Harley Quinn #1 Review

With last month’s zero issue restoring my – and no doubt many other people’s – faith in the Harley Quinn character, as presented in DC’s new continuity, this month’s issue was eagerly anticipated.

And it doesn’t disappoint. The writing duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, as expressed through Chad Hardin’s art and Alex Sinclair’s colours, maintain that reawakened love for everyone’s favourite kooky clown.

A review should not simply retell the story, however for those unfamiliar with the narrative thus far, please forgive and permit this brief recap.

Harley, having daydreamed her way through the prior issue, is on her way to New York to claim an apartment bequeathed to her in a former patient’s will. In issue #0, Harley was essentially living in her lock up and, to great comical effect, has decided to bring its entire contents along with her. The eagle-eyed reader will spot at least one easter egg in the mass of personal items piled on to the back of Harley’s Harley (geddit? *wink wink*).

When the kids these days want to proclaim that something is profound or deep they say that it is so “meta”. Well issue #0 was so meta, and this issue continues the trend.

For example, where is Harley’s new digs? Coney Island. Whose roller coaster rides inspired the look of Harley’s on/off, long-time beau, the Joker? Coney Island. Harley’s reaction to the mistreatment of a dog reminded me of Nietzsche’s reaction to the mistreatment of a horse, only with more retribution and less nervous collapse.

Harley’s collection of comics includes various current New 52 titles, including Suicide Squad. Then there is the beggar in the V for Vendetta / Anonymous mask. And the scene where Harley is putting on makeup before a job interview that perfectly mirrors a scene with the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman.

All of this before we even get to Harley joining a roller derby.

I recommend – nay implore – you to buy this comic. I know I haven’t even mentioned the plot, but I don’t want to give too much away. Let me just say this: as well as being framed in the aforementioned gratifying moments (and there are a few others that I didn’t even mention!), the story is solid and intriguing enough to carry our interest until – at the very least – the next issue.

So to conclude: Harley Quinn #1? Highly recommended. It’s fun. (And wouldn’t that be the point of a book featuring Harley?) Buy it. Buy two. Put one in storage and put the other in your bed so you can snuggle it and kiss it, or sellotape it to your chest so it can always be close to your heart, or eat it so it will be part of you forever and ever. Heck, do the same with issue #0, if you haven’t got that little gem already.

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Hopepunk. Wonderist. Writer. Operating in a paradigm wherein Chaos Magic is the Punk Rock of the Paranormal and Comic Books are our modern Grimoires. A manifestation of Crowley's Aeon of Horus if you will. Dave views his contributing role to Sequart as the opportunity to nurture and hone his craft. All the while celebrating the comic medium and exploring it's interpretation and importance.

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  1. coby criste says:

    eh, can’t say I agree with you there. I thought the thing was stupid. seems like they were trying too hard to be funny and witty and meta, like Deadpool or something. I loved Harley Quinn’s character in Batman TAS and the Arkham video games, but hated her in her solo comic. I don’t think she really works without “Mistah J” to play off of.

    • ...David Whittaker says:

      Relatively speaking, from a personal perspective, having endured some pretty awful treatment since the New 52 began. Both from writers and fellow characters, I’d much prefer a smart and goofy attempt at portraying Harley. This seems much more in keeping with her original portrayal.

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