Those of you who read my last review involving the New 52 Villain Month Special: Harley Quinn would know, I am really not a massive fan of her Suicide Squad variant. So needless to say, I was really apprehensive about her having her own series within the new world of DC Comics, but I do enjoy the works of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, so this gave me a sense of optimism. I will not bore you with the details of her costume, as those of you who have seen my previous reviews know I am not the biggest fan of how she looks these days…
That being said, I picked my copies up of Harley Quinn #0 (yes copies, I had to get all the covers) and approached it with an open mind, and here is what I have to say on her solo series.
There is not much of a plot to this issue, it’s very light-hearted. I cannot believe I am saying this, but despite it not looking like Harley Quinn, there are certainly personality traits of her, and this brought a smile to my face… a bitter and annoyed smile. Why? Cause I didn’t want to like it! I’ve been so against the New 52 Harley Quinn since day one, that I expected to hate this. I judged this before I even read it, and I actually enjoyed it. The issue is a showcase of incredible creatives getting together and bringing Harley Quinn back to the readers (the little bit from Bruce Timm, for me, was a little nod to his fans and fans of Harley Quinn, to say “it’s OK… she’s evolved a bit”). This is just a fun issue and not to be taken seriously by any means at all; they break the fourth will a bit (very reminiscent of what you’d see with Deadpool in my opinion) by making her interact with the art, the writers and the reader. It’s very disjointed in stylisation and artwork, however when you have 19 different artists working on one issue it’s going to happen! Which is why you really need to view this piece as a showcase; an introduction to where the solo series is going.
If I really had to find something to criticise it would be the fact that I found Jim Lee’s piece to just be a bit of a cop out, it’s basically a recycled page from Hush, just Harley as her New 52 self. Just seems like not much effort went into that piece, I expected something a bit more I guess. Though that being said, I really liked the overall art and feel of the entire comic. We even got to see the debut of Jeremy Roberts- the winner of the contest DC Comics ran a few months ago, to give aspiring comic book illustrators a chance to get into the comic themselves (even I drew up a piece, but never grew a pair and entered!). The contest was extremely controversial due to some content, but it was altered a little bit to prevent further controversy; which I am glad to see they did after the major response from the fans.
So after this amazing showcase of artists and little fun Looney-Toon-esque snippets, we close with the work of Chad Hardin, who is going to be illustrating the main series! The pages he illustrates give us a quick build up of what we are to expect from the new solo Harley Quinn series. Hardin creates a stunning look within Harley’s new world, and is very expressive; and captures a nice quality of Amanda Conner’s art just with a bit more darker tones and grit. He fits the bill nicely, and despite me still not seeing Harley in these… I’m not as apprehensive anymore. So I will be going to buy Harley Quinn #1.
I will try and cast aside my issues with the New 52 and give this Harley a chance. Why? Cause Bruce Timm gave it a nod.