Batman: Harley Quinn Review And Story Recap By Deffinition
Batman: Harley Quinn introduces one of the world’s most popular characters into the DC comic universe. Originally created by Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series, over the last twenty years we have seen Harley grow in popularity to the point of a worldwide phenomenon. Her face is plastered almost everywhere, from billboards to t-shirts (hell I even have a tattoo of her) and it’s hard to remember a time when she wasn’t inaugurated into Comic Book Lore.
That’s why this book is such a standout.
Taking place during the No Man’s Land Saga, Harley Quinn is bound to be a wild card that has the potential to shake up this monumental run. Whilst I have had ups and downs with No Man’s Land in the during my Batman Chronological Read Through, this Book could really save the arc for me from being merely middling.
Will it deliver on the hopes that I have for it or is Harley hopelessly here? Let’s find out!
A Rose From The Concrete
We open on Harley Quinn crawling out of the destruction left in the wake of No Man’s Land. Metaphorically This speaks volumes to her rise over the past two decades and retrospectively is a great way to introduce the character. Like a rose from the concrete, she towered above it all with beauty and grace and there couldn’t be a more perfect way to bring Harley to the page for the very first time.
Waking up in Poison Ivy’s care, we are treated to an origin story for the Harlequin and it’s a nice touch that they put the majority of The Joker’s escapes down to her being so enamoured by him. Set free from the Asylum due to the Earthquake we follow her as she journeys from landmark to landmark in search of her ‘puddin’.
Finally coming across the Clown Prince Of Crime during an arms deal, Harley Quinn comes in to shake the place up. Similar to how the Joker derailed the Mob Meeting in The Dark Knight but with more sex appeal and femininity, Quinn steps forth in the costume in a big bad way. I love how she adds colour to every page, especially in such a drab environment as No Man’s Land. From the off you can’t take your eyes off her. She perfectly captures the chaos that The Joker embodies whilst carrying across a certain feeling of innocence that makes her instantly likeable. Gripping to read, Harley comes in with a Big Bang and is here to stay.
“I’m the Gal who’s gonna put you back on top”
Teaming up with The Joker, the new dynamic duo tear through Gotham, claiming territory after territory and laying siege to the whole town.
Finally catching the eye of Batman, The Joker realises that the relationship is distracting him too much and decides to off his newest sidekick. To me, this motif is similar to how Batman deals with love interests, whenever one gets too close and distracts from the mission he decides to cut them off. Though perhaps not as exetreme, it is definitely worth noting that the two share these similarities and it deepens their grudge.
Hilariously, The Joker locks Harley into a space rocket and sends her stratospheric. It’s nice that they had a lot of the groundwork for their dysfunctional relationship nailed down within the very first issue and psychologically it cements Harley as mentally dependent upon The Joker. Which of course is one of her more noticeable characteristics.
By this point, I was completely gripped by the storyline and I think fans of Harley will absolutely adore this.
Back to Earth
After crashing the rocket, the story comes full circle and we are back to where we began with Harley waking up. Deciding that she and the Joker are over (even though we know she will go crawling back) she calls on the aid of Batman to track down the Clown Prince Of Crime.
As they finally close in on the Target, The Joker apologises (though it’s not like he had any other option) and Harley swoons back to him. The Harlequin, of course, betrays Batman all in an effort to impress The Joker and win his heart once more and it’s a summation of our need to love those who don’t love us back.
Harley and The Joker sail off into the night and we end with a bang. A perfect way to kick-start their relationship.
Batman: Harley Quinn won’t win over any new fans that aren’t already head over heels with the vixen. However, those that already are will fall in love once more with the amazing Paul Dini creation. A blast from start to finish this book is the perfect way to introduce the character to a comic book audience and I couldn’t recommend this higher for fans of the femme fatale.
Hilarious from start to finish, Batman: Harley Quinn gets a…
As I read through the Batman Graphic Novels in Chronological Order each week, I will be ranking them from Best to Worst. Click the link below to be taken to the full list. Updated every new review.
Leave a comment whether you agree with my ranking or not.