tek's rating: ¾
written by Paul D. Storrie; pencils by Jennifer Graves
DC Comics; DC Database; GCD; Wikipedia; World's Finest
This is a five-issue miniseries first published in 2002-2003, based on the 2000-2002 webseries of the same name. I didn't get a chance to collect it when it first came out, and in the years since then the cost of the individual issues skyrocketed, so that one could easily spend over $100 to collect all five. Luckily, in 2020, the series was reprinted in a trade paperback collection retitled "Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls", and I got that a couple years after it came out. But I still want to review the series under its original title.
So... each issue is written at least partially from the perspective of one of five women: first Catwoman, then Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Detective Renee Montoya, and Batgirl; though all of them play an important part in the story throughout the series. At the start of the story, Catwoman steals a vial of some sort of chemical, and gets chased by Batgirl. She temporarily gets away, but when she shows up to sell it to the guy who hired her, she instead finds Ivy and Harley. They want the vial, and a fight ensues. The vial changes hands several times throughout the series. Meanwhile, Montoya investigates the theft, and eventually teams up with Batgirl against all three criminals, while Harley and Ivy continue to fight Catwoman for the vial.
I don't want to say how it ends exactly, but naturally the good guys (I mean, girls) win in the end. I want to mention that Harley's issue has some callbacks to the 1994 story "Mad Love". There's some decent backstory for Montoya, as well, and I'm not sure if that's new or if it comes from something previously shown either in other comics or on "Batman: The Animated Series". There's also a welcome commentary about the police being problematic. (Part of that is in the form of a brief misunderstanding about Montoya by a witness, and part of it is from Montoya's backstory.) Anyway, I think the characterizations of all the, uh, characters... is pretty decent, and in keeping with the continuity of the TV series (and other Batman Adventures comics), more than the webseries. I liked the story, even if I didn't think it was as good as most other Batman comics I've read, nor the TV show. (I also rated this lower than the webseries, which I didn't remember very well by the time I read this. But it's different enough that it's hard to really compare the two formats.) I'm glad I've finally read the story, twenty years after it came out. I would say it was worth the wait, I suppose, though it could have been better. At least I didn't feel disappointed by it.