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SYFY WIRE Behind the Panel

Pick Five: Jimmy Palmiotti's favorite Harley Quinn Stories

By Mike Avila
Behind the Panel Harley Quinn

Anyone who is a parent knows you shouldn't play favorites with your children.

Sometimes it's impossible not to, because some kids are simply more problematic than others (not my girls, though — I love them both equally and never, EVER consider sending one of my beautiful darlings to a boarding school far, far away). Which is why asking comic book creators to pick a favorite character or story usually makes them cringe. After all, these stories are their "children," in a manner of speaking …

I've been kicking the idea around of crafting Top 5 lists of favorite comics and story arcs as a way provide more reading suggestions in this column. But instead of just offering up my own picks, I figured you would be more interested in hearing from the writers and artists who make the magic happen. Let's call it Pick Five.

With Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opening in theaters this week, the spotlight has been especially bright on Ms. Harleen Quinzel. Early reviews point out that the film has more than a few nods and references to the Amanda Conner-Jimmy Palmiotti comics run. Which makes sense, given that the husband-and-wife creative team's time on the Harley book, which began during DC's The New 52 initiative, helped turn the character into the superstar she is today. Conner and Palmiotti tapped into the character's quirkiness and amped up the insanity, but also made sure never to lose sight of Harley's heart. They also did what is one of the more underrated elements of Harley's rise to superstardom: They moved her out of Gotham and gave her her own space in Brooklyn.

Palmiotti was kind enough to take a break from hobnobbing with Margot Robbie at the BoP world premiere in London to Pick Five Harley stories that are special to him for various reasons. Enjoy!


Harley Quinn (Vol. 2) #0

Palmiotti: "The Harley zero issue is first on my list because we got to launch [our run] with a bang, having 17 artists on the book and taking the reader somewhere unexpected. The story for that book came to me in a dream."


Harley Quinn (Vol. 2) #1

Palmiotti: "The first issue is special because Amanda got to redesign the character and we establish her new home in Coney Island and her being a roller derby girl who has had enough of her boyfriend and wants a new life."


Harley Quinn #25

Palmiotti: "I'm picking Issue #25 because we cover Harley's breakup with the Joker, where she beats him senseless. It's a big, emotional mess that again established her newfound strength."


Harley's Little Black Book #1

Palmiotti: "Harley teams up with Wonder Woman as they deal with bad guys from London. This was one of our favorite team-up stories to do. It was a tough call deciding between this or any of the Harley-Power Girl team-ups, because those are a blast."

Harley Quinn Be Careful What You Wish For

Harley Quinn: Be Careful What You Wish For #1

Palmiotti: "That one-shot (which contains a story originally offered as a Loot Crate exclusive) is just a wild ride into how Harley sees the world around her."

I'm always interested in hearing what people think of the column. Find me on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook and let me know. If you have any creators you'd like me to get to Pick Five favorites, drop me some names.

Behind the Panel is a video and audio series, as well. Our video series is chock-full of my in-depth interviews with amazing comic book creators. The Behind the Panel podcast is an audio documentary series that provides unique insight into your favorite creators and stories. Check 'em out, we think you'll enjoy them.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBCUniversal.