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A QUICK GOTHAM CITY VISIT WITH PAUL DINI
As reported from WonderCon, Paul Dini will write both Gotham City Sirens and Batman: Streets of Gotham (the latter illustrated by Dini’s partner from Detective, Dustin Nguyen), two of six new Batman titles launching from DC in June, set in a post Batman R.I.P. world.
Streets of Gotham will focus on Batman from the point of view of Gotham City’s residents – heroes, villains and civilians, while Sirens, of course, will feature Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, three ladies with which Dini has more than a passing familiarity.
We caught up with the writer for a quick chat about the two titles.
NEWSARAMA: Paul, was this move to Gotham City Sirens and Streets of Gotham always in the plans for you? Did you pitch these when you heard the plans for Batman after Final Crisis, or did they call you looking for a writer?
PAUL DINI: A little bit of both. Things were going to change after Batman R.I.P., and they were going to shake things up on Batman and Detective, and I don’t think anybody was really sure about exactly what was going to go on – we’re talking back in the formative stages, nearly a year ago. So we sat down and starting asking what would be fun to do as a Batman book, and just shot around a bunch of ideas. There was a lot of back and forth and give and take with Streets of Gotham, but I came up with a take that I was really excited about, and my editor Mike Marts got excited about it, and talked with Dan [DiDio] about it in early December, and we all decided to go ahead with it. I never wanted to be too far away from the Batman universe, and Dan and Mike never wanted me all that far away, either.
So that was the first one we were going to do, and then Gotham City Sirens came up, and I couldn’t resist.
NRAMA: With Streets of Gotham, it sounds as if you’re going with an all too often ignored take, that is, focusing on how Batman is seen, rather than showing the story through Batman’s point of view. What can you say about the different views that will be highlighted?.
DINI: One of the things that has always formed an image of Batman for me goes back to the animated series. The first thing that anybody ever saw from Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski was a little trailer which in part became our opening for the very first animated series, which had these thugs on a rooftop and Batman is just...there. He’s like a living shadow. You don’t even see any detail on him – he’s just a silhouette. I’ve always liked that interpretation of Batman – you see him from the crooks’ point of view, or you see him from an innocent person’s point of view. So with this, it was “Let’s leave the Batcave behind, let’s leave the alter ego behind, let’s just do Batman and the effect he has on people.”
That’s a lot of fun, seeing it from that point of view.
NRAMA: As you said at the Wonder Con panel, there will be multiple points of view showing Batman – how will you pull a throughline through all of this?
DINI: We’re looking at doing it more in arcs like “Heart of Hush.” We have some stories in the works about some very compelling people, and we’ll have compelling stories that take place from the point of view of regular people of Gotham or Jim Gordon or cops on his staff who find themselves working in tandem, or at odds with, this creature known as Batman.
NRAMA: Moving over to touch upon Sirens - teaming the characters seems logical enough, but for you writing Harley...is it a different mind space for you to handle her in the “mainstream” DC Universe than it is for handling her in the animated series?
DINI: It’s kind of story-by-story basis. I came up with something kind of unique for her to do this time around, and I like the character a lot, and reinvented her a little bit through her different animated permutations where she was and yet wasn’t eh same character. With this one, she’s the DCU character. There are elements of the animated series, but I really want to take her in a different direction this time around and stretch her personality a little bit and reveal some things with her that have never been revealed before; delve into her history and some things like that.
It’s the same with all the girls – with Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and we’ll probably throw Holly Robinson in. You’ll find out a lot more about them as we go on. I don’t want them to be one-dimensional bad guys. We’re going to give them all more depth.
LEE BERMEJO’S WIZARD Q+A: TThe 'Hellblazer' cover artist discusses his work on his upcoming hardcover book, 'The Joker!'
Odds are you've noticed Vertigo's Hellblazer on the shelves at your comic store for a while now. With his groundbreaking technique and striking compositions, Lee Bermejo has made sure that the covers for the long-running series always stand out from the pack. After also tackling interior artwork duties on such hit series as Lex Luthor: Man of Steel and Batman/Deathblow: After the Fire, Bermejo now has his sights set on the upcoming hardcover, The Joker. Read on as Bermejo gives us some more info about this highly-anticipated story!"
WIZARD: Your resume is filled with a lot of impressive comic book covers, namely your impressive stint with Hellblazer that's been going for over two years. Do you prefer doing covers to the interiors?
