Review: Harley Quinn #0
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Harley Quinn. She’s never appealed to me in a way that has made me care about her. After buying Harley Quinn #0 on a whim, that stance might be changing soon.
The scatter brain plot works surprisingly well as an argument for buying a Harley Quinn ongoing. It’s hard to think of her as anything but the love interest of the Joker, but Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti effectively bring her true nature out while giving artists a try. But while we know how this book will be written, and the tone the writing team will use, we don’t know that much about Harley. Yes, she is in love with the Joker and a quite insane. But that isn’t enough to be the basis for an ongoing series. She’s very entertaining to read, as I found myself laughing quite hard through much of the issue. But I don’t feel like I know who Harley is by the end of the issue. It’s one issue, so this is not the end of the world. #0 uses its humor to entice an audience and it does it correctly.
#0 works much like a Deadpool book. She knows she’s in a comic, actively talks to the creators (to the point where they are in the book), and can’t stop making jokes. Given the editorial nature of late at DC, I’m surprised at some of the jokes that Conner and Palmiotti got away with. While they don’t go into the shocking territory, jokes like the poke at the sales of Palmiotti’s books was just enough edge to make the jokes stand out. The humor sticks to the character of Harley instead of relying on pop culture trends for laughs. This works both for humor, and as an intro for the character. Conner and Palmiotti use of pop culture is sparse, but effective. They are built around jokes where the reader doesn’t need to get the exact reference, and can enjoy the scene anyways. That’s pitch perfect writing, and something I wish more writers would consider when making the references. I’ve never seen the point of a #0 issue, when a #1 is going to accomplish the same things as a #1; introduce the character and the purpose of the story. #0 accomplishes that well, as I’ll be buying #1 when it hits the stands.
The team of artists seems to be having a ball with the script. Amanda Conner’s pages near the beginning and end make me wish she was penciling this book. The only page that doesn’t seem to fit with the rest is Jeremy Roberts. His Harley looks drastically different compared to the rest of the book. His page originally had the controversial suicide panel, but that has been taken out. Considering she is trying to commit suicide in the rest of the page, it wouldn’t have stood out amongst the rest. Chad Harden (the artists for the ongoing) pencils last page and a half. He has toned down her new costume a tad, which works for the better.
Harley Quinn #0 is a rare #0 issue that works. It’s funny, and gets the reader hooked on the character. While it’s not perfect, Conner and Palmiotti seem to have created a fun ongoing with Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn #0 gets 4/5.
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