So for my latest review I’ve moved away from novels and short stories and decided to celebrate and showcase my total obsession for all things Harley Quinn.
I was ecstatic when I found out Harley Quinn was getting her very own comic book series, I love her in everything I’ve read that she’s appeared in, loved the cartoons from when I was a kid and of course there are the computer games such as Batman: Arkham Origins in which she features once more as Mr J’s personal doting ball of crazy.
Firstly I personally think the cover to Harley Quinn #0 is stunning. The clothes and style in which Harley herself is drawn in (by Amanda Conner) portray her in her more sexual variant, while the inclusion of a large Mr J (iconic if not slightly odd in this form), covered in red lipstick kisses- presumably from Harley because who else would have him, pays homage to Harley’s ever eternal, sadistic and twisted infatuation with The Joker.
Moving on, the story for this issue focuses on Harley musing over the possibility of having her very own comic series, contemplating the different scenarios, clothing options and of course who would be the best artist for the job. Now I’ve heard of comic writers occasionally breaking the fourth wall- but Harley Quinn #0 doesn’t just break the fourth wall…it totally demolishes it and leaves nothing but rubble behind!
The first scene in which readers meet Harley is not the most flattering, featuring an assortment of rubbish, junk and a rather dirty and disheveled Harley; and she doesn’t seem to be in this state for any particularly stimulating reason. But she’s soon tidied up, whisked off, the fourth wall is smashed and the fun begins as Harley, the writers and various talented artists have her play out different scenes.
One of my favourite inclusions throughout the whole issue is the use of typical Harley phrases such as ‘Puddin’, ‘Hunky Monkey’ and so on. Combined with the generally witty banter between the writers, artists and Harley Quinn, and the lighthearted approach; these phrases bring Harley’s character to life in a new way but also acknowledges the much-loved and iconic past of Harley’s character history. Also featured were other favourites of mine: Poison Ivy, Catwoman, The Joker, Batman, Harley’s trusty sledge hammer and a mention to my other slightly morbid love: Suicide Squad.
All the way through the art is again stunning, amusing and eyebrow raising- I never envisioned what Harley would look like as a pageant queen and now I know why, but interesting it was. Now it comes down to the nitty gritty. My favourite two scenes are the one by Jeremy Roberts- definitely want to see some future collaboration between Mr Roberts and Harley Quinn, and artist of Harley Quinn #1 Chad Hardin. Unfortunately having a most favourite means I also have a least favourite. Again I have two scenes by artists which are just as talented as the rest but who’s work didn’t really push my buttons, and they are Darwyn Cooke, because although the skill is evident I was never a huge fan of the Jetson; and Art Baltazar- again obvious skill but it was just far too cutesy for my slightly more macabre taste.
Overall I have high expectations for great things to come for future issues and would recommend to anyone looking for something new to try- especially people looking for something different to the regular novel. My only decision is whether to buy it as individual issues, or save some space on my groaning bookshelf and wait it out for the graphic novel- I’m just not sure I can wait that long for my next Harley Quinn fix!