When it turned out they struck gold with the creation of Harley Quinn for Batman: The Animated Series, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm knew they had to do more with the character. Thanks to a conversation with Batman line editor at the time Denny O'Neill, they had an open door at DC Comics.
"A couple months later, Paul and I were having dinner, and he said, 'I've got this idea: I know what Harley's origin story is, she was The Joker's psychiatrist,'" Timm tells SYFY WIRE in the interview below. "And I went, whoah, that's a cool idea."
They plotted the main story out over dinner, and pitched it almost immediately to DC Comics, where it was greenlit as Batman Adventures: Mad Love, a comic set in the continuity of the animated series.
"I was so excited about doing it, it took about two weeks to rough it out," the artist says. "It was a lot of fun. The aftermath of that was bigger and better than I could have imagined."
That origin story would become her origin when Harley Quinn made her DC Universe debut, and has been translated onto the big screen in Suicide Squad.
Check out the full interview above for more insight from Bruce Timm about how Harley came to be.
Additional reporting by Lucas Siegel