Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Joker's Daughter

UKPONDSIDE posted the following message...

Hey, Bob, nice stuff with the pics and stamps and all, BUT COME ON, MAN! Surely you are aware of the HEAT that you have caused, surrounding a certain New 52 DC female character! Uh, THE JOKER'S DAUGHTER, aka Duela Dent!
With the absolute buzz surrounding the 3D cover of Batman - Dark Knight 23.4 (The Joker's Daughter), surely you are willing to give us a behind the scenes expose from the great mind that wrote the original Joker's Daughter script in Batman Family #6, plus many of her other early appearances!
Please enlighten us as to the direction you wanted to take her, and her "intended" identity, and if the current writers are doing your character's story justice!

Actually, UK, I haven't caused any heat regarding the current incarnation of a character I created thirty-seven years ago. I have nothing to do with any of DC's current output nor am I on their comp list, so I haven't even seen the issue. I have taken a look at some of the reviews of it that have appeared online, however (and particularly enjoyed the video of Rich Johnston putting his copy in the microwave). Based on what I've read in those reviews, I have no interest in seeing the actual story.

My version of the Joker's Daughter was created as a foe for Robin when I was writing his solo adventures in Batman Family.

After her first appearance, she returned as Catgirl, claiming to be Catwoman's daughter, and then as the daughter of a bevy of Batman's foes in a Robin / Batgirl team-up story. By the time of that third tale, editor Julie Schwartz and I had decided we wanted her as a hero rather than a villain, so she revealed at the end that her plan all along was to become a member of the Teen Titans.
Oh, yes, and that she was actually Duela Dent, the daughter of Harvey (Two-Face) Dent. Harvey, with his fixation on the number 2, had wanted twins. I got some flak from fans about the fact that Dent had not become Two-Face until after Robin had joined Batman, so how could he have a daughter who was now the same age as Dick Grayson? I explained it away with my theory of "selective aging" -- Duela got older faster, the same way that Dick went from being twelve to eighteen while the rest of the Batman cast remained the same ages. Hey, it's comic books!
Duela did indeed join the Teen Titans, changed her name to the Harlequin, and was with the team when they ended up in a battle with her father.

When Teen Titans was cancelled, Duela joined Dick Grayson as a student at Hudson University and appeared in a few more of his solo tales in Batman Family and Detective Comics. That was the last time she appeared in a published story I wrote. As the Harlequin, Duela was scheduled to appear in a back-up series in The Vixen. I wrote the first script for that series, but it was never drawn, as the book was cancelled before it appeared during the DC Implosion.

Marv Wolfman used Duela in a throwaway bit in his Teen Titans story about Donna Troy's wedding. In it, she is portrayed as an older woman. (Talk about selective aging!) She also turned up in other incarnations, including as a semi-regular in Tiny Titans, and was explained away (and killed) in Countdown, one of the more recent revamps of the DC Universe.


  1. Hi Bob. Thanks for your reply. Yea, man, I know you didn't have anything to do with this 'hoopla' that's going on now. I too enjoyed Rich's 'microwave 'Joker' dinner'! That was hilarious! I thought he would reveal the reason for his decision, and one can only assume it was because of the utterly disappointing, and ridiculous story line!

    I've been collecting the older appearances of Joker's Daughter (the great stories that you wrote). Specifically Batman Family #6, 8 & 9, as well as Teen Titans (1966 series) #46, 47 & 48. Did you personally keep any of the early issues from back then?

    Anyway, it was GREAT chatting with you; I often chat (email) with Johnny Romita Jr. about his current works and such. We met at a comic convention in London, UK in 1992, and then again in Leeds, UK in 2010. He and his wife are really nice people, and we really hit it off.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I participate in a small comic's blog that's only been going since March this year, and with you GRACIOUS permission, I would love to re-post your comment here onto our blog. Actually, I would love to have you as a special guest on our blog, say for an hour session for Q & A...all for fun of course. My blog-mates would love to get insight from the ORIGINAL Joker's Daughter writer himself!

    I certainly understand if you would rather me not to post your comment, and I certainly would not without your permission, so please if you could be so kind as to let me know either way.

    Thanks for the chat.

    BTW, I have read the 3d Joker's Daughter, and the Microwave was letting it off EASY! Those things have been selling on EBAY for hundreds of dollars, JUST BECAUSE OF A STUPID GIMMICK 3D COVER! DC should be ashamed of themselves! I remember the gimmick cover's of the 90's, and how they almost destroyed the we go again! Marvel are coming out with their Acetate covers next month I think....crazy!


    Take Care,


    1. Ken, feel free to post a link to my blog on yours. And if you'd like to send mesome questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you.