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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Mad Love and Other Stories (Hardback)


Author: Paul Dini
Artist: Brice Timm
Titan Books
RRP: £16.99, US $19.99, Cdn $22.99
ISBN: 978 184856 245 5
Available 23 July 2009

Bruce Timm and Paul Dini were two of the masterminds behind the Emmy Award winning Batman: The Animated Series. Their first comics collaboration, The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, garnered tremendous critical acclaim and won the 1994 Eisner and Harvey awards for Best Single Story. The following year they received another Eisner for their work on the Batman Adventures Holiday Special. Now these incredible collaborations and more are collected as the duo of Dini and Timm dive deep into the world of the Dark Knight with thrilling tales of the dangerous domes, demons and deathtraps...

Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories collects together a number of tales by two of the creators behind the acclaimed Batman Animated TV. The centrepiece of this collection is the Eisner Award winning Batman: Mad Love, which is an origin story which shows how Harley Quinn, The Joker's would-be girlfriend, came to be so infatuated with her dangerous partner. The other tales, which feature the Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Batgirl and were originally printed in comic book form in Batman Adventures Annual #1 and 2 and stories from the Batman Adventures Holiday Special, Adventures in the DC Universe #3 and Batman Black and White #1.

Gotham City is plagued with crime and corruption in places high and low, but one man has taken a stand against evil of all forms: the dark avenger known as Batman. The Dark Knight's skills are taxed to their limits by his nemesis, the Joker; add the Joker's would-be girlfriend, Harley Quinn into the mix, and it might just be too much for the Batman to handle.

As I mentioned earlier, Mad Love is the central and most important story in this collection, not just because it presents a new twist on the origin of Harley, but also because it sees her successfully capture the Batman in order to cheer up her beloved.

Also worthy of note are Demons (a Ra’s al Ghul story which pays homage to the work of Mike Mignola with very similar art work) and Jolly Ol' St. Nicholas (a Batgirl tale which sees our heroine taking on Clayface).

The visual style of this collection will be very familiar to fans of Batman: The Animated Series, and the scripts are just as tight and well constructed. This is a wonderful hardback graphic novel that even the most casual of Batman fans will find a joy to read.


Darren Rea

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