Release Date: February 19th, 2014
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Publisher: DC Comics
Written By: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art By: Chad Hardin
SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY ISSUE! AwWz!
DC’s Harley Quinn is pure, blatant, slapstick insanity. It’s like reading a 3 stooges movie in comic book form. There are absolutely no apologies made or punches pulled as the most random character in the DC Universe…doesn’t really accomplish much of anything.
The writing makes sense for the character in that it makes absolutely no sense. If you picked this up thinking it may be similar to Deadpool with his irreverent but well-thought out ways, you will be disappointed. Harley may be as crazy as Deadpool but her landlady antics don’t feel like they matter to anyone except the people in her book. Whereas someone like Deadpool could easily affect the entire Marvel Universe in one issue. Landlady? Wait what? Yeah, apparently Harley inherited an apartment complex and has to collect rent and grown up stuff like that. In this ish, someone actually hires her as a psychiatrist…no…seriously. While it may be fun, it is definitely detached from the rest of the universe except when other characters like Poison Ivy, and the inevitable Catwoman cameo, pop up. She also must contend with a very potent love spell cast by a plant left behind by her partner in crime. She causes a mass riot and an overturned prison bus while chit chatting with her dead, decomposing, stapled to a skateboard, pet beaver. It’s confusing and I don’t know if he’s alive, a ghost, possessed, a figment of her imagination. I just don’t know. And that’s the fun in this book. It’s nonsense but it’s funny and weird and comes with its very own accompaniment of brand new fresh supporting characters. The nonstop slapstick silliness may be overwhelming at times but a minor storyline breaks that up from time to time.
The artwork is worth the cover price alone. While Hardin is a relatively new name on the scene, his pencils in this book are some of the nicest lines you can find today. The characters are beautiful and expressive. They’re campy and over the top just as the tone of this book seems to intend. The facial expressions are so well-planned and meticulous, the reader can follow the story just by inferring the emotions from them. The 1st page in the book is proof. The same goes for body language. The poses and movements are all intentional and lend a very big hand in telling the story. The inks and colors are so nice over Hardin’s pencils that it looks like it was painted from time to time.
Check out the facial expressions:
While Harley Quinn may not factor into any other New 52 books, which is not a complaint, this book is fine as a stand-alone little pocket of the universe. I’m sure she will be included in someone’s misadventures soon but right now she is wacky, irreverent, nonsensical, and pointless. That’s just the way Miss Quinzel rolls.
As a side note, Harley ends this episode in a hardware store wielding a blowtorch, nailgun, weed wacker, and various other toolman accoutrements. After the carnage, she sits down with her only true friends. These guys: