Publisher: DC Comics
Released: January 24th 2017
This was probably one of my favorite Harley Quinn issues from New 52. The title raised certain expectations in my mind, and it didn’t disappoint (thankfully!). I loved the artwork, as per usual. The humor is spot-on and very much what I’ve come to expect from Harley and her crew.
There are two reasons I loved this volume so much: how Harley handled the Mason issue, and the Joker interaction (and namesake of the volume). I’ve been a huge fan of the change in Joker and Harley’s relationship, so I’m likely a bit biased here. I’ve just been desperate for an update and more confrontation on that side.
I’ll discuss my two favorite events in the order they came up. First is the Mason issue. Somebody was out to have Harley’s new sort-of-boyfriend killed, and obviously Harley wasn’t going to stand for that. She made a couple of (decent) attempts at helping Mason out, but in the end learned that she had to let him go and solve things on his own (with a little help from one of the good guys). It showed a lot of growth on Harley’s part.
Now the Mason plot was pretty directly the cause of Harley seeing the Joker again (Mason having been transferred to Arkham despite him totally not being a high enough threat for that). When sabotaging her relationship with Mason didn’t work (by trying to poison the guy’s opinion of her), he moved on to taunting Harley. Not the best move on his part, as it caused Harley to decide that they needed to have it out once and for all. Her intention was to talk, but the Joker is insanely (no pun indented…ok a little bit intended) good at pushing people’s buttons to get what he wants. Ultimately though Harley won, but in the moral sense – she’s now held to the same level as Batman (where the Joker would prefer that she killed him than leave him). So achievement unlocked?
The remaining members of the Harley Gang are starting to get fleshed out a bit more. I originally thought I wouldn’t like Harvey (he appeared very stereotyped at first) but with a few background details and more interaction with him…he’s growing on me. I’m fond of Coach too. Here’s hoping if the Gang sticks around they’ll spend more time with the rest of them as well.
As per usual I loved the Ivy appearances (if you’re read my past reviews you’ll know I’m holding out for an Ivy solo comic). Her relationship status with Harley was a little less subtle this volume, but I’m ok with that. Other characters have started to figure it out as well, so there are some more direct comments on it. Her concern about Harley possibly seeing the Joker again was sweet – and also totally valid.
There’s another one shot comic in the end of this volume. It isn’t one of my favorites, though I’ll admit it is funny. Basically Harley finds a genie and abuses her wishes in ways that only Harley could. Need I say more?
I can’t wait to see what volume 6 (Black, White and Red All Over) brings us! From there I’ll be binging my way through Harley Quinn Rebirth. Should be fun (and a little bit crazy!).