‘Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories’ Review

'Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories' Review

“Mad Love is the best Batman story of the decade” – Frank Miller

Keeping with the theme of Batman this week with his 75th anniversary here, this week’s review is the award winning graphic novel that first introduced us to the character that is Harley Quinn. Now a symbol for a female psychopath, or dark sexual icon it should be know that this was not always the same woman: originally she was Dr Harleen Quinzel. An ambitious graduate, with an interest in the human psyche, especially that of Gotham City’s Joker. But even she couldn’t help but fall for his tricks.

It should be noted that there are a few more comic’s in the book, in order to fill it out such as short stories on Poision Ivy, Talia Al Ghul, Catwoman, Roxy and Batgirl. This book is graphic novel is said to be of the dames and demons of Gotham City. However the focus of both the graphic novel and the review are on Mad Love.

In the form of a graphic novel this medium allows us to view the story of Harley Quinn’s lure to the other side of the law,; by use of detailed images, speech and internal monologues. This helps the reader when trying to justify why such a ‘go-getter’ girl like Harleen would risk everything for The Joker. Because for her, it’s simple. It’s love. Mad love.

The origin story begins with a flash back from modern times to Harleen Quinzel’s first day at Arkham Asylum. This is how the origin story is fed to the reader from henceforth, small snippets and flashbacks of her time at Arkham City’s infamous mental asylum (along with a few statements and speech from the current timeline, referring to those days).

The story itself is simple yet so encapsulating that it is a perfect first read for many of you out there who haven’t tried a graphic novel, as of yet. As the story is basically a short tragedy in the form of a comic book, it is very accessible whilst also holds the story on a deeper level with relatable themes of love, anger, confusion and regret. Not only is this a face value comic book, but it is also the first time Harley Quinn is viewed as something other than the crazy lover of The Joker, but as one of his many tragic victims.

Although as a graphic novel, this may put many people off my advice would be to simply give it a try. I believe that the story is worth it if you have an interest in Batman, DC comics, the character of Harley Quinn or even psychology in general. Thus the reason that I have rated this graphic novel a strong 8/10. A simple medium, but highly effective.


Book Review: The Secret Circle: Initiation and Captive 1

Book Review: The Secret Circle: Initiation and Captive 1

Initiation and Captive 1 are the first mini books in ‘The Secret Circle’ collection by L.J. Smith. The established writer has given us great reads such as The Night World series and The Vampire Diaries series. Although most recent and future books are written by ghost writers the stories and characters are still as captivating and riveting as ever.

The Secret Circle begins with a sixteen year old girl Cassie Blake , falling in love (however typical),¬†with an unknown tall dark and handsome man, whom she believes to be a stranger walking in and then out of her life. Cassie, then moves to New Salem where she begins life anew, however she soon finds out a secret the town has been hiding. There are witches in New Salem, and she is wanted in their coven. This is because Cassie Blake is a witch. But do all the witches want her is another question. Mean girl Faye most certainly seem to…

And Adam ‘that boy’ is one of those witches.

The characters we meet within are very different from what you would expect from the genre, with issues such as; inner turmoils, anger through pain, guilt and betrayal- aspects of all the different twelve members of the coven and each individual character can be viewed on several different levels along with the story itself, which is relatively unknown for the target audience, age range and genre (aforementioned).

It should be noted that this book is of the teen-fiction genre of todays society, which entails the supernatural and its themes, however the language is simplistic, which you would expect. The book is therefore accessible to anyone of reading ability and of any age, however experienced readers should take patience with the writing and style, or simply enjoy it as a simple but loveable read.

Although a great introduction to the lives of the inhabitants of New Salem, and the coven itself. The characters (in comparison to the CW adaptation) are not as engrossing or captivating. Within this book, as an introduction to the collection, we are simply introduced to the world and the themes which progress throughout the novels, however not in this particular one. Therefore this good-read, does not show the arc in its best light- again in comparison to the fast paced show, (however, axed after only one season). It is recommended for book lovers, and those with enough time to enjoy the series of books, to do so, but those whom want the great story and characters without going through several novels, may be best watching the TV adaptation of the same name: The Secret Circle. This has book has been given 6.4/10.