It’s Valentine’s Day and Harley Quinn doesn’t plan on spending the night alone. Good thing Bruce Wayne is up on the auction block (for charity, of course).
HARLEY QUINN VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL #1
Writer: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: John Timms, Ben Caldwell, Aaron Campbell, Thony Silas
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: John J. Hill
Editor: Chris Conroy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Previously in Harley Quinn: A new home, a new supporting cast, and a a whole lot of cray-cray adventures have kept Harley Quinn busy these last couple of years. Fans have taken to the Conner and Palmiotti character so much so, that she will continue to have an ongoing series, a team-up mini-series with Power Girl in June, and because of the holiday, her own holiday special.
SHE’S THE QUEEN OF THE WORLD
It’s Valentine’s Day in New York City, and Bruce Wayne is up on the charity auction block to raise money for a cat and dog shelter. Of course there are some people who think the money should be spent on the aquatic life, which gives Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti a chance to introduce The Mighty Carp, and his sidekick, The Sea Robin! This inept duo are the funniest villains since the Condiment King appeared in Batman: The Animated Series. The Mighty Carp has a plan to kidnap Bruce Wayne at the charity auction, hold him for ransom, and use the money to build a fish sanctuary in Florida. He’s not the smartest goldfish in the pond, and watching his logic fail toward the end of the story is wonderful.
This is a Harley Quinn issue, and she has her own plans for the auction – to actually bid a million dollars to win a date with the dreamy Mr. Wayne. The only problem is she is short about a million dollars. Instead of robbing a bank, she decides to go after the worst 1-percenters out there to get the necessary funds to woo Mr. Wayne. I haven’t been reading Harley Quinn, so if this is the direction Conner and Palmiotti have been going, I rather like it. The rob from the bad to fund her schemes plan has been seen before, but the execution by the husband and wife team works really well for the title character.
When Harley’s scheme doesn’t go as she planned, it’s up to her to rescue Bruce from The Mighty Carp (and Sea Robin). She does it perfectly, and for the right reasons – LOVE! The shenanigans of this issue don’t go unnoticed by Batman, and the exchange between Batman and Harley is a classic Silver Age gimmick that brought a smile to my face. Throw in several dream sequences, appearances by Poison Ivy and Edgar Fullerton Yeung (Egg Fu), and a quick swim with a whale, and this was the best DC Comic I’ve read this week.
ART OF THE DREAM SEQUENCE
With all the pages packing this special, it makes sense that there would be multiple dream sequences in this issue. It gives John Timms a chance to keep up with the main story, and gives other artists a chance to shine in one of the more popular titles from DC Comics. The three sequences are great and so telling in the way the Bruce Wayne and Harley Quinn look at relationships – or lack thereof. And the fact that each dream sequence is radically different than the main story keeps everything popping through the entire issue.
As far as John Timms main art sequence, I like everything he does in this issue except for the noses. They all look too sharp at the tips and too wide at the brow to look natural. Other than that, the color, layouts, and staging of characters in panel works for me.
BOTTOM LINE: BETTER THAN A DOZEN ROSES
There are many Valentine’s Day gifts that are simply a waste of money, but for $4.99 you can’t go wrong giving this issue to someone that matters to you. This Valentine’s Day caper story is full of moments that will bring a smile to your face, and put a little love in your cold heart. Though Harley is technically committing a crime, who she robs is okay by Batman, and it looks like she is changing her ways. The Mighty Carp and Sea Robin definitely deserve to be seen again, and the art works throughout the book.