This weekend at BookCon, DC Comics announced a variety of new titles. At the publisher’s Black Label panel, the headliner was Kami Garcia’s, Mike Mayhew’s and Mico Suayan’s new series Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity. The nine-issue limited series follows a young Harley Quinn, who works as a forensic psychiatrist and consulting profiler for the Gotham City Police Department. As this story begins, she’s been tasked with hunting a “vicious killer” terrorizing Gotham. Two guesses as to who that killer might be.
Joker/Harley appears to present an alternative origin story for Harley and her relationship with the Joker. Before the start of the series, this Harley finds herself haunted by the time she was “at the center of a horrifying crime scene” where her roommate was found dead, with the Joker’s “signature” left on the scene. Her past and present collide as she’s forced to hunt down the person responsible for a new series of gruesome murders that “lead her down a dangerous path.” She’s forced to “decide how far she is willing to go, and what lines she is willing to cross to solve these cases once and for all.”
A recent addition to DC’s roster of creators, Garcia is the prolific novelist behind the Caster Chronicles series. Her first DC book will be the upcoming Young Adult DC Ink graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, drawn by Gabriel Picolo. This past weekend, it was also announced that that book would spearhead a series of Teen Titans DC Ink comics and that a Beast Boy-centric story would follow Raven.
Of Joker/Harley, Garcia implied that she hopes to craft a more realistic interpretation of the Joker than clown princes of past. She said that “There is no character more terrifying than the Joker. He is one of the most complex psychopathic killers ever created. I wanted to approach the project as if the Joker was a real person—an intelligent and sane psychopath, who kills because he wants to, not because he suffers from delusions. To me, a version of the Joker, who is sane like John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy, is more frightening. In the series, Harley is the only character with the skill set and intelligence to hunt the Joker, but the investigation will force her to confront her own inner demons.”
DC co-publisher Dan DiDio lavished effusive praise on Garcia and the rest of the team behind Joker/Harley. He said that “When Kami came to us with the idea of profiling one of the most mysterious and dangerous characters in the DC Universe, it felt so new and original. Kami, Mico and Mike are taking great care to ensure that the mystery surrounding the Joker and Harley Quinn remains intact, while delivering a story that’s both compelling and haunting.”
As with many Black Label books, Joker/Harley will be a stand-alone title outside of continuity. The series will release monthly beginning in October.
Alex is the New Media Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at First Second, Top Cow, and Papercutz. He primarily covers DC Comics and Magic: the Gathering.