BERMEJO: No, not really. I really like doing both equally. I think the covers are more of an interesting exercise for me because I'm so slow [to produce work] and it keeps me out there on a regular basis. In the case of Hellblazer that's about as monthly as I'll ever get. But I love illustration in general and I think that shows in my interior work. With the covers I can oftentimes color them myself and they really give me interesting problems to solve, and you can't always take interiors to that extent. The covers for [Marvel Comics'] The Stand that I'm doing now every month are colored by Laura Martin, which is great. It's fantastic to get to work with someone like Laura. Laura's obviously one of the best colorists. For stuff like that, it's fantastic working on covers.
WIZARD: Do you get the full scripts for the issue to work from when doing a cover?
BERMEJO: No, actually in the case of both Hellblazer and The Stand, and actually Daredevil too, I never really got scripts to work from. Usually I just get a breakdown from my editors of what's going on in the issue. I actually prefer this because sometimes in the past when I have gotten full scripts, I've gotten too caught up in the details and I lost sight. I think some of the best covers and best illustrations in general are things that even metaphorically allude to what's going on in that particular issue. Like in Hellblazer #247, where Constantine's leaning over the puddle and there's kind of a ghost shark inside the puddle coming up at him. There's a character in the book called Mako who is a magician. Obviously there's no shark in the book, I just used the name and tried to create an arresting image based on the little information that I had about what's going on.
WIZARD: What's kept you working with Hellblazer all this time? Were you a fan of the series before working on it?
BERMEJO: Oh yeah. It's the character that keeps me around and the subject matter. It just lets me do exactly the kind of thing that I like to do. It's pretty much a perfect match.
WIZARD: What artists inspired you and how did you get your start illustrating and how did you get your start?
BERMEJO: I got started at WildStorm in 1997 just as an intern. Pretty much the guys that made me want to draw comics were Howard Chaykin and Frank Miller. Then I got into a lot of the Image stuff along with everybody else in my age bracket in the early '90s. At that point, Whilce Portacio became one of my favorites. I would say that when I really started drawing professionally, like doing actual interior work after I spent some time as an intern, the guys that inspired me the most were Kevin Nowlan, Jorge Zaffino and Phil Hale. I was really into John Paul Leon as well. A lot of his work on [DC Comics'] Challengers of the Unknown made a big impact on me.
WIZARD: You're working with Brian Azzarello on the upcoming The Joker hardcover. What was it like working with Brian again?
BERMEJO: It was fantastic. This was the third time we've worked together so at this point it's pretty comfortable. It's comfortable in the sense that now I think we know how each other operates, whereas on Batman/Deathblow we didn't talk that much during the process, we just kinda did it. Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, I think, was more of us kind of getting to know what we wanted out of each other. With Brian's stuff, he has a very specific voice. His books are almost entirely dialogue and character driven. I would say they're character-driven more so than plot-driven. He really lets those characters speak. I think [working on Brian's stories] requires a certain kind of story-telling and there are guys that do it in different ways. He works with Eduardo Risso [on 100 Bullets] and he has his own approach to telling Brian's stories. Obviously it's amazing and the results are great. Brian also works a lot with [artist] Richard Corben who has his own approach. I feel like I now have my own, on The Joker book more than on the previous projects, idea of how I want to tell Brian's stories. On The Joker I think it's a much more fluid mix of the two of us. I love his writing and I love his sensibilities, so it's a lot of fun.
What was it like working on a classic character like the Joker? Did you add your own spin to the character?
BERMEJO: We definitely did our own thing with everybody in the hardcover. All the villains in the book are classic in the sense that you know who you're looking at. Starting with the Joker, I think writers these days tend to write him as ridiculous. I've said this before and people tend to slam me for it, but the Joker is a very sexually ambiguous character where he has this feminine quality and it works, I think, when a guy like Grant Morrison writes him. But I definitely wanted to see something different with his characterization and I think Brian found a way in the story to make him definitely be the Joker you know but much more realistic. Yes, he makes jokes. Yes, he kills people, a lot of people in The Joker. He is the character [in The Joker] but you're not laughing at him. He's not comical at all. The fact that he's the Joker is completely ironic because he's just not funny. He's funny really only to himself and I think everybody laughs nervously with him.
I think with a guy like the Joker, visually, I tried to match what I knew Brian was going to bring to the table beginning with my own vision of the character, which was the scarred mouth and stuff like that. We started this book a long time ago. Now that scar thing, obviously with the success of Heath Ledger's Joker in "The Dark Knight," has become an iconic version of the character. When we started this thing though, that was more me just trying to find a way to realistically interpret the character. I tried to figure out a way to give him that exaggerated smile without it being too cartoony.
