The creative team behind Harley Quinn, Jimmy Palmiotti and, his wife, Amanda Conner, are set to exit the popular DC title at the end of this year. The couple, who co-write the series, with Conner also providing art for the cover, have been with the character since 2013. Through DC’s New 52 and Rebirth projects, Harley has been a popular character for the comics company, currently sitting at an all-time high.
When asked why they were taking a step away from the series, Palmiotti jokes:
“We just felt like maybe it’s a good time to take a break, take a step back, go on a honeymoon, maybe spend some of the money we made on each other and get to know each other.”
Conner also expressed interest in returning to her roots to get back to drawing; her original passion. Palmiotti added the he and his wife realized that they had an opportunity to leave Harley Quinn while it’s at a high point:
“We love this character, but we felt like, a lot of times you work on books and the sales drop and the character isn’t popular anymore. With Harley Quinn, we figured, well, let’s take a nice break while the character is essentially as hot as ever.”
While DC was built on the backs of the Trinity—Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman—in recent years, they’ve had major success with other characters. Harley is one of those characters, debuting just over 25 years ago on Batman: The Animated Series. Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, the character is often shown as an accomplice and lover of the Joker. Though, in recent years, Harley has not only become antihero, but a strong person who doesn’t need the Joker.
In the Harley Quinn and Batman comic, the prequel to the Batman and Harley Quinn animated movie, we see a Harley who has had enough of the Joker. She stands up for herself; fed up that the Joker pays more attention to Batman than he does to her. It takes the classic Harley and gives her a tougher, stronger, independent persona that is more fitting for a modern day. We also see her story flipped in the new Batman: The Enemy Within game from Telltale Games. In the game, Harley Quinn is shown as the tough, veteran criminal while the Joker, currently known as ‘John Doe’, is the rookie and in love with Harley.
There’s no doubt that a lot of DC’s success is owed to the character of Harley Quinn, and Palmiotti and Conner’s run on the series is a big part of that. Their final issue, which is also the last for artist John Timms, will be Harley Quinn #34, hitting shelves December 20th. In January, with Harley Quinn #35, writer Frank Tieri and artist Inaki Miranda will take over the series.