After a rip-roaring good time with the madcap Harley Quinn #0, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, along with artist Chad Hardin, get into the meat of Harley’s story with Harley Quinn #1.
Forget what you thought you knew about Harley Quinn in the New 52: this is a whole different character. Connections to the Harleen Quinzell from Suicide Squad and Scott Snyder’s recent “Death of the Family” arc are almost nonexistent. And that may not be a bad thing
Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti essentially rebuild the character from the ground up. She’s still crazy after all these years, and willing to kill at the drop of a hat, but she’s also incredibly likeable. Defender of abused puppies and stuffed squirrels alike, Harley’s manifest destiny-style trip to the Big Apple is full of fun and hijinks (and just a little less fourth wall breaking than issue zero).
The plot: Dr. Quinzell has inherited an apartment building in Coney Island but with a catch: taxes. Two things are reliable in life (and comics, apparently): death and taxes. It’s time to hit the job market. Preferably with a mallet.
Conner and Palmiotti have crafted something new and different to add to the DC lineup—a title that is genuinely light hearted and funny.
Harley Quinn isn’t concerned with whatever ten issue world-ending event is currently ravaging the DCU. It is exists in its own universe, which happens to be whimsical and a little psychotic.
Chad Hardin’s artwork is flat out beautiful. His rendition of Harley is lovely with a touch of cheesecake (though never too much). Whether she’s kicking butt in her new Roller Derby-inspired costume or putting on “make up” to interview at a clinic, Hardin is more than suitable for the task.
The only downside is that Amanda Conner’s gorgeous cover initially outshines the interior work. Having her writing prowess on the title certainly helps to alleviate the loss of her as an artist, however.
This book isn’t for everyone. Many readers enjoy continuity between their monthlies. The fact that Harley Quinn lives in its own world may be off-putting for some. Also, the humor is slightly reminiscent of Marvel’s fourth-wall breaking, wise-cracking psychopath, Deadpool, and—while not nearly as played out as the latter—Harleen Quinzell may come across as a “knock-off” to some.
Harley Quinn #1 is a uniquely funny title in the grim, dark landscape of the New 52. Writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti craft a funny tale, brimming with charm and charisma, and quite unlike anything else on the DC stands today.