Amanda Conner Harley Quinn | The Mary Sue
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Power Girl Duo to Tackle Monthly Harley Quinn Series

It's A World of Laughter A World of Tears

Harley Quinn’s expanded role in the New 52 as a prominent member of the Suicide Squad was overshadowed by a costume change that alienated many fans of the character, one of the many transplants from the beloved Batman: The Animated Series to make it to comics continuity. But I’m ready to go out on a limb and say that Harley getting her own series for the second time, and that series being placed in the hands of artist Amanda Conner and writer Jimmy Palmiotti, is a big ray of hope for fans of the character.

Conner and Palmiotti were the folks behind one of the much lauded initial run on Power Girl’s first ongoing series (Power Girl) in 2009, and it’s hard not to see the parallels here. Power Girl is also a character who combines a smart, outgoing personality with a costume famously considered to be designed purely for the male gaze. A skillful reconciliation of those factors, if not a redesign (which appears to be at least part of the Conner/Palmiotti plan for Harley), is necessary to tell a story of much weight. In an interview with the creators on Comic Book Resources, Conner and Palmiotti promise that they’ll be getting Harley out of Gotham for a while, and giving her her own expanded cast, marrying the old and new:

Palmiotti: We took a good long look at the New 52 version and then applied it to what we were going to do in the series. Harley is a complex character and we are going to build on her background, motivations and her home and supporting cast. Sort of what we did with Power Girl but with a mix of a bit more homicidal maniac added in.

Conner: That original version is what seems to be stuck in my head, but at the same time, I always thought it would be cool to see Harley (but not her Harleen self) outside of her costume, and what she would be like. That’s kinda what we have with this version of her.

And speaking of that costume:

Palmiotti: The piece of artwork you see by Amanda running with this interview is what we see working for the character. Having so many personalities how can anyone imagine she would wear just one thing. Amanda has a great gift of creating costumes that you can actually wear in real life. A lot of designs these days are so over the top, they just aren’t realistic on any level for a character to fight or even sit on the toilet with them. Yeah, I said sit on the toilet. What do you think happens when the characters are not fighting bad guys? There is a lot of house cleaning, food eating, pet cleanup and bathroom time. Yes…we will be exploring all of these things.

Conner: I am trying to incorporate my favorite things about her latest look and her early costume. I was also inspired by some roller derby girls that I met a short time ago. I think that look totally works for Harley. Another thing I try to keep in mind is what would work really well for costumers and cosplayers, and what would be fun for them to create. One of my favorite things at a comic convention is seeing people dressed up in something that just started out as a thought in my head. Lastly, I always put the character in something that I wish I could run around in all the time.

For more of their interview, including the Joker’s role in the series, and the full version of the cover (part of which is featured at the top of this post), you should head over to Comic Book Resources.

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.