Killer Croc is the same guy, the same character, but he's done much more like a thug, or like muscle or a gangbanger. He's got a skin condition instead of being a monster or a crazy lizard guy. The Penguin's the Penguin, a short, little gangster dude and money launderer. I think the character that will surprise people the most will be the Riddler. When Brian and I were first talking about the book, we knew we wanted Two-Face and Killer Croc in there. I did not want to have anything to do with the Riddler. I thought he was the lamest Batman villain and I didn't have a good take on him. I think Brian gave me like a one-sentence description of who he is and that really made me kind of rethink that character. So yeah, visually I think all the characters have their own little flair that's different from what you see in the monthly titles and that definitely goes hand in hand with the story.
WIZARD: What projects do you have lined up after The Joker?
BERMEJO: I'll continue to do the Hellblazer covers and I've got thirty issues of The Stand to do the covers for. As far as interior stuff, I've written my own graphic novel project for DC so that's looking like it's up and running. It'll be my first gig as a writer-slash-artist. It's got pretty much all the major DC characters in it. I tend to do all these projects with villains but I still don't really feel like I've gotten to bite into the major superhero characters. Even in Batman/Deathblow, I think the way we handled Batman was a little bit more James Bond where he was in different disguises. This project will definitely be a little bit more of me dealing with the actual characters and letting them take center stage.
LEE BERMEJO’S JOKER SKETCHBOOK: The artist teams up with Brian Azzarello for DC’s stunning all-new graphic novel
Lee Bermejo wants it known he did not copy the Heath Ledger visual from “The Dark Knight."
“I actually drew an image for a Batman website in 2005 that pretty much established the look of the Joker as I draw him,” says Bermejo of his forthcoming Joker graphic novel in collaboration with writer Brian Azzarello. “I was about 40 pages into drawing this graphic novel when they released the first image of Ledger.”
“I hate when people say this, because it always sounds like hyperbole, but it’s the best work of Lee’s career,” says Azzarello. “And if only the bastard had kept up the same level, I wouldn’t have had to say that. People are going to be blown away by it.”
Bermejo says the story, told through the eyes of a Joker henchman, “features pretty much every major Batman villain and deals with the relationship between the Joker and all these crazy baddies that run around and do terrible things.”
JOKER: “I tried to figure out what would make the Joker frightening to me if he really existed,” Bermejo says. “One of the points of the story is that the guy’s ugly outside and in, so I just scarred him up. After I established the smile I wanted to reinforce the fact that the guy was probably not attractive even before the Chelsea grin so I gave him bad skin and of course the big, beak nose. The hair, posture and attitude is just a twisted, drugged-out version of Christopher Walken.”
As to how Joker got those scarred lips? “Kids, don’t play with cutting blades…” he jokes. “Actually, I would rather not say what happened. I think any element of the Joker’s backstory should not be touched with a 10-foot pole. The less you know, the better.”
HARLEY QUINN: “Visually, I threw her in a vinyl outfit and made her look as much like a junkie as possible. Harley Quinn is like a stripper to me. I don’t want to know her name, I don’t want to hear about her life, and I sure as hell don’t want her to talk. Just dance, baby…”
QUINNS AND KNIGHTS
Andy Lieberman's been getting a lot of attention with his run on Harley Quinn. Now the scribe is taking on some of the other Bat folks with his upcoming work on Gotham Knights
Although he can't reveal a lot of details about the Knights yet, he gave us some teasers and information on upcoming Harley Quinn issues.
THE PULSE: How has working on Harley Quinn changed the way you view the comic book medium?
ANDY J. LIEBERMAN: Well HQ #26 was the first comic I wrote. Ever. Looking back, I see some pretty basic mistakes I made with pacing and story.
I also realize that not everything needs to be explained with words and that I can (and should) rely on the art-work to help move the plot along.
It's also given me a new appreciation of just how much friggin' hard work goes into getting a 22 page book out each and ever month. And not just by the creative team, I'm talking at the production and editorial level.
THE PULSE: What have been some of the biggest challenges to getting to know this character and the things that make her tick? How hard is it to go inside the mind of a madwoman?
LIEBERMAN: Well Unfortunately I've had a long list of relationships with women that made getting inside the head of 'madwoman' not all that difficult.
