Harley Quinn has come a great distance. Having definitively damaged away from The Joker, Harley has got down to change her methods by doing proper by these she as soon as wronged. The brand new ongoing adventures of Harley Quinn will come on the heels of a Future State miniseries that follows Harley working as an unwilling device of The Justice of the Peace, the militaristic regime that has outlawed masks in Gotham Metropolis.
Each Future State: Harley Quinn and Harl’s March-debuting ongoing collection come from Stephanie Phillips, a author whose star has been on the rise since her breakout historic true crime collection, The Butcher of Paris, arrived from Darkish Horse in 2019. Since then Phillips has contributed tales to a number of of DC’s seasonal anthology titles and digital collection, and her gig on Harley Quinn will likely be her first ongoing collection work for the writer.
The Beat had an opportunity to talk with Stephanie Phillips concerning the present Future State: Harley Quinn collection with artist Simone Di Meo, the upcoming Riley Rossmo-illustrated ongoing collection, and her two-part Surprise Lady/Hawkgirl team-up with Meghan Hetrick that kicks off the Sensational Surprise Lady digital collection.
Joe Grunenwald: The Future State: Harley Quinn miniseries presents readers a singular, inside take a look at the Justice of the Peace’s regime in Gotham, with Harley working inside the Justice of the Peace’s ‘traces,’ so to talk. How a lot freedom have you ever needed to develop Harley’s Future State establishment?
Stephanie Phillips: I had a number of freedom engaged on this story to determine the tone and path for Harley’s coping with Crane and the Justice of the Peace. The purpose was to actually present how sensible Harley is thru her capacity to psychoanalyze Gotham’s masked residents. It was a number of enjoyable to give you methods for Harley to make use of that intelligence to take down folks like Professor Pyg and Firefly whereas she’s locked in a cell. It was a really Hannibal Lecter impressed tackle Harley.
Grunenwald: What’s Harley’s final purpose within the Future State collection? She’s working, begrudgingly, with the Justice of the Peace, however she needs to be doing it for extra than simply improved jail privileges, proper? Does she truly get pleasure from serving to?
Phillips: Harley’s most speedy purpose is to get herself free, however within the course of, she actually desires to place an finish to Jonathan Crane and his work for the Justice of the Peace. This implies enjoying the lengthy sport and outsmarting Crane since she’s not ready to beat him together with her baseball bat like she would undoubtedly love to do.
Grunenwald: Clearly Future State takes place sooner or later, however what sort of affect, if any, may the occasions of that miniseries have on the continued collection? Will we see hints of Future State within the ongoing, or vice versa?
Phillips: Future State is de facto vital for establishing the tone that we need to take into the continued – that steadiness between humorous, unhappy, darkish, and clever for Harley, and letting the readers see how all these aspects of Harley’s character will work concurrently. Future State can be a take a look at the place relationships find yourself as soon as the Justice of the Peace has actually exerted his management, so now we’re working backwards and seeing the rise of the Justice of the Peace and that preliminary affect in Gotham, which is able to play a job in our collection.
Grunenwald: How has collaborating with Riley Rossmo on the brand new Harley Quinn ongoing collection differed from working with Simone Di Meo on the Future State Harley title? What do you suppose every of them brings to the desk for his or her respective collection?
Phillips: Each Riley and Simone are unimaginable artists and I’m so fortunate I’ve had the possibility to work with them each. With Riley, now we have a for much longer keep on the e book, so we’re always plotting issues actually far forward (issues from problem 2, for instance, could make one other look in problem 8). With Simone, we had two points to actually pack in a number of content material, and dealing with a extra futuristic Gotham meant a number of room to play with new designs and sci-fi components that you simply don’t see in present-day Gotham. On condition that Riley and Simone have such distinct kinds, I feel it additionally speaks to the elasticity of Harley and the way she’s so dynamic and adaptable to quite a lot of totally different inventive takes.
Grunenwald: You’ve talked a bit about how your tackle Harley Quinn is as a personality who’s seeking to change her methods. We’ve seen a little bit of that already for Harley from James Tynion IV in pre-Future State problems with Batman. How carefully is your work constructing on what’s come earlier than? How a lot, if in any respect, are you coordinating with the opposite Bat-titles (notably the upcoming Joker ongoing collection) on Harley?
Phillips: Harley is de facto devoid of Joker, however, Joker apart, we’re undoubtedly coordinating with the remainder of the bat-family and dealing to create a extremely unified Gotham. What’s happening in Batman will affect our story and vice versa, which I feel is a extremely thrilling characteristic to the Bat books in 2021. It additionally means a number of enjoyable alternatives for character interactions that I can’t look forward to.
I’m additionally actually excited to see Harley work together with acquainted faces, like Physician Hugo Unusual who will likely be making his re-appearance in Gotham this March. I suppose I’ve a factor for dysfunctional psychiatrists, and Hugo is an ideal foe for the upcoming Harley collection. I’m additionally thrilling to introduce some new characters alongside the way in which as nicely!
Grunenwald: You’ve additionally written the inaugural two-part story for the brand new Sensational Surprise Lady collection. What’s the facet of Surprise Lady as a personality that you simply connect with essentially the most?
Phillips: Diana could be actually cussed. She was educated to deal with conditions as a warrior and may typically be rigidly rigid about how she thinks one thing needs to be dealt with. I feel that form of makes her enjoyable to put in writing as a result of it’s very relatable to be a bit set in your methods. However, which means you possibly can put Diana in conditions that check and push that resolve. I like the concept of discovering conditions that make Diana a fish-out-of-water, after which watching her attempt to clear up the problem in a approach that we haven’t essentially seen from her earlier than.
Grunenwald: The story has Diana teaming up with Hawkgirl, which is a pairing that readers haven’t seen too typically prior to now. How do these two characters complement one another? What does bringing Hawkgirl into the story illuminate about Surprise Lady?
Phillips: I’m an enormous fan of Hawkgirl and her inclusion undoubtedly got here from wanting to provide Diana somebody to work together with and understanding that Meghan Hetrick would draw a completely gorgeous Hawkgirl (she did!). Hawkgirl additionally felt like the suitable resolution as a result of I needed to see Surprise Lady work with one other feminine character equally educated for battle. But, Surprise Lady and Hawkgirl discover themselves dealing with a foe with the power to mess with their minds, considerably rendering a sword and mace ineffective. I liked this pairing and hope to see extra of Surprise Lady and Hawkgirl collectively sooner or later!
Grunenwald: Do you’ve another DC initiatives you’re capable of tease proper now? Something you’re enthusiastic about for the remainder of 2021?
Phillips: I’ve fairly just a few issues I’m actually enthusiastic about, however can’t say a lot but! Together with Harley and Surprise Lady, we even have a brief Harley and Ivy story within the upcoming Batman: City Legends anthology, drawn by the superb Laura Braga. This story will tie into the continued Harley run and function a form of prequel to the continued collection.
The second problem of Future State: Harley Quinn is due out on Tuesday, February 2nd, whereas the two-part Stephanie Phillips-written Sensational Surprise Lady storyline is available digitally now.