Fans of the classic '90s Batman: The Animated Series cried tears of joy recently (and not just because the new Batfleck movie will be more of a detective story) when it was announced that the upcoming DC Animated original film would return to the style and world of the DC Animated Universe once more with their upcoming Batman And Harley Quinn movie. Not only is Batman: The Animated Series creator Bruce Timm back on board, but so are the voice talents of Kevin Conroy and Batman/Bruce Wayne and Loren Lester as Nightwing/Dick Grayson.
Now DC Comics has announced that both a prequel and a sequel to the upcoming animated movie Batman and Harley Quinn are coming soon, only this time in comic book form. The five-part digital-first prequel Harley Quinn and Batman title is coming from writer Ty Templeton and artist Rick Burchett, and will launch July 31. The mini-series follows Harley as she attempts to strike out on her own, out of the shadow of both the Joker and Poison Ivy, and establish herself as an A-List super-villain in her own right, and not just somebody else's sidekick or girlfriend.
About the new series, creator Ty Templeton said in statement, “Batman and Harley, Joker and Ivy, Nightwing and Catwoman. Is there a better cast of characters anywhere in fiction? I spent some of the best years of my career working with these icons and could not be happier to be returning to Gotham City and their adventures. And to top it off, I get to work with the incomparable Rick Burchett again! Pinch me, I'm dreaming. We're getting the band back together!”
Templeton and Burchett had previously collaborated on DC Comics' various animated tie-in comics to Batman: The Animated Series back in the '90s. “I spent quite a few years working with these characters in this art style,” said Burchett. “It’s like visiting old friends. For me, though, the best part is having the opportunity to work with Ty Templeton again. It’s been way too long.”
The digital series will launch Monday, July 31, with the five chapters being released bi-weekly. Then, Beginning in October, seven sequel chapters will be released digitally each week, and for the sequel series the name has been flipped to Batman and Harley Quinn. This will be a collection of stories tied to the events of the film.
These chapters will feature stories and art by Jeff Parker, Craig Rousseau, Luciano Vecchio, Amanda Deibert, David Hahn, Dario Brizuela, Matthew Dow Smith, Sandy Jarrell, Ty Templeton and more. All 12 chapters will be collected in trade paperback in summer 2018. Digital chapters will be available for download beginning July 31 via the DC Comics App, readdcentertainment.com, iBooks, comiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store and Nook Store. The Batman and Harley Quinn movie will receive its debut at SDCC this summer, before hitting digital on August 15, and DVD and Blu-ray on August 29.
Batman: The Animated series, and by extension the entire DC Animated Universe, is still one of the most beloved iterations of the DC Universe even 25 years later. For many people of a certain generation, it was these animated shows in the '90s and early 2000s that introduced them to the heroes and villains of DC Comics. Although the DCAU technically ended with the end of Justice League Unlimited back on 2006, fans have been clamoring for more from this universe for years. Could this Batman and Harley Quinn comic be the first in an ongoing comic book extension of the DC Animated Universe?
Imagine if DC Comics were to do a entire line of comics set in the Timm-verse, starting with Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond (which they already kind of do), and Justice League Unlimited. Perhaps with Bruce Timm "executive producing" the line of comics similar to how Joss Whedon is the godfather of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer titles over at Dark Horse Comics. I could easily see something like this becoming a big hit for DC Comics, and something their fans who grew up on the shows in the '90s would eat up with a spoon. Is this the first step towards something like that? We definitely have our fingers crossed! You can make it happen DC!
Are you excited for this return to the world of the DC Animated Universe? Let us know what you'd like to see in the comments below.
Images: Warner Brothers / DC Comics