That being said I think I think BEHIND BLUE EYES (#33-37) is a way better than my first story arc because I had finally gotten used to who HQ was. What she would do in certain situations. How she reacts. Thinks. She became much more real as time went on. Now I call my dog Harley even though his name is Fred.
THE PULSE: What has been some of the most surprising feedback you've received about your run on the series?
LIEBERMAN: Well The most surprising was the positive feedback. Being named to Wizard's Hot Pick and then a month later being named Book of the Month was an unexpected surprise and pleasure.
The least surprising was the reaction of some of HQ's more 'faithful' fans. I say least because Matt Idelson (book editor) and Bob Shreck (group editor) warned me to expect "fan fury" once I started taking her in a different direction than they (the fans) were used to.
Though I could appreciate the guilty pleasure aspect of HQ, for the most part I thought she was being sold short as a strong female character. I always believed she could be so much more than just a doormat for The Joker or blowing things up with grenade gum. I wanted her to finally turn the tables on The Joker (which she did) and get on with her own life and career (which she does).
Though in hindsight maybe we should've been a little more subtle in her transformation. Anyone picking up HQ #25 and HQ #26 would've thought they were reading two different books. There was no story continuity from HQ books that preceded mine and maybe there should've been so as not make HQ's new direction so drastic.
THE PULSE: What's coming up in the five-part Harley Quinn saga "Behind Blue Eyes"?
LIEBERMAN: Well HQ is forced to deal with something she's never ever had to before: A kid.
A kid that happens to hold the key to a vast fortune HQ is trying to locate along with the half the Gotham underworld.
THE PULSE: What new characters - if any - will you be introducing in this arc?
LIEBERMAN: Well In addition to the Amanda (the kid) there's a rogue agent names St. James who is not above killing anyone, even a kid, to get what he wants.
THE PULSE: Who is working on that arc with you?
LIEBERMAN: Well the same team that did the first arc.
THE PULSE: What are your goals with that story?
LIEBERMAN: Well I just wanted to show fans another side to HQ.
I wanted to push HQ into having to care for someone other than herself. I wanted to get HQ emotionally attached to a person all the while knowing she's using this girl for her own selfish gains and then have to deal with the consequences that come from forming this unexpected friendship / relationship with this young girl.
THE PULSE: What made you want to take on the Gotham Knights series?
LIEBERMAN: Well It was offered to me.
After talking with Idelson and Dan DiDio (VP Editorial at DC) about what I'd like to do with some of the DCU characters, Dan suggested I incorporate those ideas into a Gotham Knights.
My run starts with GK #50, around October.
I can tell you more when we get closer to the release date but for now I will say the book concentrates on the DCU villains with an eye to making them harder, darker and more ruthless forcing Batman to have to push himself (and 'The Family') into a darker place in order to keep Gotham safe.
The origins of some of DC's classic villains will get examined and some of the DCU's latest psychotic stars will be incorporated like never before, including (but in no way limited to) a surprise from a certain Green-themed book.
THE PULSE: What other projects - in or out of comics - are you working on?
LIEBERMAN: Well Out of comics I sold (with a co-writer) a series drama pitch to Dreamworks TV which is being written but not sure if it'll get picked up to be made a pilot for next season.
Within comics I just finished a six part 48 page mini-series (8 page installments) that will be in BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS starting with issue #789. It's deals with a character I created for Harley Quinn (HQ#27) called THE TAILOR who makes the specialized suits, weapons and mechanical gadgets for DCU characters on both sides of the law. In addition, the Tailor will make a appearances in a future Gotham Knights stories.
ANDY LIEBERMAN: From MTV To DC Comics
Fresh out of school, Andy Lieberman got a job at MTV. They sent him to LA. Soon afterwards, he left MTV and began writing for an assortment of network shows for various channels including the USA Network. He took some time off and worked at NASA for a while, then went back to writing and worked on a few pilots that never got picked up. He also sold a screenplay to Warner Bros. and using some of his works as examples was able to impress the folks at DC Comics enough to get a shot at writing one of comics favorite bad girls, Harley Quinn. Lieberman had about a half a dozen things going on, but found some time to talk to THE PULSE about his plans for Quinn and co.
THE PULSE: Have you always read comics? If so, which titles have been your favorites? If not, when did you read comics and why did you stop?
LIEBERMAN: I did read comics. I used to work at a stationary store so I got 'to read 'em for free, which was a nice perk. Though my boss was a complete a-hole who looked a lot like the Sub-Mariner which wasn't such a nice perk. Inevitably I picked up Daredevil and Batman.
