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For the animated adaptation see: Mad Love
The Batman Adventures: Mad Love
Batman Adventures Mad Love
Mad Love
Cover Date February, 1994
Cover Artist Bruce Timm
Writer Paul Dini
Penciler Bruce Timm
Inker Bruce Timm
Colorist Bruce Timm, Rick Taylor
Letterer Tim Harkins
Editor Scott Peterson, Darren Vincenzo

Mad Love is a 1994 one shot graphic novel written by Paul Dini with art by Bruce Timm. It features the first orgin story of Harley Quinn.

Appearing in "Mad Love"[]

Featured Characters[]

Places, Items and Vehicles[]


After having his latest plan to kill Commissioner Gordon foiled by Batman, The Joker retreats to one of his hideouts to plan his next move, but is being annoyed by his love struck sidekick Harley Quinn and kicks her out of their hideout. As Harley sits outside, she remembers how she met Joker, back when she was the psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel and spending her internship at Arkham Asylum. Harleen interviewed Joker and learned that he was abused as a child by his alcoholic father. After more interviews, Harleen determined that Batman was the source of Joker's anger, but also that she was falling in love with him. Harleen became Joker's partner in escaping from the asylum in hopes that she could win his love.

Harley decides that the only way to make the Joker love her is to kill Batman, which she attempts to do by feeding him to a school of piranhas. Batman distracts her by telling her that the Joker had been using her from the start, and that Joker's stories of an unhappy childhood were lies. When she tearfully insists that Joker really loves her, Batman convinces her to call Joker so that he will know she accomplished her goal (as the piranhas would leave no convincing evidence other than bones and a tattered costume which anyone can fabricate).

When Joker arrives, however, he is infuriated that Harley would try to kill Batman herself and knocks her out a window, where she is found by nearby police officers. Joker then decides nonetheless to use the opportunity to finally kill Batman, which escalates into a wild chase ending atop a moving subway train. Batman taunts Joker by saying that Harley came closer to killing him than he ever did. Joker attacks him in rage, but Batman sends him lunging into a burning smokestack.

Back in Arkham Asylum, a severely injured Harley Quinn renounces The Joker forever, wanting nothing more than to heal and leave Arkham for good. A moment later, however, Harley finds flowers sent by her clownish beau with a "get well soon" card and falls in love with him again.

Notes and Triva[]

  • Mad Love was adapted into a episode of The New Batman Adventures with its violence pretty intact and a motion comic.
  • The graphic novel was critically acclaimed by fans of Harley Quinn and Batman: The Animated Series. Winning a Eisner award for best single story. The comic book was acclaimed by Mark Hamill the voice of the joker, Penn from Penn and Teller, Tim Burton and IGN. 
  • The Joker says "real friggin funny!!" In the comic In the episode adaptation they use "real funny!"
  • In Mad Love: Deluxe Edition Bruce Timm revealed that the dentist scene was originally going to be a part of the episode "Joker's Wild."
  • A motion comic of the same name was made. It could be found on dvd double feature with Batgirl Year One, ITunes and Beyond the Lot. 
  • On the cover, the Joker resembles his design in The New Batman Adventures.


  • "I have to admit she came a lot closer [to killing me] than you ever did... Puddin'." -Batman

Reprint Gallery[]

  • This issue has been reprinted in the following editions: