Quinn, she was Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a brilliant young psychiatrist who fell in love with the Clown Prince of Crime while treating him at Arkham Asylum, eventually throwing away her promising career to help him escape.
But who was she before the Joker, before Arkham, or even before the medical degree?
A traumatic event introduced seven-year-old Harleen to death and violence, giving rise to her macabre sense of humor. From a very young age, she had also harbored a strong distrust for law enforcement figures, after witnessing the callous way a group of cops treated her father. Of all the inmates, however, she was most fascinated by the Joker, and became obsessed with the idea of making him well. The rest, as they say, is history—though the exact events that took place and the words exchanged between them have always been a bit of a question mark. Until now. As much as I adore Harley, her story has always struck me as one of the most tragic in the world of comics.
Here was this bright, beautiful and talented young woman, who traded it all to be in a relationship where only one person is truly committed to the other. Meanwhile, the Joker, who keeps her close but treats her like garbage, never really seemed to care either way. In all the different forms of media in which she has been portrayed, most either paint her as an oblivious flake or a crazed sexpot.
In a way, her manipulation and victimization by the Joker will always be a character-defining element of Harley Quinn, but at the very least, the authors made a real attempt here to explore her personality and give her the autonomy she deserves. The sections detailing her childhood show that the seeds of her deeply-rooted psychological issues were already planted there, long before she met the Joker. The book also takes great pains not to romanticize their relationship. Before Harley fell in love with the Joker, she fell in love with the idea of curing him, and it is this fixation that initially sends her down a dark path.