THE PULSE: Prior to Harley Quinn, what comics writing have you done? If this is your first experience, how did you find out about the job and what made you want to apply?
LIEBERMAN: Harley is the first. While writing for TV I became aware of how successful comic titles/graphic novels had become. There really seemed to be a resurgence in their quality and subject matter. A friend (and great colorist) Ian Hannin, put me in touch with DC. I sent them a screenplay I had sold to Warner Brothers which landed on the desk of Dan DiDio and Matt Idelson (HARLEY QUINN's editor), just has they were looking for a new writer on the book.
THE PULSE: When you think about this character and describe her to those who maybe not familiar with comics, how do you explain what makes her tick?
LIEBERMAN: What makes HARLEY QUINN tick for me (and makes her interesting to the readers) is her flirtation with this seemingly dual personality. You have this great kick ass villain who causes havoc through out Gotham and at the same time is also a psychiatrist trying to help people work through their problems.
That's what makes HARLEY QUINN so fascinating and unique. It's as if Harley Quinn has a conflict of interest with herself. She's the doctor and patient in one. It's this conflict which is what I enjoy exploring.
Now, I completely understand that this may not be what fans of the book are used to or expect but hopefully they'll give the new direction a chance and decide whether it's for them after they've finished the first five issue arc.
THE PULSE: How do you think Harley is different from a typical Bat villain?
LIEBERMAN: For me, she's a lot more complex. A lot of times villains can become, well, a cartoon. They become more joke than a threat.
The advantage I have with Harley is that she's a villain. The rules that confine, say, Batman, don't apply to HARLEY QUINN. The drama for me comes when she's been set up for the murder of a Gotham cop and has to struggle to prove she didn't do it while leading the cops to the person who did even though morally she doesn't really give a shit that a cop was killed. She just doesn't like being blamed for something she didn't do.
THE PULSE: What kind of research did you do to get "in character" for writing Harley?
LIEBERMAN: I dated a girl a lot like Harley only Harley was a bit more stable and looked better in spandex.
THE PULSE: How is writing comics different than writing scripts for TV?
LIEBERMAN: Except for the fact that there are no actors refusing to say a line or storming off a set, the writing part is similar. I still have to lock myself in a room and write a script. And personally, a good character is a good character no matter what the genre or medium.
THE PULSE: Over the past few years Harley has been on an outrageous whirlwind ride. What are your plans for the series?
LIEBERMAN: If anyone has read the first three issues I've written (#26 - #28) the most obvious difference is that the book is a lot darker. I want to continue to explore Harley's personal life and the struggle she has in trying to balance that with the fact that she's a dangerous and psychotic person.
THE PULSE: What new characters are you introducing?
LIEBERMAN: One is DOC, who runs an illegal gambling den in Chinatown. Doc used to be a surgeon. He also used to be drug addict which is why he lost medical license. The other new character is BISHOP, a Gotham detective. Bishop is hunting HARLEY QUINN for the murder of his partner not realizing that Harley's alter ego, Jessica Seaborn, is also his shrink.
THE PULSE: What's coming up in 2003 for Harley Quinn?
LIEBERMAN: I'm excited for people to get to finish the first issue arc which sets up the dynamic for the future of the HARLEY QUINN book. From there we have two single issues which looks at a part of Harley's life never before explored and then I think we'll start another longer more act.
OVERHAULING HARLEY: A Facelift From The Mad Genius Behind 'The Coffin'
Everyone's favorite respected psychologist-turned-insane-Joker-minion gets brainwarped again this November.
Mike Huddleston, penciller of Oni Press' The Coffin, and writer Andy Lieberman, combine their twisted intellects to revamp DC's Harley Quinn.
"I'm really excited to be working on Harley Quinn," said Huddleston. "When I read the scripts and saw the direction the book was taking, I knew it would be a lot of fun."
The new team kicks off their run with issue #26, with Troy Nixey as inker and Sean Konot as letterer.
Huddleston's putting his enchanted pencils to work to make Harley Quinn much more down and dirty.
"Harley Quinn reads like a crime novel," says Huddleston. "To get that tough, gritty look I've been paying attention to [Frank] Miller's work on Sin City and [Eduardo] Risso's work on 100 Bullets. ANdy is giving a real edge to the book and to Harley herself, so hopefully my work will enhance that.
HARLEY'S NEW CREATIVE TEAM
By the character's very nature, the life of DC's Harley Quinn has always been chaotic. The DCU's femme fatale in clown garb gets another changeup later this year when Harley Quinn gets an top-to-bottom creative team changeover.
