Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Review

Harley, You’re the Greatest

Written By: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini, Daniel Kibblesmith, Chip Zdarsky 
Art By: Paul Mounts, Bengal, Dustin Nguyen, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair, Babs Tarr, Annie Wu, David Lafuente, John Rauch, Greg Tocchini, Kamome Shirahama, Joe Quinones 
Letters By: Dave Sharpe, Tom Napolitano, Corey Breen 
Cover By: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
Cover Price: $4.99 
On Sale Date: September 13, 2017


Wouldja lookit that? Harley Quinn vol. 3 just had its 25th issue, and now we’ve reached the character’s 25th anniversary! What the hell was I doing twenty-five years ago…? Whoa! Yeah, I was on my Harley Quinn shit. Let’s celebrate Harley’s anniversary and my having survived my teenage years by reading my review of Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1, right here!

Explain It!

I can remember the first time I saw Harley Quinn—not the actual day, but around the right time. It was about 1993, and I was watching Batman: The Animated Series, when I saw an episode I hadn’t before which featured Harley. I don’t remember which episode, I just remember thinking: “The Joker has sex?” It never occurred to me, really, that he could have feelings for anyone other than the Batman. Yet after seeing a few episodes featuring their antics, I saw a side of the Joker I’d never considered: a human side. Sure, his relationship with Harley was abusive and he’d throw her under the bus (literally) in a heartbeat, but the Joker spoke to her in a way he didn’t talk to anyone else; traded cutesy names and seemed pleased by her touch. At first, Harley Quinn’s feat was to make Joker sympathetic.
Two and a half decades later, she’s a core member of the Suicide Squad (comic and film versions) and has her own series separate from the Joker that is nearly in its own corner of the Multiverse. Harley Quinn consistently sells the most DC Comics after Batman. And the swag—oh the swag! She may be just next to Batman in that category, as well. I don’t think of the Joker having sex when I see Harley Quinn anymore (in fact I try to avoid thinking of the Joker having sex altogether), I think of a fully-formed, brassy character whose motives far exceed her relationship to the Joker. In the pages of Palmiotti and Conner’s Harley Quinn, she’s a fiercely loyal supporter of the underdog that likes to smash things with a giant hammer. And she tries to have sex with Poison Ivy a lot.
There’s no point to breaking down this issue, it’s an anthology of self-encapsulated short stories, by some of the biggest talents in comics. There are a few pin-ups that are pretty cool and bring me back to an older time in comics. Some of the stories are flashbacks, some could take place in the present day, but none are very steeped in the complex continuity coursing through the current Harley Quinn title, so fans of the character that haven’t religiously followed the comic book can get this issue with confidence. It really is an all-star roster of writers and artists, and while I don’t think any of these stories will turn any heads away from the Dark Nights: Metal/Mr. Oz/Mr. Miracle reveals happening on the same day, none of them are stinkers. This is a fine way to recognize a character that went from a parody of one of Paul Dini’s actor friends to a cornerstone of DC Entertainment’s roster.

Bits and Pieces:

A well-constructed anthology book of various Harley Quinn stories that should titillate any level of Quinn-phile. That's a thing, right? There's some great creators on this book, so it might be worth getting just to have this work in one place. Or maybe you want to read about Harley hitting on Poison Ivy some more. Either way, you're good.


No comments:

Post a Comment