Harley Quinn #0 was an absolute blast, being one of the funniest books I have read this year. It even had an amazing showing last month by being the second most purchased comic — beating out X-Men, Spider-Man, Justice League, both crossover events (Infinity and Forever Evil), and The Walking Dead. That’s just incredible. Now that the “first” issue is here, does it keep that momentum that issue #0 got rolling? Is it good?
Harley Quinn #1 (DC Comics)
Harley Quinn has arrived at Coney Island, having received an apartment building from an ex-patient who recently died. With a colorful cast of residents and also lots of free space for her, it feels like she has hit the jackpot. However, her new life doesn’t come cheap. Also, her life may be in danger a bit.
Worse road rage than Gotham City? You sure you wanted to move here?
Unlike the zero issue, Harley Quinn #1 is more straightforward and less fourth wall breaky (like promised at the end). That said, this was still a fun issue overall. As a debut issue, it does its job right by hitting on all the important points: writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti introduce us to our main character and help show what kind of individual she is, introduce the supporting cast, set up the current storylines for the series, and end it all with a good cliffhanger to hook people into seeing more. In general, the whole issue is just mostly setup, but it’s well done regardless.
The rest of the writing is also strong. While it is not nearly as funny as the first issue (the humor is a bit darker in comparison), there’s still a good amount of humor evident in the dialogue, visual gags and the situations Harley gets herself into. I was specifically impressed with the way the dialogue added distinctive bits of personality to everyone, like the scenes with Big Tony for instance. Harley Quinn #1 is also well-paced: nothing goes by too slow or too fast — and there’s plenty of content that never bogs the story down. With so many stories out there that feel like they don’t accomplish much or try to cram too much in recently, it’s nice to see a comic that strikes the right balance.
We can’t afford copyrights to have that song in this comic. Cut it out!
Chad Hardin, on art duties, does a phenomenal job here. His characters look great and are incredibly lively; what is most impressive is that every single character has a different face, even the background characters. His settings and locations are wonderfully drawn and extremely detailed (I mean, just look at that two page spread in the book!). Also notable were the great visual and background gags (plus a few Easter eggs) sprinkled through the book. It’s not on the same level as Rob Guillory or Andy Price, but in a comedy, I always appreciate that kind of humor. Outside of one or two expressions where a character’s smile ends up making them look older than they are (nitpicky I know), the artwork is just fantastic and well suited for this zany book.
Better hurry, you don’t want Velma to get the job before you!
- Great start with lots of potential
- Writing is strong and the humor is good
- The artwork works perfectly for the book
- Mostly just setup
Is It Good?
Harley Quinn #1 is a great start to the book. It’s mostly about setting things up for the series, but undeniably entertaining notwithstanding. This is a book with tons of promise that everyone should give a look.