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Harley Quinn/Gossamer #1 Review

Harley Quinn takes in Gossamer as one of her own and the backup story is all kinds of delightful.

Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Sholly Fisch
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At first glance this combo in the long line of Looney Tunes meets DC Comics doesn’t make sense. Gossamer is a nonsensical sort of villain who is silly and also weird looking. Harley Quinn is a nonsensical sort of villain who is silly and also (sometimes) weird looking. Oh wait, now I get it!

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

A violent storm leaves a large crate washed up on the beach at Coney Island. When Harley breaks it open to see what’s inside, she suddenly has a new playmate to add to her cast of friends-a large, furry, orange beast called Gossamer. It’s all fun and games until a giant robot attacks them. But who sent it? Harley immediately suspects only one man, but is it really The Joker behind this destructive rampage?

Why does this matter?

Harley Quinn is teaming up with one of the weirdest Looney Tunes ever and that’s just perfect. This is also the return of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner on writing their beloved Harley Quinn. This is about as zany as comics get get, folks.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Harley and Poison Ivy go to the beach. Again! Credit: DC Comics

There are big beats in the main story that are quite good. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are clearly having a lot of fun writing their once ongoing character of Harley and it’s like they never left. Poison Ivy makes a return and the sexual tension between her and Harley continues. There are also Harley’s sidekicks and some big time faces that crop up in the story. Gossamer is treated somewhat like one of Harley’s pets and she feeds the monster, protects him, and generally befriends the beast very quickly. In all seriousness, the plot makes a lot of sense.

The art of the main feature by Pier Brito (colors by Paul Mounts) has a grit to it that suits the down in the dumps cityside lifestyle of Harley. Gossamer is quite hard to render realistically, I imagine, and Brito does a fine job at making him fit into Harley’s world.

The backup by Sholly Fisch and Dave Alvarez is quite good. The visual style by Alvarez is cartoony, like something you’d see playing after The Animaniacs. The color is also spot on, giving Harley a pasty complexion and the rest a super cartoony look. Fisch delivers on the humorous gags too. A delight.

Gossamer sure is a freaky looking dude. He must work out. Credit: DC Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

I could not get over how wordy the main feature is, which is probably a silly thing to say given the writers involved here. That said, it almost seems wordier when it takes seven pages to get to the Gossamer/Harley connection. If you asked me after the fact I’d tell you this main story was 50 pages just by how boring portions of it were.

The use of Gossamer makes sense for the character, but it also seems like a huge swing and a miss. Treating the character like yet another pet of Harley’s seems to make the crossover feel like any other Harley comic. In most scenes he’s sort of just there plopped down next to Harley as she goes on and on about whatever she fancies.

Is it good?

I wanted to like this comic but only barely got through it. It’s a shame too because the main feature has the story beats to be great, but it fails to use Gossamer in an interesting way and suffers from overly wordy scripting. It’s still a fun comic though and the backup is an entertaining cartoon in comic book format.

Harley Quinn/Gossamer #1
Is it good?
If you stand back and look at it it's a fun little romp with a great backup. That said, the book is paced too slowly and it can be a chore to get through.
Harley and Gossamer basically get to hang out for a day which has its moments
The backup is highly entertaining and looks fabulous in its cartoony style
The main story is way too wordy and takes ages to get going. It also seems to meander and take its time to hit its bigger story beats

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