Comic Reviews 

Review – Harley Quinn Vol. 1

Review - Harley Quinn Vol. 1

Review –  Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Harley vs Apokolips

Publisher: DC Comics

Writers: Sam Humphries & Christopher Sebela

John Timms/Alisson Borges
Mirka Andolfo/Max Raynor

Colouring: Gabe Eltaeb

Cover Artists: Guillem March & Tomeu Morey

Release Date: 05 Dec 2018

Harley Quinn is Back, Baby!

All Harley wanted was a dang vacation. Just some nice quiet “me time” in the small island country of Badhnisia, situated in the South China Sea. Sun, sea, sand and sanity. Is it too much to ask? Apparently, it is. Whisked to the scariest place in the known universe, Apokolips. Harley is given an offer she cannot refuse: join the Female Furies, get kick-ass powers and wreak havoc! This may very well turn out to be the best vacation ever.

Tasked by Granny Goodness, Harley along with her new superpowers, must hunt down a rogue Fury by the name of Petite Tina. Sounds easy, right? Oh boy… this is a Harley Quinn story we’re talking about. Nothing is EVER easy. Turns out Petite Tina isn’t as “tiny” as her name suggests. Y’know what though? She’s a pretty sweet gal, despite being a soldier bred in the pits of Apokolips. Harley has a dilemma on her hands, take down Tina and hand her over to Granny Goodness or face the wrath of the Furies. Choices, choices.

Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Harley vs Apokolips is the start of a new era for one of the most popular characters in comics. Collecting Harley Quinn #43-49, this series is packed with the Quinn craziness we all know and love, plus with tighter ties to the DC Universe.

“Our Little Harley”

To say I am a fan of Harley Quinn would be a bit of an understatement. I adore Harley Quinn. So, when this popped up to review I jumped at the chance. Issues 45 to 49 were fun to read. However, I struggled a little with Issues 43 and 44. Forty Nine connects perfectly to the last four issues as upon Harley’s return to Earth, she finds out her hideout/home is days away from being demolished and turned into condos. I understood that, and I enjoyed it.

Review - Harley Quinn Vol. 1
“Thwack Goes The Deee-mons!”

Forty Three and Forty Four is where I struggled. Taking place before Harley’s adventures in Apokolips, it sees her trying to figure out who is out to kill her. There was just one slight snag, it was all in her head. As a reader, following this, the story felt like a drag. Now, don’t get me wrong, Harley Quinn has forever been a kooky character. Much like Deadpool, she knows she’s part of a comic book so essentially “talks” to the reader. This is fun, this engages us as the reader. The problem is, and I’m unsure if this was intentional or perhaps just my version, but #43 and 44 were after #45-49 in the running order.

I hadn’t noticed this the first time round, but upon looking back as I write this, they’re at the tale end. There’s even a little note from the comic’s editor saying it takes place before Apokolips, making the reader think perhaps this is a flashback. According to the run number, it is not. They are #43 and 44. Why they were placed at the back of the book I haven’t the foggiest.

“Harley Love in Save The Last Dance”

Despite this little snag, I really did enjoy the comic. Sam Humphries and Christopher Sebela certainly did justice to who Harley is as a person. She is constantly conflicted by wanting to do the right thing but, ultimately, all she wants to do is have fun. Harley can easily be swayed, especially by bad guys like Granny Goodness. She also has a child-like quality about her.

John Timms, Alisson Borges, Mirka Andolfo, and Max Raynor are to be thanked for the art, which is genuinely beautiful. Touched up by Gabe Eltaeb’s colours, each page was just lovely to look at. I’d also like to give a shout-out to letterer, Dave Sharpe! If he’s the one who added all the colourful text to nuance what characters were saying, I doff tip my hat to thee! Very much 60’s style Batman. I honestly wanted a “ka-pow” to appear and then for there to be a break with Harley’s face circling in and out.

There was also two little, old style comic pages within the novel itself that were akin to “Dennis the Menace” and “Archie” which I found lovely. They both credit an artist known simply as “M. Clatterbuck.” Upon researching, it appears that this mysterious artist has a bigger picture to play within the DC Universe. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to get a chance to read Harley Quinn #50 to find out.

“Game Over”

Overall, this comic was a wonderful journey from beginning to end despite the (possible) mishap of jumbled up issues. For anyone who is a Harley Quinn fan, if you haven’t already added this to your collection then I’d do so now! Ms. Quinn will forever by my favourite DC character and I can’t wait to read some more of her crazy adventures.

Have you read this series? If so, tell us your thoughts below as well as give your own rating. You can also read about Harley’s ol’ Puddin himself, The Joker, here and here.

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