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THE BATMAN ADVENTURES: MAD LOVE (1994)

Story: Paul Dini, Artwork: Bruce Timm

Original Cover

"MAD LOVE" is the origin story of Harley Quinn. Critically acclaimed, beautifully scripted by Paul Dini and illustrated by Bruce Timm, this book was the winner of both the Eisner and Harvey award for Best Single Issue Comic of the Year.

This book is placed in the ''elseworlds'' section because it takes place in the ''Batman: The Animated Series'' continuity and not in the Batman universe. Harley had to wait until 1999 with the Harley Quinn graphic novel for her introduction in Batman's regular continuity.

Behind every good man lies a good woman. Well, the same holds true for every bad man, in this case The Joker's lover, Harley Quinn. Harleen Quinzel was a gorgeous young woman who slept her way to a psychology degree and chose an internship at Arkham Asylum, home of the criminally insane. Maybe it was the challenge, the excitement or the high-profile nature of these villains that drew her there in hopes of making a name for herself. Whatever the case, there was one simple thing that transformed Ms. Quinzel from intern to villainous sidekick: love.

But when the Joker starts rebuking Harley's love thanks to the constant interference of Batman, Harley takes matters into her own hands. Pleading to Batman's soft side, she tricks him into thinking she's turned on the Joker, and quickly captures the Dark Knight. Drugged and chained upside-down above a tank of flesh-eating piranha - sans utility belt - Batman is completely helpless. Harley's about to do the one thing no villain's ever done: kill Batman! Is there any way out for the Caped Crusader? Maybe, but his name's the Joker...

Mad Love not only lets us in on the secrets of the criminal world, but examines the Joker's relationship with Batman on a new level. Why does he have to use such elaborate traps to kill Batman instead of just shooting the Dark Knight? To the Joker, it's all perfectly sane. A great read and a must-have.

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"Not since PSYCHO has there been a better work of art where everything bad happens because of love. It worked for me. If it wasn't for Mad Love, I wouldn't have no love at all!!" - Penn Jillette.

"Mad Love is the best Batman story of the decade" - Frank Miller.

"Stunning. Easily one of my all-time favourite comics. It read like the storyboard for the best animated Batman never made. Bold, lusty, gleefully demented - I love this book madly" - Mark Hamill

"Mad Love is a happy blend of Harvey Kurtzman and Bob Kane. A veritable primer of relationships in the '90's told with a nostalgic twist." - John Goodman.