Harley Quinn is a psychotic killer and this series captures that perfectly. Three pages in, she’s kidnapps a dog she likes and drags the original, self-absorbed owner behind her motorcycle by wrapping a whip around his neck. Presumably he dies when Harley becomes distracted by a fellow motorcyclist determined to shoot her. That’s just how the book starts.
The basic plot is that an ex-patient of hers died and has left her a building in Coney Island and she has to pay a host of back taxes and property taxes for it. It seems like a dull, real-world problem to give Harley but it's handled beautifully, in fact it adds to the wonderful oddness of the book. The people who live in her building are a rag-tag bunch that looks like they dropped out of a circus’ freak show. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of them as series continues and I can’t wait. In this issue, in order to pay back the taxes Harley strips off the makeup and applies for work as therapist. But that’s so conventional, so for extra cash she tries out for and joins a professional roller derby team. And as it turns out the man on the motorcycle was only the start of the people who will be trying to kill her, a second assassin makes an attempt oh her life but is stopped by one of her tenants.
So much is going on in this story it’s a tightly-told first issue The Conner/Palmiotti team clearly know what they’re doing with this character, beyond that they know how to tell a story. In addition to that Chad Hardin’s art is fantastic, Harley’s face is so emotive and even when she’s Dr. Quinzel she is still recognizably Harley.
I don’t like doing this. I like to have at least one thing to offer by way of critique for a book but not this month. Harley Quinn #1, there is nothing I can say to improve you.
This book is wild, funny, casually violent, and just a bit sexy. So the bottom line of Harley Quinn #1 is yes. Just yes. Buy this one.
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