Story: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner
Art: Chad Hardin
What They Say:
Harley and guest star Poison Ivy set out to rescue a bunch of cute puppies and kitties! What could possibly go wrong?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Harley Quinn worked well to do a lot of series and setting establishing in the first issue that gave her some great digs and a lot of fun to work with in an open ended way. It also made her responsible, which helps to keep her from going completely dark and crazy since the book wants to have twisted fun more than anything else. That can be a hard line to walk depending on not just the character, but the talent involved, but so far it’s definitely working well. By putting Harley in a position where she has to do mundane things like collect rent, pay bills and work jobs while also factoring in her wacky side, it hits the right notes regularly by making you laugh at the absurdity of it all. And this installment does that quite a lot.
As Harley continues to get situated with her new place, we get to see how she’s expanding on our overall knowledge of it. That starts off with her getting to meet Madame Macabre, who runs the wax museum on the first floor devoted to the world’s greatest killers. Which is why she gets to spend her time grinding on the statue of the Joker there, giving her the right kind of thrill. The time the two spend together has a twisted nature about it since Harley’s in the need for a really big fridge and Macabre can point her in the right direction, but the reason for needing the fridge is what’s unusual as Harley needs a place to store the bodies of the killers coming to collect on her. With her address published to the internet, the schmucks thinking they can off her are out in spades. That has its fun in a couple of places in the book, but it also continues the mystery of who actually requested the kill in the first place.
Where the book really goes is adorable and goofy as while out and about doing her thing, she comes across a protest at a pet adoption place where she learns that a slew of animals are about to be killed as they can’t sustain operations with them there for more than thirty days. That has Harley coming up with a comically simple plan to rescue them, but one that involves having Ivy coming to visit from Gotham to help out with it. Though the caper is short and comical with what it does, since Harley’s plans don’t go right – in her mind – and she ends up with a slew of adorable animals, the real fun is just in having her and Ivy together for a bit. That’s been a huge draw for many fans for several years and watching it play out here with its lightness but also the connection that really works just makes it a real pleasure to watch amid all the other silliness.
Harley Quinn is certainly hitting the right sweet spot with what it’s done in terms of humor and connecting to the familiar characters that populates her world. Giving us a little time with the Joker in some form is cute, but it’s the Ivy time that really makes it work well overall. The dynamic between the two is fun and will be the real highlight here, but the book also does some fun stuff in establishing more of who works in the building Harley now owns and some of the small changes made throughout to the place, especially with what Ivy adds to it at the end. The series has some really fun moments throughout and it moves quickly, but not so fast that you feel like it’s a breeze without any meaning. There’s lots of great little moments that builds the whole and makes it a really engaging world right from the start that continues to leave you wanting to know more of how Harley will run this little patch of earth she has.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: January 22nd, 2014