Harley Quinn is getting an all new backup feature with the help of Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini! That comes complete with a new story arc that starts this week.
Is it good?
Harley Quinn #17 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“Deadly Sin” part one! The twisted Harley Sinn’s been released from prison, and she’s looking to hurt Harley in a whole new way…by going after somebody she loved and lost! And to make this issue extra-unmissable, a brand-new backup story begins, set in Harley’s earliest days with the Joker—and co-written by one of Harley’s original creators, Paul Dini! “Harley Loves Joker” kicks off as Harley makes the biggest mistake of her burgeoning criminal career…accidentally revealing the location of Mistah J’s hideout!
Why does this book matter?
Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner offer up a helping of the Harley we’ve grown to love and Palmiotti and Dini team up to give us a helping of the Harley we loved from Batman the Animated Series. What’s not to love about that?!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first page does a lot to show and not tell.
The backup is great fun and for Batman the Animated Series fans may be worth the price of admission alone. Bret Blevins draws a fantastic backup bringing back the old school feel of Joker and Harley (with some added sex appeal too) and Alex Sinclair’s colors delivering that cartoon charm too. This story is basically a day in the life of Joker and Harley without too much meanness from Joker. Instead, they make each other happy particularly because Joker is sad about crimes being committed he was planning. It all opens with a fun full page splash of iconic characters as Joker and Harley kiss. It’s a feel good sort of story and is well worth a look.
The main story does a lot to set up a new arc which involves homeless folks disappearing off the street. Palmiotti and Conner utilize a bunch of the characters in this one effectively linking them into the caper. There’s also the much needed message of why homeless being are homeless at all. Via dialogue, Harley explains how it’s not so simple for them and that maybe we should be reaching out to help them. Awww, bless Harley’s heart. The art by John Timms and Marc Deering with colors by Alex Sinclair look fabulous; it’s detailed, fun, and works well to fit all that dialogue.
Thinking happy thoughts.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Aside from setting up the conflict, the main story doesn’t do a lot in the way of laughs or action. Much of it is talking, with one full page devoted to the mayor simply explaining to Harley what the issue is, which ends up dragging the story on. The premise isn’t the most complicated as of yet, though it does get set up with a great first page layout that shows and doesn’t tell.
Is It Good?
A good start to a new story arc and a fantastic backup that’ll tug at your Batman: the Animated Series heartstrings. Get this for the backup alone.