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BookCon: DC unveils Black Label Joker/Harley series and new YA graphic novels

By Josh Weiss
DC Comics Teen Titans Raven

DC certainly brought the goods to this year's BookCon in New York City. In addition to announcing a fresh pair-up book between two of Gotham's biggest villains, the publisher also unveiled several new young adult graphic novels from its DC Ink label.

By "fresh pair-up," we're talking about a brand new series that features the Joker and Harley Quinn—entitled Joker/Harley: Criminal Insanity. Penned by Beautiful Creatures co-author Kami Garcia, the book falls under the purview of the DC Black Label banner, which encompasses darker and more mature stories.

“There is no character more terrifying than the Joker. He is one of the most complex psychopathic killers ever created,” said Garcia in a statement. “I wanted to approach the project as if  the Joker was a real person—an intelligent and sane psychopath, who kills because he wants to, not because he suffers from delusions. To me, a version of the Joker, who is sane like John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy, is more frightening. In the series, Harley is the only character with the skill set and intelligence to hunt the Joker, but the investigation will force her to confront her own inner demons.”

Harley Joker Criminal Insanity

Mike Mayhew (The Star Wars) and Mico Suayan (Bloodshot: Reborn) will illustrate the project, which follows Quinn prior to her mental breakdown and relationship with the Clown Prince of Crime. As a forensic psychiatrist and profiler for Gotham City PD, she'll hunt down a notorious serial killer, unaware that she will soon be coming face-to-face with the Joker himself.

“When Kami came to us with the idea of profiling one of the most mysterious and dangerous characters in the DC Universe, it felt so new and original,” added DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “Kami, Mico and Mike are taking great care to ensure that the mystery surrounding the Joker and Harley Quinn remains intact, while delivering a story that’s both compelling and haunting. This series is exactly the kind of unique, standalone story that’s perfect for DC Black Label, one we hope will engage both casual and new fans of these characters.” 

Criminal Insanity will run for nine-issues, the first of which goes on sale Oct. 2.

For younger, less mature readers, DC's got a slew of YA graphic novels on its docket, including Teen Titans: Raven, which is also being written by Garcia. The timing could not be more perfect with the character recently making her live-action debut in DC Universe's Titans TV show, which will return for a second season.

Drawn by Gabriel Picolo, Raven centers on the 17-year-old hero traveling to New Orleans to live with her foster mother's family after a terrible accident. To make things worse, strange occurrences are cropping up around Raven during her final year of high school, wrapping her past and present into one single and horrific entity.

Check out the trailer for the book, which marks the first in a multi-part series of Teen Titans novels from Garcia and Picolo, below. The book goes on sale July 2. 

Other DC Ink projects include Gotham High (Melissa de la Cruz; Thomas Pitilli), Shadow of the Batgirl (Sarah Kuhn; Nicole; Goux), The Oracle Code (Marieke Nijkamp; Manuel Preitano), The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel (Michael Moreci; Sas Milledge), and Teen Titans: Beast Boy (Garcia; Picolo).

Check out the covers of the newly-announced YA books (arriving next spring) in the media gallery below...