Where NEW 52 HARLEY QUINN is Going Wrong

Miss Quinn is the favorite evil vixen of nearly every 20 something girl in America. She hit the spotlight just right for DC, with Batman The Animated Series, ushering a new generation of comic character fans. The only problem was that she didn’t have a comic. Harley was a creation for the cartoon, converted into the traditional medium to capitalize on her fandom. The start was bumpy, her runs were few and often hacked, up until Suicide Squad. I had picked up the current solo run for Harley Quinn, on a whim, and with the hope that DC’s editorial had plans to make her a viable character on her own. However unfortunately and unsurprisingly, Harley Quinn has left a foul taste in my mouth.

The writers tasked with Harley Quinn’s current run are Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. I’ve had no real qualms with either, before now. The first time I could recall noticing Conner’s name was on the Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special, and Palmiotti has his hands in many honey pots at the moment, including one of my favorite titles All Star Western. Although I didn’t expect Harley Quinn to be totally comparable to Suicide Squad, which she is a main character in, I had hoped it’d be better than Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes, which I encourage all brave enough to read in public, to cover with a book sock.

Harley Quinn started weak. The over-hyped #0 had absolutely no substance, outside of being an artistic spectacle. I was a chump enough to purchase my copy digitally, womp womp. The only redeeming particle of the #0 was the artist contest which boasted giving a chance for a new and unheard of artist to illustrate some controversial Harley panels! Unfortunately, in true DC fashion, editorial chose an up-and-comer who’d already been discovered. Jeremy Roberts, the winning illustrator, had more than 70 published comics under his belt.

To be clear, there are worse comics out there than Harley’s, a few being her own past. In fact out of her own, this run is potentially the best. The first three issues were admittedly enjoyable, in their own quirky way. Although Harley Quinn was teetering on the more cringe-worthy side of a Deadpool style story, no thanks to her chatty stuffed beaver, the relation had its merits.  Deadpool: Infinite Gauntlet was fantastic in December, when Harley Quinn #1 launched, and many HQ fans welcomed that kind of character development for DC. All went well-enough until the Yiddish vocabulary and horrible racist puns came into play inside issue #5. DC is pulling this run further away from the cutting-edge, where the racy puns might have a brash message, and more towards slapstick offensive nonsense.

Nobody is complaining about a good time, however, let’s put the emphasis on good.

Harley Quinn had the rare opportunity to brand itself as self-aware, and balance its nature between sweet and sour. New 52’s Harley is evil enough to blow up a child, yet naive and sweet enough to feel immense compassion for animals in danger, or her lover. And for a moment there, the comic seemed to be taking that road.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get myself to finish the fifth issue in the first read through, because it was so terrible. So why, I ask, is this title going to now be released bi-monthly? Perhaps that’s partially my fault for having faith in DC, poring in to their pockets my hard cash, and hoping that by accident they’d do something worthwhile with this prominent and popular female antagonist! Shame on me though, because DC does this all the time.

Cover Image Source: Source: DC Comics


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Categories: Comics, Editorials and Ramblings

Author:Paige Six

Blogger at The Product Manager & Chief Operating Officer over at Another Castle. A Writer & Editor for Ladies of the Roundtable. Contributor to Aggressive Comix, Attack of the Fanboy, and so many more!

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  1. New 52 ‘Harley Quinn’ Review | Coiled 薔薇 Rose - 06/01/2014

    […] you want to read my more professional review, emphasis on the more, it can be found by following this link to  Another […]

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