While the former art team of Terry and Rachel Dodson have already stepped down to tackle Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do at Marvel, writer Karl Kesel will follow with issue #25, making way for the new creative team of writer Andy Lieberman, penciler Mike (The Coffin) Huddleston, and inker Troy (Trout) Nixey to debut with November's #26.
Starting off a quick meet and greet of the new team, while a new name to comics, Lieberman garnered his writing experience from a different medium. "I started in TV - MTV in New York and Los Angeles," Lieberman said. "Once in L.A., I moved onto network shows, mostly half-hour comedy's - a few on UPN, USA Networks, and two pilots for CBS which never got picked up. I was like any other TV writer, which meant my nights were spent writing screenplays. I did and was lucky enough to sell a feature called Crazy School to Warner Bros. It's drama set in the public high school in Bellevue Psychiatric hospital here in New York. LL Cool J is attached and the guy who directed How Stella Got Her Groove Back is said to be directing it."
Of course, with something like Crazy School on your resume, it's easy to see where the connection to Harley Quinn came in.
"Matt actually read that very script which led to a phone call, a meeting, a lunch - which he paid for! - and then a handshake," Lieberman said.
For Harley Quinn editor Matt Idelson, Lieberman met all the criteria he set for himself when he started looking for a new writer for the series. "I was trying to figure out a direction to go in, writer-wise," Idelson said. "I didn't have a strong sense other than wanting to work with someone I hadn't worked with before, and a desire to work with someone who I thought 'got' the character and could put their own defining spin on it while being loyal to what came before.
"Dan Didio actually brought Andy to my attention with a screenplay he'd written and some shorter-length stuff, and I loved it. After meeting Andy, I wasn't so sure, but I was out of time so I just bit the bullet. Seriously, his ideas were so strong, and I thought his impact on the book would be felt immediately."
Along with the new writer will come a new focus for the series, according to Lieberman. "After talking with the creative team - Matt, Bob Schreck - God, and Natchie Castro my one goal was to give Harley Quinn more of an edge., and the series a bit of darkness. I look at Harley as someone who could either kick your ass or bed you down. Or both. Depending on what's best for her."
The writer added that he's not out to radically upset every apple cart, however - some of the initial beats for the character, laid down by Paul Dini, Karl Kesel and the Dodsons don't need to be changed.
"What I think makes Harley work is her instability," Lieberman said. "So I think that will remain a constant. The fact she can do anything at any time makes her unpredictable, as such she's dangerous. And a dangerous character is an exciting character to write."
And in what way will the character be different from what's come before?
"Well, the biggest difference is that she's now a guy!
"No, no, no. I'm joking.
"I guess the story lines will get a little darker and intricate. We'll see more of her at her day job - she is a licensed psychiatrist. I think we've come up with incredibly cool arc for the first five issues which will introduce the readers to this new tone and keep them guessing, literally, to the last page."
According to the new writer, stories that work best with Quinn feature her - to borrow an image from some Silver Age Batman stories - behind the eight ball and fighting for her life.
"Everyone seems to underestimate her & with someone like HQ that can be dangerous," Lieberman said. "She definitely turns the tables & heat up on any number of guys who've tried to screw her over, i.e. - the Joker. Let's just say the concept of revenge is a big part in the first few issues.
As for the look of the book, the change from the Dodson's distinctive artwork to Huddleston and Nixey is one that's needed, according to Lieberman, something that will match the change in story direction.
"The worst thing I could do was try and keep the flame of Dodson alive," Idelson said. "Who in that style can compare to Terry and Rachel? At best, we'd have Dodson-lite, which would have killed any chance of success. I really felt it necessary to go in a radically different direction while keeping certain core elements intact, such as her cuteness.
"I had Mike in my mind for a while, though I didn't know what for, exactly. After talking story with Andy, I knew Mike was perfect for the book. Troy was one of a few people in the running for inking the book, and, well, he's Troy. They really have something magical going together - platonically speaking."
For the future of the title, Lieberman has a specific location, character-wise that he'd like to reach with Harley Quinn. "I want to get to a place where we can explore all aspects of Harley's life. Personally what I think makes a reader follow a character is the connection they make with that character. There has to be a sense of the intimate familiarity but enough mystery and surprise and danger to keep it exciting. And someone like Harley offers all that. I mean there aren't many villains out there that would kill you if you got in her way and then rush across town to help a patient work through their suicidal thoughts.
"Plus she's hot."