Harley Quinn #4

This series has been less than thrilling. Let’s recap:

#0– was hilarious and stunning. A who’s who of comic book artists paying homage to Harleen Quinzel. It was awesome.

#1– didn’t live up. It was a slow start with inconsistent art. Still, I was hopeful that once Harley got settled into her new Brooklyn home things would ramp up.

#2– Poison Ivy comes to visit in a plot that (inadvertantly- I hope) paints animal/environmental activists as nut bags. With a little Gotham star-power courtesy of Dr. Pam Isley, I liked it… but it didn’t do much in terms of overall plot. 

#3– A lovepotion/date rape drug gets HQ in some trouble with some ex-cons. Nothing happened. And it wasn’t funny enough to make up for it.

But I said I would give this series 5 issues to go somewhere. Because I have faith in Amanda Conner and I want Harley to do well… But I only have so much time and money. And I don’t have it in me to hate read this the way I’ve been hate reading Forever Evil. 

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And #4 made some headway in convincing me to stick around. This issue was funnier, zanier and we made some (slight) headway in finding where all these Hitmen are coming from. Harley puts on her regular people disguise and heads to her therapist job at the nursing home which leads her to taking a patient’s family hostage. She misses a roller derby match which leads her to an impulsive decision to take the other team out of contention. When she makes it back to her office she meets up with Sy Borgman, formerly Syborg, a retired supe who recruits her to finish a job that he started in the sixties against Russian Mafia. 

Now that sounds promising!

The art: Stephane Roux kills it in this issue. Hey Paul Mounts does colors! While not as bright and Shiny as the back pages of the X-Men, our colorful Harley Quinn stands out against dingy urban backgrounds and her sparse office. 

Dammit. I’m going to keep having to buy this, aren’t I? Check out the variant cover: Awesome.

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Harley Quinn #1

Harley Quinn #0 was so frigging awesome. One might think it would be tough to follow that up… and they’d be right.

Unfortunately the official first issue of Harleen Quinzel’s first book didn’t rock my socks off the way that issue 0 did. 

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Dr. Harley and her little furry friends leave Gotham and their exploded dumpster home behind and head for Brooklyn. She inherits her building as promised… but there is a catch, the tenants- including a Danzig look a like- are behind on their rent, she’ll need to collect and then make half a fortune herself as she tries to pay for the building. So she paints herself up human for a therapist job at a new-agey drug free clinic and joins the roller derby- All the while dodging assassination attempts. 

Newbie Chad Hardin’s art is detailed and suits both Harley and Brooklyn. However it seems as if even on the same page he can’t decide whether he’s going for Harley: playful scamp in a skimpy clown costume or stonecold icequeen sexpot. There’s nothing wrong with big boobs or skimpy clothes, but when facial expressions take the serious and sexy at random intervals and necklines and cupsizes change at random… I’m miffed.

I do have hope for this series yet. Harley is showing off her sensitive and independent side and we’re rooting for her to foil the assassins and their benefactor. Unfortunately, fans got a slow set up with this first issue.