Of all the characters in the DC universe, Harley Quinn is probably the least in need of a reboot issue. In the last six months Harley has put together a Gang of Harleys, joined a roller derby, and even gained a new love interest (with the Deadpool esque Red Tool). What on Earth could this comic book bring? More importantly, is it good?
Harley Quinn #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about?
“Die Laughing” part one! Welcome back to Harley Quinn’s crazy world on Coney Island…now get ready to wave goodbye, because everyone there just might get eaten alive! Harley’s gotta protect her neighborhood against an all-out zombie apocalypse! Break out the chainsaws, everybody!
Why does this book matter?
Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti wowed me with the last issue in this series so there’s no reason they can’t do it again here. They’ve become experts at weaving in a bit of dirty humor amongst the goodwill and cheer Harley brings to everyone. They’ve certainly established a good soul underneath the murder and outrage, making Harley more unique than ever. Plus, it’s a #1, so it’s a great jumping on point!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Love or hate exposition-heavy issues, you have to admit the writing team covers all their bases in this one. This issue opens with a full recap of Harley’s past, an introduction to all her friends, the Gang of Harleys, and even some of her pets. It’s done in a cute way and even weaves in Red Tool in an organic way. They also manage to write a genuine feel-good moment for Harley and her once-girlfriend Poison Ivy. All in all, this is about as good as it gets for jumping on point reading.
Once that’s all over and done with, longtime readers get a doozy of an action filled and kooky fun sequence too. It involves a cow-befriending alien that leads to one hell of an outbreak (and a solid argument about being a vegetarian!). This allows Palmiotti and Conner to stretch their legs and let the violence fly, complete with fun dialogue from all parties involved. The premise even allows the heroes to do a little killing and be the good guys for once. It’s also a nice way to kick off the issue and leave us wanting more next issue. This all wraps up with a heck of bang that’ll require a lot of teamwork to make work.
The art by Chad Hardin brings a detailed and easy on the eyes look to the comic. Colors by Alex Sinclair help give it all a nice cartoonish pop and props need to go to both parties for making some character heavy panels easy to look at. They also do well with the gore and a rather unique looking alien too. And you gotta love the tool word bubbles for Red Tool.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Longtime readers will be a bit bored reading the first eight pages. There’s nothing wrong with them, and they’re perfectly well drawn and easy to follow, but it’s all stuff we already know. “Get on with it,” is something I uttered to myself. The last two of these eight pages gets a bit boring as well and slows things down to a crawl.
She needs no introduction.
Is It Good?
A perfect introduction to Harley and her friends, a fun wildcard that kicks off an action packed crazy plot, and good art too. Harley Quinn is fun and filled with surprises.