So far in the New 52, Harley Quinn has been used in a lot of big stories from Suicide Squad to Death of the Family. However, most writers have missed on the potential of what makes the character fun for fans to read. Harley Quinn #0 doesn’t set up any kind of exposition for the series, but it does show off a world of fascinating levity the character can have. That’s what’s really important. Right, Jimmy and Amanda?
Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, the plot is as stripped down and simple as they come. Yet when read together these pages manage to have a subtle complexity that out morrisons Grant Morrison. Quinn daydreams about having her own comic book. Conner and Palmiotti interact with the character throughout the book in a shattering of the 4th wall. They put Harley on a different adventure in every page poking fun at the books seventeen artist. Harley Quinn’s only minor issue is that it can feel like a bit of an inside joke, which is both good and bad depending on what side of that fence you land on. If you had to compare the narrative to anything, think of the old Looney Tunes short where Daffy Duck kept arguing with the artist. We mean that in the absolute best way possible.
Harley Quinn #0 is intended to be eye candy wrapped in a psych evaluation. Having seventeen different artist in a book could have been a disaster but here it shines as being, not only pretty, but well planned. The pages from Art Baltazar, Adam Hughes, Bruce Timm, Walt Simonson, Tony Daniel, and Jim Lee all flow into one another in a way that’s far from jarring. Every sequence gets great milage out of its heritage. Particulalry the scenes from Hush and Timm’s Mad Love. It all plays so well into Harley’s loopy psyche that I feel like I’m one of the people interacting with her. The controversial Harley suicide scene was altered to avoid further blowback from readers, but the winner, Jeremy Roberts, delivers one of the most gorgeous scenes in the book. It’s a show stealer of a page. In addition to this, he’ll be drawing Stormwatch #30; Robert’s is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Overall the issue the issue doesn’t set up much for next month’s issue one, but that doesn’t take away from how fun this book is to read. It’s the wacky, witty, and crass charm we love about Harley Quinn. If this is any indication of what the character can be in the series then this should definitely be on your pull list.