This re-introduction of the infamous Dr. Harleen Quinzel is exactly how it should be. My favorite bits about the whole issue would be how hard the fourth wall keeps getting torn down, the teasingly meta concept, and lastly just how spot on Harley Quinn’s personality is. The writers literally start talking to Harley out of nowhere, and while at first it would seem like a common gag, if you consider that she was already having a conversation with a stuffed animal, this could have been a reference to her unstable mental state. The “voices”- writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti- guide our dear HQ through several 2 dimensional incarnations of herself. Did I mention the conversation these 2 interrupted was about her being a main character in a comic book? That’s right. They went there. Anyway, she goes through many incarnations from whimsical (Tiny Titans’ Baltazar) to her original style by Bruce Timm. While an homage to the talents of each artist, the glove just didn’t seem to fit. Harley Quinn picks at the quirks, slightly inappropriate scenarios, and cliches that come up with each artist’s style. It’s awesome that how different she looks between artists doesn’t seem to affect how the writing duo depicts Dr. Quinzel’s personality. As a reader, you know that this Harley is the one you’ve always known, yet different. She is a Harley of a new era and thus deserves a new artist, whose style we are introduced to at the end of the comic. Oh, and the story gets started there, too.
Now, I know I said earlier that Harley Quinn has never gotten nearly enough attention as a solo character rather than Joker’s attachment at the hip, but Joker has always been such an integral part of her mania! There was not nearly enough of him in this issue to at least pick on how ridiculous her obsession/loyalty/Stockholm Syndrome to him is. Sure there was a bit, and depicting him as a monster and one point was very well done, yet it just ain’t Harley if she didn’t lose herself completely in her Puddin’ at least once or twice when talking about her previous incarnations.
While I know it’s mostly for quality and publishing reasons, I am really, really upset that this series is only going to be monthly. I want more already! I wanted more and started writing this piece when I got to the 3rd artist! Just like how Harley is 10 outta 10, this issue is a 5 outta 5.
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