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DF Interview: Steve Pugh brings us a HARE-raising Harley Quinn during Convergence
By Byron Brewer
It’s a nostalgic return to the Gotham of yore (or at least ONE of them) as Convergence hits, and Harley Quinn is indeed enjoying her so-called “normal” life. That is, until compatriots Catwoman and Poison Ivy draft her to fight … Captain Carrott! (Captain Carrott??!)
It’s Gotham City Sirens as you remember … and NOT, coming in April from writer Steve Pugh and artist Phil Winslade. To learn more, Dynamic Forces managed to penetrate the Dome and chat awhile with the scribe. Here is what he told us.
Dynamic Forces: Now let’s get this Convergence event story straight, Steve: This Harley Quinn miniseries picks up from where the series Gotham City Sirens ended in pre-Flashpoint continuity, right?
Steve Pugh: Yeah, maybe a month or two later, after they've gone their separate ways. Harley is out and about trying to prove she can make it without being a tag-along to Catwoman and Ivy. She sees the opportunity for a big headline crime to make a comeback into Gotham's underworld.
DF: So, as a writer or admitted fan of the Maiden of Mischief, give us YOUR take on Harley Quinn? What makes her tick?
Steve Pugh: She loves the excitement of her life, she loves the craziness of it all but she always seems to need someone to share it with. She needs an audience and in many ways she needs a family, and in her past that's led her into some bad hookups. In the New 52 universe, Harley seems like a much more independent character, and in our story we see the beginnings of that. She started to make life for herself. Find friends on her own terms, even be the stronger one in her relationships.
DF: I understand HQ will be joined by Guest Villains (as they say in Batman ’66) Catwoman and Poison Ivy. What is the “present” relationship of this trio?
Steve Pugh: Yeah, they parted on bad terms at the end of Gotham Sirens, but the Dome has changed pretty much everything about Gotham and their lives. Catwoman worked with Batman and that caused some bad blood at the end of Gotham Sirens, but that's all under the bridge now and Ivy seems to have cut her own deal with Batman. As for Harley, they kind of lost track of her. Her big return to crime went badly wrong and she's trying to find a life without the costume.
DF: Speaking of returns … CAPTAIN CARROT??! How did the Captain get into this?
Steve Pugh: I love that guy! Yeah, he's all my fault, I really wanted Harley to be up against someone who would capture her imagination and the readers. I mean, anyone else would be fazed for a couple of seconds and then fight the rabbit. But Harley is totally in love with the idea of him, he's a cartoon come to life and that's exactly how she fights him. Like she's in her own cartoon with her big mallet and dynamite.
DF: Were you a fan of the Amazing Zoo Crew, and will we see any of its members herein as well?
Steve Pugh: Sure, we get most of the Zoo Crew in the story as a supporting cast, Pig Iron especially gets a meaty supporting role, but the focus is mainly on the wielder of the Cosmic Carrot. They're an excellent bunch of characters and I'm very jealous Phil gets to draw them. He does an excellent job, though!
DF: How does your HQ mini tie into the main Convergence titles, if it does?
Steve Pugh: The entire future of Gotham rests on the shoulders of Harley Quinn! That's important enough to make everyone feel very, very nervous --HA!
DF: What does artist Phil Winslade bring to the table? Are you a fan of his work?
Steve Pugh: I've known Phil since college. We've been encouraging each other along and we've always wanted to work together, but I don't think either of us thought it would be with me as writer! He's perfect for this job as he can draw an expressive, athletic Harley, a vast convincing cityscape of Gotham or any member of the Zoo Crew with the same dynamic brilliance. I'm very lucky they let me work with him. They don't usually let the two loud kids at the back of the class sit together!
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Steve Pugh for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Convergence: Harley Quinn #1 hits stores April 8th!
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