batman adventures: mad love

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“Advice to someone in the throes of mad love is pretty meaningless, because any capacity for rational thought has long since split for Aruba. Despite the setbacks and heartaches, the persuer tunes out their inner voice of sanity and is more than willing to swallow the tears, paint on a smile, and once again resume the chase.”
-Paul Dini

BATMAN: MAD LOVE (Feb. 1994)
Art by Bruce Timm & Rick Taylor
Words by Paul Dini

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“We’ve all selected the wrong partners, all gotten hurt, and hopefully all moved on wiser for the experience. But there are those who, even in the face of constant disappointment, continue to believe that the intensity of their desire will be rewarded by an eventual jackpot of affection. And if that’s the slot machine you’re playing, friend, you’d better leave the casino ‘cause that one don’t pay out”
-Paul Dini

BATMAN ADVENTURES: MAD LOVE (Feb. 1994)
Art by Bruce Timm & Rick Taylor
Words by Paul Dini

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The Batman Adventures: Mad Love

“…It soon became clear to me that The Joker, so often described as a raving homicidal madman, was nothing more than a tortured soul crying out for love and acceptance. A lost, injured child looking to make the world laugh at his antics. And there, as always, was the self-righteous Batman, determined to make life miserable for my angel. 

Yes, I admit it. As unprofessional as it sounds, I had fallen in love with my patient.”

This panel from the Mad Love comic didn’t appear in the New Batman Adventures episode of the same name, which I find unfortunate because it gives a brief-but-important glimpse into Joker’s rarely-seen insecurity. It wasn’t just his ego that drove him to interrupt Harley’s plans to kill Batman, but also his pride; as much as he hated the idea of anyone but him killing Batman, the thought of Harley being the one to take out Batman disturbed him even more because it would be irrefutable proof that she didn’t need Joker. 

Remember how angry he got when Harley and Ivy teamed up in B:TAS and successfully committed a string of high-profile robberies? He couldn’t stomach the fact that Harley was more than capable of handling herself without him, and if she managed to kill Batman–the one thing Joker had never been able to do–then she would be considered a more formidable villain than him and he’d forever be referred to as her sidekick. Joker would always be known as inferior to Harley, a woman that he believed to be his own creation and “property”, and to him that would be the ultimate, most unforgivable insult.