By Thea Nikolic
The New Harley Quinn Comic by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
So a few months ago there was an announcement about a new Harley comic that would be coming out, and there was a contest associated with the comic for finding some artists to be a part of the project. That contest consisted of drawing some comic panels. Now the subject of those panels was not up the artist's choice, they had guidelines that they had to follow. And this is where the internet uproar began. The panel ideas that the artists had to draw were for different ways that Harley would kill herself. There were other aspects that people were displeased about and you can read about the apology that was issued by DC here (http://www.themarysue.com/dc-apologizes-harley-quinn/
I have to admit that I was one of the people up in arms about this. Being a hard core Harley fan, an avid Harley cosplayer and lover of the original Bruce Timm depiction of her, I was unhappy with where the character was going. I am not a fan of the New 52 costume that they gave her in The Suicide Squad comics (hate actually) and to see the request for her to kill herself in one panel "naked in a bathtub with toasters, hair dryers etc and she has the cord to release them all", I was upset. This was not MY Harley.
People were not convinced that the pair of writers Amanda Conner and her husband Jimmy Palmiotti who wrote a very successful run of Powergirl, would be able to pull this around.
Fast forward several months to HARLEY QUINN Issue 0 coming out. My husband bought it for me to read, given that the writers are known for good storytelling and that I should give it a chance. So I did. And you know what? I really enjoyed that first one. Now keep in mind that Issue 0 is completely different from how the rest of the series will continue, but it certainly caught my attention. First off, the cover is beautiful. Done by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts, it shows Harley, still in a revealing outfit but revamped to look like a Roller Derby one, which is super cute and I kind of want to cosplay that too. The issue itself shows Harley talking to a stuffed animal, who incidentally talks back, when the writers start interjecting and breaking the 4th wall of the comic. Then Harley gets to experience a different artist on each page and what they would make her look like, including a page by the great Jim Lee and my favourite, Bruce Timm. Now think back to the contest for artists, well there is a panel that indicates that the writers while speaking to Harley misconstrue what the Suicide Squad was all about, and what followed was several panels showing her in different ridiculous possible suicides, i.e holding a chicken over a swamp full of alligators. The panel made complete sense to me and I understand what the writers and DC were going for. The contest was just not explained properly in my opinion. What was really exciting about this comic was the discovery of artists of whom I was unaware like Darwyn Cooke whose super cute 60's graphic style really caught my eye, among others. By the end of the comic, they finish with Chad Hardin and a clue leading into the next issue.
Super fun read (especially if you read it out loud like I did to my husband in classic Arleen Sorkin style), beautiful to look at and left me excited for the next comic. Can't wait to follow up with that.
Thea Nikolic is a lover of all things geek. You can follow her cosplay and cabaret exploits on facebook on her page https://www.facebook.com/criticalmissandretrojoad. She is also one of the Geeks at http://www.geekxgirls.com/ where she has various photoshoots and other articles. She is looking forward to writing more for CGG.