The beauty of a one-shot story is it usually delivers an entertaining experience in one sitting. It may set something else up, but dammit it should make you feel satisfied by the end. Let’s see if this Jim Lee drawn one-shot can deliver. Is it good?
Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad: April Fool’s Special (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? Per DC Comics’ solicit:
Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, M.D., welcomes you to Evil Anonymous, the support group for super villains in need; where no problem is too insane or homicidal, and where discretion is assured as only a clown princess of crime can—which is to say, not at all. But when Harley Quinn starts using her patients’ own evil schemes against them, it turns out that a much bigger, far more dangerous, and truly life-altering joke is being played on her.
Why does this book matter?
Okay, so Jim Lee doesn’t draw every page in this issue (20 pages to be exact), but still, how can you pass it up?! Sean Galloway draws the middle portion of this longer issue with a very cool cartoony feel. Meanwhile Rob Williams writes a story about Harley Quinn finding a bit of meaning in life. Sounds like a good time!
Fun letter there.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
First of all this is a great looking issue from both artists. Jim Lee’s pencils are every bit as detailed and nice looking as his work on other projects and we get some fantastic panels and a large portion of the DCU too. The first portion Jim Lee draws is basically a Man-Bat meets Harley Quinn caper, but later we get all the great Justice League heroes. Lee has a way of drawing Harley so that she’s relatable, but also nuts, fun and even heroic.
Meanwhile the middle portion of the book drawn by Galloway is very crisp and clean that reminds me of Steven Universe. It’s not too jarring of a change either as Harley is sure she’s seeing differently since she hit her head. The style not only makes the story feel more fun, but it works well as Harley goes into psychotherapist mode with a variety of villains working their stuff out on a couch. Galloway also does a great job with the character designs as the villains have a simplistic cartoon look.
The story is fun and light, as an April Fools-titled book should be. A mysterious figure gets Harley to buy into the idea of an evil anonymous therapy group and quickly you’ll buy into the premise too. The Harley/Man-Bat scenes are all action, but the dialogue is fun as she attempts to deliver therapy in the air. The middle section plays to the issues of each villain and comes with a surprising twist and a reminder that Harley is nuts. Eventually the silly nature of the script turns serious and serves a purpose which makes the read feel important and necessary.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’ll be interesting to see how this comic book changes Harley’s character elsewhere because it appears to be shifting the character from good and back to her evil ways. It’s too early to tell—maybe this whole issue serves as a way to have her bounce back and forth, but I can’t imagine fans will like the new direction if it is attempting to do that! Aside from this obtuse direction this is as good as comics can get.
Nice joke to start the issue.
Is It Good?
Humorous and light with great art that delivers a very fun read for Harley and comic book fans alike. The fact that it ends tying into a bigger story makes this a must read.