Harley is “a top-tier character in the DC universe,” Humphries told The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. “That also comes with a mandate that allows me to exact a lot of mayhem on the comics page.”
Humphries says Quinn will meet classic DC villain Granny Goodness and will receive an offer she seemingly can’t refuse when she’s given a chance by Granny to join the Female Furies of Apokolips. That proposal will tie in with the main theme of Humphries’s run on “Harley Quinn”: whether the oftentimes anti-hero will remain heroic, or revert to being a full-time villain.
“Harley is a wild card and a survivor,” Humphries said. “Does she [continue to] look out for other people or does she look out for number one?”
Humphries says a “Harley Quinn” writing assignment comes with guidelines that normally aren’t there when he’s penning other DC series.
“One of the best things about writing Harley is I get to sit down every day and think of all the people who have annoyed me that day,” Humphries said. “And I ask myself, what would I do if I had a giant hammer and absolutely no consequences. And that’s a lot of fun.”
Harley Quinn has been one of DC’s most popular characters for years through animation and live-action movies (“Suicide Squad”). Even if new readers aren’t familiar with the acclaimed “Harley Quinn” comic book run of husband and wife creative duo Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner that recently came to an end, they’ll be able to follow along easily with this new otherworldly adventure.
“Jimmy and Amanda had an absolutely legendary run on Harley. Five years. Fantastic stories. They’ve done just as much as anybody to shape this character,” Humphries said. “One of the things that is going to define this run is bringing [Harley] a little close to the core of the DCU. We’ll see a lot of familiar faces. Familiar places. One way to make that clear right off the jump is to bring Harley to Apokolips, which in many ways is the heart of the DC mythos. If anyone can take on Apokolips single-handed, it’s Harley Quinn.”
Humphries wasn’t surprised at all how easily Harley Quinn seemed to blend into the Jack Kirby-created world of the New Gods.
“For most people to wake up on Apokolips, you would be filled with dread,” Humphries said. “Harley, she wakes up on Apokolips and she sees the fire pits, she sees the dystopian future, she sees the grinding machinery. She’s a wild card on a planet full of wild cards and there’s something for her to embrace there if she so chooses.”
Being in a new world will give Harley Quinn a new look, with some added Kirby art-inspired accessories along the way, including an Apokolips style mallet.
“When she grabs this Kirby-infused hammer, it’s going to give her powers like she’s never had before. It’s going to be unlike any other hammers she’s ever had before and she’s a hammer enthusiast,” Humphries said with a laugh. “We’re going to see Harley use that hammer to kick a lot of [butt], but we’re also going to see her wrestle over what it means to take on that kind of power.”