Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Harley Quinn Valentine's Day Special #1 Review (2015)

Date Night

Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by: John Timms, Thony Silas, Ben Caldwell and Aaron Campbell
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 11, 2015

I have a confession to make, I love Harley Quinn.  I mean the book...or do I?  Thanks to Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, I have grown to love the character and that's a big deal because I was never a big fan.  That has all changed thanks to the pop culture references, poop jokes and all-around zany fun that Palmiotti and Conner shove into the book each issue.  That being said, you know what's better than Harley's solo book?  The special issues like this Valentine's Day Special.  These stand-alone issues have been so much fun and this one is no exception.

This is a Valentine's Day issue so it's no shock that love is in the air.  Of course, when Harley is involved things aren't ever caviar dreams and champagne wishes.  The issue revolves around Harley trying to win a date with Bruce Wayne and it's as funny as it sounds.

Bruce has agreed to auction himself out for charity and when Harley finds out, she has a brand new obsession.  Unfortunately, she doesn't have the coin to get what she wants, so she goes off to "acquire" it.   Mixed in with the main story is a subplot with a zany new villain, The Carp, and a couple awesome dream sequences.

If you've been reading the regular Harley Quinn book, you know what to expect.  If not, let me fill you in.  Palmiotti and Conner poke fun at DC, current events and even themselves.  However, the thing that I've noticed more and more from this book is how well they are at showing Harley's big heart.  Sure, she is insane to the point of ridiculousness, but Jimmy and Amanda "get" the character and at the end of the day, you can't help but fall in love with her.  Just ask Bruce.

Speaking of Bruce, Harley does win the date with him.  She took the money from a great Bernie Madoff analog and used it for her own sexy purposes.  When The Carp (and his trusty sidekick, Sea Robin) interferes, it's up to Harley to save the day.  She does and Her and Bruce end up having a lovely date night.  After all the hijinx, it was actually nice to see the date played pretty straight. Harley deserved it.  The issue ends with a nice visit from Batman that ends with a pretty hilarious put-down.

I don't think it's any mistake that this special issue felt a whole lot like an episode of Batman '66.  The Carp could have been a great villain on the show and the issue was full of campy references from Bat Spray to the fire pole entrance to the Batcave.  I'm a huge fan of the show and Harley so I was literally in Heaven.

The art was split up between four artists and I didn't mind one bit.  I have been very vocal about multiple artists, but an oversized issue like this usually demands it.  Maybe it was because all the art was so good, or maybe it was the breaking the fourth wall explanation for it, but I loved the varied look throughout this book.

Bits and Pieces:

This is yet another great special issue of Harley Quinn.  Maybe it's just me, but Harley and Valentine's Day seem to go together in a sadistic, twisted and awesome way.  Throw in a campy filled issue that could have been lifted from a Batman '66 episode (that could never, ever be aired) and you've got yourself an issue that I can easily recommend to any Harley, Batman or comic fan out there.  Happy Valentine's Day.


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