Batman: Gotham Adventures #14
DC Comics (July, 1999)
“Masks Of Love: A Harley Quinn Romance”
WRITER: Ty Templeton
PENCILER: Craig Rosseau
INKER: Stan Woch
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Joseph Illidge
EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
Harley finally released her superhero romance novel, Masks Of Love. Apparently it’s terrible and nobody read it. That doesn’t just suck for Harley as a writer but it messes with her plan to use the chemically treated paper along with another chemical (all borrowed from Poison Ivy) to temporarily control people’s minds. So to drum up publicity she re-enacts the crimes committed in the book by “Punchinello the Clown-Girl” in the book. Batman was wearing his gloves while “forced” to read the book so he remained untreated, allowing him to defeat Harley even with Robin and Batgirl under control.
What they got right: I’ve seen stories where the villain re-enacts crimes from a story but this is the first I saw when she uses her own writing. (It might not be the first one but it’s the first time I’ve seen it…I saw it happen in a TV show from years ago after I saw this but I don’t remember which one.) As schemes go it’s actually surprisingly brilliant on Harley’s part. Too bad she’s such a bad writer.
What they got wrong: Wait, how come Robin and Batgirl could still put down her book or talk positively about Batman taking Harley down and apologize for attacking Batman but the Joker and the guy at the printing company both were nice to her? Is it Batman’s training?
Recommendation: This was a fun read, and I was glad to see they followed up on Harely’s plan to write a book. (I think the cover is even a callback.) Worth reading.