Responding to the backlash to the tryout page for DC Entertainment's Open Talent Search, Harley Quinn co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti has clarified that a scene depicting the fan-favorite character in a bathtub, seemingly planning suicide, is merely a surreal dream sequence.
"That the tryout Harley Quinn page went out without an overall description of tone and dialogue is all my fault," he wrote this morning on his Facebook page. "I should have put it clearly in the description that it was supposed to be a dream sequence with Amanda [Conner] and I talking to Harley and giving her a hard time. I should have also mentioned we were thinking a Mad magazine/Looney Tunes approach was what we were looking for. We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Powergirl series we did. I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention. I also hope that they can all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up. The idea for the page to find new talent is an amazing one and we hope that can be the positive that comes forward from today on ... that we get some new talent working in our field because of this unique opportunity."
Palmiotti added, "All I write are strong female characters. Ever. Here is the short list: Painkiller Jane, Powergirl, Tallulah Black, 21 Down, Terra, The Resistance, Ame-Comi girls, Triggergirl 6,, Alice in Monolith, The lead in Queen crab, Retrovirus, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, Beautiful Killer, Gatecrasher, and so on .... For those worried about Harley Quinn."
Announced Thursday, the talent search is for an artist for one page of Harley Quinn #0, a prelude to the new series by Palmiotti, Conner and Chad Hardin. The script called for a panel in which Harley is depicted "sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of 'oh well, guess that’s it for me' and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen."
Harley Quinn #0 arrives Nov. 6.