If you’re like me, anything with Batman: The Animated Series is a must look if not a must buy. That’s why I’m so amped for DC’s new Batman and Harley team up movie coming to theaters August 14th and hitting Blu-Ray August 29th (available for preorder now). But before that even comes out in a few short weeks, why not dip your toes in the digital-first comic book written by Batman: The Animated Series writer Ty Templeton and artist Rick Burchett?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Harley’s sure she’s the best thing that ever happened to her puddin’, but the Joker treats her like just another henchperson. There’s only one thing to do: get the Batman involved!
Why does this matter?
If you’re going to watch the Batman and Harley Quinn movie this seems like a must buy just so you can get the whole story. This is all about Harley rejecting Mistah J and going it alone, and this digital comic tells you how that happened.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
There are no ifs ands or buts about it, this series delivers Animated Series vibes and then some. From the excellent dialogue (like Joker playing with words) or the stone cold nature of Batman, this comic gets the characters from the show perfectly. It also drops you right into the type of climactic scene that usually ends an episode which means it’s all fun and no setup. As always, Joker has a ridiculous plan (poisoning BBQ sauce), has ridiculous weapons (a Joker mech!), and the dynamic between Joker and Harley is just great.
With that nailed, Templeton also keeps the narrative interesting, with a twist involving Harley you may not see coming. She has a strong argument Joker can’t deny, which leads to a surprise guest villain by the end. In general you can see where this is going–Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have played with Harley hating Joker for a while now–and it’s rather easy to see how this builds towards the upcoming movie. That said, the cartoon vibe is strong with this one and any fan of the show will love it.
That’s in part because Burchett draws the characters in a clean and simple way reminiscent of the show. Joker has those yellow beady eyes that are creepy and when things get particularly cartoony (like Joker blasting his face off with a rocket launcher) it takes liberties with reality. The calm and ever perfect Batman is nicely done too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
At only 99 cents this is a cheap book so really it’s hard to judge. It’s short, sure, but it’s also so cheap it’s no harm no foul. It’s also not the most complex of comics seeing as it’s mostly an action scene, but again, it’s hard to fault it at this price.
Is it good?
This is a great slice of Batman: The Animated Series fun. It may be short, but at a buck it’s well worth a look.
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