REVIEW: Harley Quinn #1
Harley Quinn has a loyal, loving fan base and last month readers got a taste of what Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s Harley Quinn title would be like. Major Spoilers read the debut to see if it pleases or feels like a giant hammer to the face.
Fun comedic tone
The art is outstanding
May be too unrealistic for some
Previously in Harley Quinn: Harley found the artist for her comic and learned that a previous dead patient left her an apartment building. Perfect timing considering her last home blew up.
FINALLY SOMETHING OTHER THAN DOOM AND GLOOM
DC’s been putting out some good books but they all have one thing in common: They’re very dark and serious. Forever Evil hasn’t helped, telling a story of villains taking control of the world and (not really) killing the Justice League. Fortunately, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have decided to break that trend with the Harley Quinn series. I’ve always seen Harley as a silly, needless character but this issue and #0 have kind of made me fall in love with her. This is such a fun book that doesn’t take itself seriously. Harley’s on her way to claim her apartment in Coney Island on a motorcycle carrying an insane load of possessions. Along the way she rescues a sad, abused dachshund and kills an assassin with a giant sledgehammer. She soon needs a job and tries out for a roller derby team, earning it by violently taking out the other contenders. Sound loopy? It is, and the whole book is packed with this very brand of crazy. I loved the change of pace from other books and the over-the-top nature worked well. The whole issue feels like one big cartoon with Harley as its insane star. Like the zero issue I was amazed by how much I enjoyed it too. I would like to eventually see what an evil, twisted take on Harley, much like what Snyder did with the Joker, as she’s never presented as a threat but this fits perfectly with other things I’ve seen her in. Besides, in this current DC climate the last thing needed is another dour book.
BEST LOOKING BOOK ON THE SHELVES
Chad Hardin’s art is outstanding. Period. Nothing is ignored or left out. His ability to draw various explicit facial expressions on Harley and others is ridiculously insane. Detail is flat out amazing. Just look at the pages of Harley riding her motorcycle carrying a giant bag overflowing with numerous silly objects or the shot of Harley’s apartment on Coney Island. There’s an energy and motion to the work, perfectly presented in the roller derby scene. Even the damn wiener dog’s emotions are conveyed wonderfully. Little jokes are peppered throughout such as a beggar in a V mask holding a sign asking to help pay off his student loans. Anyone able to look at the panel of Harley holding her hammer in front of wreckage and tell me it’s bad needs to be hit with said hammer. Alex Sinclair’s vivid colors deliver as well and only add to the awesome. This is one of, if not the best, looking comics on the racks.
BOTTOM LINE: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Those on the fence about this book need to pick it up, especially if you’re looking for a change of pace. Sure it’s silly and none too serious but it’s fun and while some may be turned off by its lack of realism, that’s not really the point. The point is to enjoy the crazy ride. Hell, the art alone is well worth $2.99. Harley Quinn #1 earns 5 out of 5 stars.