Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories
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Tales by two of the creators behind the acclaimed Batman animated TV series!
The centerpiece of this fantastic collection is the Eisner Award-winning MAD LOVE, the surprisingly dark origin of Harley Quinn, co-starring The Joker and Poison Ivy as well as Batman. Also included are tales by Dini, Timm and others that feature the Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Batgirl and more.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #394818 in Books
- Published on: 2011-09-06
- Released on: 2011-09-06
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Paperback
- 208 pages
About the Author
Paul Dini is the award-winning writer of many scripts for Batman: The Animated Series, and has also written for the Superman and Justice League animated series. His comics work includes Batman: Black and White, Batman Adventures, and Countdown. Bruce Timm is a celebrated comics and animation artist and designer, responsible for many classic cartoons since the early '90s including Justice League and Batman: The Animated Series. He had produced pin-ups and short stories for many comics series.
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Love
Most of the characters that appeared in Batman: The Animated Series were taken from Batman's long history in comic books. But one of the most popular, Harley Quinn, was created specifically for the show. So it was something of an event when Dini and Timm decided it was time to bring Harley off of the screen and into print for the first time. The result was Mad Love, which tells how an ambitious young psychiatrist falls in love with the Joker and turns to a life of crime. The story not only tells Harley's origin, but also covers her attempt to eliminate what she thinks is the one obstacle to a long and happy life with "Mistah J" by killing the Batman.
I have to admit that I prefer Harley in her original TV form to seeing her in the comics. The reason, quite simply, is that her bombastic personality and high energy persona can never come across to their fullest extent in a series of static images and word balloons. Does that mean that Mad Love is a failure? Not hardly. The essence of both Harley and the Joker are on full display here and Batman is the third leg of their not-quite-romantic triangle. Dini and Timm spent years on B:TAS proving that they understand the Batman mythos as well as anyone and better than most and that knowledge is put to good use here with spot-on characterizations and a story that balances humor with tension, and never fails to entertain.
In addition to Mad Love, there are a number of other stories culled from the Batman Adventures comic. One highlight is Jolly Ol' St. Nicholas which shows Harvey Bullock undercover as a department store Santa Claus. It's a classic comedy that also spotlights the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl. The other standout is Two of a Kind. Two Face is cured of his deformity by a beautiful plastic surgeon and is released from Arkham. He plans to marry his doctor and live happily ever after but you just know it won't be that easy for him, but I won't give away any of the major plot developments from there. Suffice to say that it's a well done short story with plenty of pathos at the end.
Mad Love is an excellent story that is a must have for any Harley Quinn fan. To get the original comic book costs several times the price of this new edition and the additional stories make the value of this collection even more compelling. The book should appeal to nearly anyone who enjoys Batman or Joker as well Harley. Who wouldn't like it? Someone who can only be happy looking for a dark and gritty Batman: The Dark Knight Returns type of story. Everyone else can dive in and enjoy.
5 Stars for Mad Love...4 Stars for the rest...
Published in 1994, the award winning story has been hailed as a classic, which it rightfully is. It started out as a comic book, mainly because both Paul Dini (Harley Quinn's creator and one of Batman: The Animated Series best writers) and Bruce Timm (producer, whose artistic stylings influenced the series) thought it too racy to be an episode (though it was eventually made into one on the Kids WB's Batman/Superman Adventures). Mad Love is simply a great story. Funny, clever and utterly unpredictable. Dini keeps the pace brisk and Timm's illustrations are nothing less than brilliant. Frank Miller called it the "best Batman story of the decade," and it's hard to disagree with him. The comments by both Dini and Timm are like filmmaker's commentaries on a DVD. They're informative and very interesting.
The other stories are good, but simply not in the same league as Mad Love. Though the short story (by Dini and Timm) featuring Poison Ivy is terrific as is Timm's Black and White Story about Two-Face.
If you loved Mad Love but don't want to pay extortionate prices for it, pick this up. With all the bonus material, comments and extra stories, it's a good buy.
Not "...the best Batman story of the decade."
Mad Love is just a really great story focusing on Joker's and Harley's relationship. Batman plays third fiddle behind Harley and Joker. Being a huge Batman fan, I saw the animated series that all the stories in this collective volume is based on. I recommend picking it up if you haven't seen any or much of the "New Batman Adventures" or "The Batman" since at least three of the five stories have been translated to animated form. Just for Mad Love alone warrants a read-through. All the stories here are much darker and adult(language, innuendo, murder) than they are on the show. There are some great words by Bruce Timm as well.