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The Smell Of DC: ‘Harley Quinn’ Annual #1 Goes Scratch-’N'-Sniff

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From its lenticular covers to its weekly events to its wanton hiring of Rob Liefeld, DC Comics has brought back a lot of comic gimmicks since starting up The New 52 in 2011.

The newest one will involve Harley Quinn and your nose. That's right. Harley Quinn Annual #1 will be a scratch-'n'-sniff issue, with the smells of leather, suntan lotion, and pizza included. There's also a smell that's purported to be cannabis. That one will be replaced in international issues with "fresh-cut grass."

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Born In A World Of Tragedy: Greg Rucka Reflects On His Batman Work, Part One [Interview]

Batman: No Man's Land novel cover

To say that Greg Rucka had a profound impact on DC Comics in the 21st Century is underselling things quite a bit. After arriving on the scene in the late '90s, he became one of the few writers to have written all three of DC's biggest characters, with critically acclaimed runs on Action Comics and Wonder Woman. It was on Batman, however, where he made his biggest impact, as one of the writers for the year-long No Man's Land crossover, the relaunched "New Gotham" era of Detective Comics, and cowriter of the enduringly influential Gotham Central.

Today, we begin an in-depth look back at Rucka's tenure on the Dark Knight, starting with No Man's Land, both the comic and its surprisingly popular novelization, in which Gotham City becomes a dark dystopia following a cataclysmic earthquake; his feelings about the core idea of Batman; and his frustrations on seeing the Joker show up in the pages of Superman.

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The Arkham Sessions: The Laughing Fish, Harley Quinn, And The Joker’s Diagnosis

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When Gotham Bay is plagued by a mysterious toxin, boatloads of fish are turning up with a grotesque disfigurement: The trademarked Joker perma-smile. Batman -- working alone again -- is energized to be back on the Joker's trail, and soon learns that a binary compound of the toxin can affect humans, too. Written by Paul Dini and based on comic book stories by Dennis O'Neil and Steve Englehart, this episode of Batman: The Animated Series packs the kind of action and adventure the show is known for. How can you not love a shark wrestling scene?

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Link Ink: ‘Arrow’ Gets A Different Katana, New Justice League Six Flags Ride And Hawkeye’s New Movie Costume

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Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.

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The Arkham Sessions: The Psychology of The Joker & Harley, Electroshock, And Suicide Squadding

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The Arkham Sessions is dedicated to the psychology of Batman, so it seems almost like an ethical duty to cover a movie about Arkham Asylum, Gotham City's mental health facility for the "criminally insane." In the newly released direct-to-video animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham, a highly-skilled group of assassins and outlaws are called together by Amanda Waller to take part in a risky -- possibly life-threatening -- mission to infiltrate Arkham Asylum.

Does it help or hurt that members have a history of incarceration, criminal activity, and psychiatric treatment related to lack of moral sense? Perhaps Waller is brilliant to devise a plan that can only succeed via the knowledge and insight of persons who have been through the system.

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we gently put aside the VHS and screen a contemporary work from DC Universe Animated. Use the player above to listen to our spoiler-free analysis of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Black Spider, Killer Frost, KB Beast, and, of course the Joker.

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Wait, Did ‘New Suicide Squad’ Just Become DC’s Smartest Team Book?

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When DC Comics launched its "New 52" Universe a few years back, Suicide Squad was pretty much the bottom of a barrel that wasn't really in good shape to begin with. Despite being an attempt to revive one of the best, most elegantly crafted and thought-provoking superhero books of the 1980s, the New 52 version was a noisy, soulless mess that ended up doing almost irreparable damage to characters like Harley Quinn in the name of making something more extreme, in a true late '90s Juggalo sense of the word. When the series was finally canceled and relaunched, I honestly wasn't expecting it to get any better, especially since the new lineup included the addition of one of the worst new DC characters of the past several years.

But we're two issues into what writer Sean Ryan (and about 27 artists so far) is doing with the re-relaunched title, New Suicide Squad, and while I'm not sure, I think it might actually be the smartest team book DC's putting out.

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Mondo To Release ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Music On Limited Edition Vinyl [Video]

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The boutique merchandise arm of the celebrated Austin movie theater the Alamo Drafhouse, Mondo's about to level up with its most ambitious music plan yet: a series of vinyl-only releases of Danny Elfman's music from Batman: The Animated Series.

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Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman, Bruce Timm’s Harley Quinn, And Shirtless Arrow Highlight DC Collectibles’ Comic-Con Presentation

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For many collectors, Comic-Con International means an opportunity to get stuff, and DC Collectibles seems more than happy to oblige. This week the company revealed a truly massive amount of toys and other products that will be available later this month in San Diego, including a super-posable Harley Quinn action figure in Bruce Timm's Batman: The Animated Series style and a new Wonder Woman statue designed by current series artist Cliff Chiang.

Other offerings include a series of Batman figures designed by Greg Capullo that include Zero Year's purple-gloved Batman, a line of Arkham Knight action figures in which Harley Quinn is rocking a truly hilarious tutu, a line of action figures for the CW's Arrow that will feature both a shirtless and hoodie-wearing version of the vigilante archer, and a piece we're nicknaming "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Superman."

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Hello Kitty Teams Up With Gotham City Sirens, Who Can Save Us From All This Cuteness Now?

Hello Kitty x DC Comics Villains, image via idlehands1.blogspot.com

In the world of superhero comics, we're most certainly no strangers to so-called "good guys" going bad, but at long last, even we have to wonder: Is no one immune to the siren call of supervillainy?! Is there no one so wholly devote to the cause of good that evil cannot sink its cruel talons into their soul?! Can any wholesome cuteness triumph over the wicked inclinations of life as an arch-criminal?!

It seems it cannot, because now, Hello Kitty has become a supervillain. Or at least, she's dressing like one in the latest licensing collaboration between Sanrio and DC Comics, which features everyone's favorite icon of cuteness cosplaying as a trio of Batman villainesses.

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Link Ink: ‘Big Hero 6′ Posters, Cyborg in ‘LEGO Batman’ And Harley Quinn’s Planned Appearance In ‘Arrow’ Finale

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Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.

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