Written by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Amanda Conner, Becky Cloonan, Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea, Stephane Roux, Dan Panosian, Walt Simonson, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Bruce Timm, Charlie Adlard, Adam Hughes, Art Baltazar, Tradd Moore, Dave Johnson, Jeremy Roberts, Sam Kieth, Darwyn Cooke and Chad Hardin. Yes really, all of them.
Colours by Paul Mounts, Tomeu Morey, John Kalisz, Lovern Kindzierski, Alex Sinclair, Lee Loughridge, Dave Stewart and Alex Sollazzo. Yes, really. All of them.
Letter by John J. Hill
Cover by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts
Published by DC
Harley’s back! And she’s noticed she’s in a comic!
And if she’s sensible then she’ll be very happy to see the people writing her and the book. Conner and Palmiotti are all but incapable of turning in bad work and this is no exception. The framing pages by Conner are great, her usual style and humour in full effect. The centre pages are more varied, because, let’s face it, how could they not be with a line up like this? The Darwyn Cooke pages are especially lovely, as are the Art Baltazar and Bruce Timm ones. Some work less well, the Simonson page is lovely but slightly minimalistic, but overall the art teams turn in excellent work. The colourists and letterer Hill also deserve a medal for being able to not only work with the numerous art styles but give the book a sense of unity.
So what about the plot? This being a zero issue, the plot is mostly Harley realizing she’s in a comic and discussing the direction of it with Conner and Palmiotti as the art styles influence the plot. It’s really fun too, combining some demented action beats (Harley surfing dolphins into battle) with some nicely handled smaller moments and some great rolling banter. Throughout, Harley is the same flamboyantly violent energiser bunny she’s always been. Conner and Palmiotti clearly love the character and the three way conversation (And fight) between creators and character is hugely entertaining.
If there’s an issue here, it’s that some of the industry in jokes either fall flat or never take off. Good naturedly mocking Jim Lee for being late is a single, huge fish in an empty barrel at this point for example. People will either be amused, confused or nod resignedly and the odds of getting a laugh aren’t high with that sort of gag. However, the vast majority of the gags land very well and the sense of dark fun that comes with them is great.
Harley Quinn has always been one of the most entertaining elements of the Batman universe and here she finally gets another moment in the spotlight. This is a spiky, sparky prelude to what looks like a great run by a pair of great creators. Give it a shot. Or Harley will find you.