Written By: Paul Dini
Artist: Bret Blevins
Cover Artist: Amanda Conner
Variant Cover Art By: Frank Cho
Published By: DC Comics
We have now come to the end of this two-issue mini-series. With Harley and Joker’s relationship on the rocks, and with the addition of The Grison to the gang, will their infamous partnership in crime come to an end?!
This is only a two-issue run, as it wraps up the ‘Harley Loves Joker’ flashback that happened in the Rebirth series last year. Harley is not only battling against The Grison intruding in her relationship with The Joker, but also with the prospect of the newcomer taking her place at his side. After a number of brush offs from Joker, Harley’s former self, Harleen Quinzel, issues her some home truths. The inner workings of Harleys mind is interesting, although is made more complex with the addition of memories of her unsupportive mother residing in Harleys’ consciousness.
Although Harley is best known for her mallet-wielding and acrobatic skills when partaking in her crime sprees, her previous life as a psychologist appears in the beginning of this issue. As Harley struggles with her jealousy towards The Grison, who she believes is stealing all of her Puddin’s attention, her former identity as Harleen tries to dig deeper into Harleys emotions, proposing another path; namely, leaving The Joker behind. We get a glimpse of the person that Harley could become, if she removed the jumpsuit and her dependency on Joker, perhaps sesembling more of the Harley Quinn we know from Suicide Squad. Additionally, although we only had a short introduction to the Grison, perhaps she will appear again down the line.
This action in this series was more in the form of a cat fight between Harley and the Grison, and it is revealed that they have crossed paths years before during college work placement. Even back then, these ladies did not get along. The level of hostility has not changed between them, and Joker’s unexpectant actions throws our Harley about. Harleys other concern is paying back the criminal builders she ordered to fix up her and Jokers new digs. With a hefty bill and the deadline looming, can our girl pull it off?
Paul Dini is sitting in the writer’s’ chair for a very good reason, as he has a great deal of experience with DC Comics and Harley’s character. Having written Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica, Gotham City Sirens and Batman: Streets of Gotham, he certainly knows his Batman universe. This is also reflected in the script. This issue is illustrated by Bret Blevins, who has also worked on Batman: Zero Hour and Harley Quinn Road Trip Special #1. This issue features a Harley design which is beyond iconic, with her jester hat and black eye mask. Her mallet and boxing gloves also make an appearance. Not only that, but we also get to see the Suicide Squad version of Harley too. Reading this mini-series brings me back to the time I used to read the comics (15-2- years ago!). It also reminds me of the character designs used in the Batman: Animated Series that was on TV from 1992-1995.
Although I did not read the Rebirth series that was out last year, you can follow this mini-series with ease. Check it out in your local comic book shops now, from those classy creators over at DC Comics.