The Batman Adventures: Mad Love and Other Stories

This comic book is a compilation of several stories that have in common characters who share a toxic love relationship. As you may have noticed from the title, it’s a Batman comic, so the characters belong to this series (which, by the way, is my favorite ever).

Written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Bruce Timm, the wonderful duo who brought to life “Batman, the animated series”, worked hard to give us this incredible collection that includes the story of the origin of Harley Quinn (character created by Timm for the animated series), plus a few adventures that include the presence of other villains, such as Harvey Dent.

When reviewing a comic, not only the plot should be considered, but also how it interpenetrates with the chosen drawing style. Personally, I’m a big fan of Timm’s work, I love that he keeps the classic design of the characters and his style goes great with the background that you want to give to the story: a tragicomedy. As for the content, needless to say, it is totally exquisite, the personality of each character is represented in an excellent way; it will make you understand why both Dini and Timm are considered among the Great Authors of Batman

I was hypnotized by the story because with a touch of dark humor, Paul Dini introduces us to the world of Harley Quinn through an excellent description of what a “crazy love” is. And the first story deals precisely with this: Harley’s blind, irrational, sickly, but undoubtedly unconditional love for the Joker; despite all the blows she (literally) receives from him. After certain ups and downs, some beating between each other and an accidental push which ends with Quinn falling from a very high building; at the end, we see a Harley with bandages from head to toe and a casted leg, but very happy (and that’s what matters, isn’t it?). Timm and Dini show us graphically what a toxic relationship is, and how difficult it is for the person who is in love to get him or herself free from it.

Part of the stories are based on a conversation between Bruce and Alfred at the Batcave, the main theme being whether the villains of Gotham city could reform themselves and try to lead a normal life. However, what will become clear to us as we read each of the following bullets is that this will not happen. We are presented with stories starring the Ventriloquist, Poison Ivy, the Scarecrow, Harvey Dent; all of them featuring endings that are not very good for our villains. Personally, I loved the comic starred by Dent (Two-Face), the permanent presence of the concept of duality in the life of this character has always captivated me.

The other stories that make up this compilation include the classic clash between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul, a small misunderstanding between Catwoman and a thief named Roxy, a grumpy Joker who was (again) defeated by Batman and who only wants to go back home, and a story starring Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, days before the Christmas celebrations.

I have tried to mention as few as possible details in this review because I would really like you to be encouraged to read it. You won’t regret it.