The upcoming six-issue crossover series, Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica promises to bring the best of both Gotham and Riverdale’s most infamous dysfunctional duos together for the first time — and the moment couldn’t be more opportune. With the hit CW live action TV series Riverdale confirmed for a second season, and Harley Quinn’s 25th Anniversary just over the horizon, the cross over cosmos is definitely shifting into alignment.
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The project brings Harley’s co-creator Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series) together with Marc Andreyko (Love Is Love, Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77) as writers, with DC Comics Bombshells artist Laura Braga on art.
CBR spoke with Dini and Andreyko on the Comic-Con International show floor to get the latest details on the story, the process, and what fans of both DC and Archie comics can expect to see
CBR: We know a little bit about Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica already — we know that Veronica’s going to potentially be kidnapped?
Marc Andreyko: Well! There’s a plan to kidnap her…[laughs]
Oh! So there’s definitely something happening there, huh? Can you tease a little bit about how that particular dynamic between the girls is going to play out?
Andreyko: Everything that’s been released has been about the swamp right? The draining of the swamp between Gotham and Riverdale? Hiram Lodge is draining the wetlands to build a university out of the “goodness of his heart.” In this world, Gotham and Riverdale are very close to one another so Ivy goes to try and kidnap Veronica Lodge, and Harley’s just along for the fun of it. It’s a roadtrip.
But then, something happens in the second issue that complicates everything in an amazing way. It’s Monty Python meets Noises Off on a crazy level. When you read it you’re going to be like “of course that’s what they’re doing” but I don’t want to really tell you beforehand because the discovery is an important part. But it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.
Paul Dini: Yeah! Once we got the basic idea, it was like a ripple effect. We had to broaden it out and look at what else is going on, who else is in the story. When we first find Harley and Ivy, it’s Ivy who really wants to go all gung-ho and charge into action and Harley’s like “well, y’know, everybody in Gotham is mad at us and we’re kind of in hiding…” So that becomes an issue, too. There are a lot of people in Gotham who don’t like Harley and Ivy at the moment so…is Riverdale witness protection for them?
So there’s a chance that Harley and Ivy might just go elope off into Riverdale for a while?
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Andreyko/Dini: You’ll see!
Andreyko: It’s literally been writing itself. We’ve been having weekly dinners. The first dinner was just plotting the broad strokes of the mini, and we were both like, “What about this?! What about this!?” And it’s been totally spoiling me. I’ve been blessed that very project I’ve been working on has been more fun than the last. I just wrapped Batman ‘66 meets Wonder Woman ‘77 and I’m going into this — and it’s just so much fun. It feels like we’re in a sandbox playing with action figures.
Speaking of action figures — Who else from Riverdale and who else from Gotham can we maybe expect to see?
Dini: You’ll have to read the book! We don’t want to blow the surprises.
But we can definitely expect to see some supporting cast in there, right?
Dini: Of course!
So we’re coming into this book at kind of a big time for both Harley and Betty and Veronica with all three of them getting major live action incarnations for the first —
Andreyko: Not the first! There’s been some TV movies, [laughs] some Archie tv movies. There was Riverdale and Back Again which was an unwatchable TV movie.
Oh, right! That’s absolutely true.
Dini: They’ve been trying to do live action Archie over the years and it’s always just died in pilot form.
Andreyko: But Riverdale is a really good show!
So what can people who might be coming to these characters for the very first time, maybe from Suicide Squad or Riverdale expect to see in this miniseries?
Andreyko: Well, we’re not doing any specific version of the characters, we’re doing what I keep calling a “salad bar” version. We’re trying to keep the themes and the character traits — you know, the important parts of what makes these characters these characters. But whether you know them from the movies, or Harley from Batman: The Animated Series or Harley from Jimmy [Palmiotti] and Amanda [Connor’s] book, or Betty and Veronica from Riverdale — this’ll be acceptable for all of those fans. It’s gonna have a more “DC Comics” sensibility thanks to our artist Laura Braga, who’s doing some amazing world in Bombshells right now. It’s gonna have that look to it, but it’s going to be accessible for everyone.
If your mom grew up with Betty and Veronica, she’ll be able to read this and enjoy it.
Well that’s perfect, because my mom definitely did grow up with Betty and Veronica and loved them, so I’m excited to tell her that.
Andreyko: Yeah! This is not inside baseball. It’s not fan-fiction for the sake of fan-fiction. It’s going to be a fun story that’s accessible for everyone. The more you know about the characters, the more you’ll get out of it, sure, but we’re trying to tell a story that I can show my mom or my sister and they’ll have fun.
Speaking of “family friendly” accessibility, Harley Quinn’s kind of an “envelope pusher” in terms of DC characters. She’s become very famous for her “edgy” sensibility. What version of Harley can we expect to see? How much of that edge can we expect to see in this mini?
Dini: We’re definitely going for more of the “manic” Harley. Mischief, more than edginess. Like Marc said, she’s very much just along for the ride and yet she’s prone to go off and do screwy things and take people a little too literally, which will have a domino effect like that.
Ivy’s definitely the more serious one. She’s the one who’s driven who really is like, “okay, let’s try this the regular way. Let’s try and be reasonable.” Which, that doesn’t get them very far. So it’s back to being more themselves, which of course kicks off a lot of the trouble.
And Betty and Veronica are, of course, more themselves, too. So it’s everybody doing what they do best and that’s the engine that propels the story.
Andreyko: Yeah! And in issue two, what they do best gets flipped on it’s head. It’s a lot of fun because there are so many parallels in the Betty/Veronica and Harley/Ivy relationships and we’re going juuust left of center with that. It’s enough that we’re being faithful to them, but we’re doing a lot of things people won’t expect.
People are definitely going to have preconceived notions of what this book is just thanks to the pop culture, and we want to play with that, but over the course of plotting it out we’ve discovered some new things.
It’s a book that I would want to read and that’s the best part. Writing a book that you’d want to see is the best place to be.
Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 hits shelves on October 4.