Harley Quinn #0

by Tori B. on November 20, 2013

Those who are genuinely interested in comics, and interested comic artists especially will enjoy seeing the amalgamation of artists coming together to bring everyone Harley Quinn in her teaser issue, before her own series truly kicks off.
Writer: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Amanda Conner, Becky Cloonan, Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea, Stephane Roux, Dan Panosian, Walter Simonson, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Bruce Timm, Charlie Adlard, Adam Hughes, Art Baltazar, Tradd Moore, Dave Johnson, Jeremy Roberts, Sam Kieth, Darwyn Cooke, Chad Hardwin
Cover: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
Publisher: DC
As someone who pays close attention to artists on a book and different stylings of artists, Harley Quinn #0 was a real treat to see some of my favourite artists take their liberties with one of my favourite characters, Harley Quinn. That being said, the art was the only thing that was enjoyable about the issue. With it being a zero issue, it doesn’t entirely reflect what the series is going to look like, but at the very least show off some of what the writers plan on bringing to the series.
We all know about Harley, how crazy she is, and some of the funny that comes with it. There are some classic gags that happen, which is a great callback to the crazy and silly Harley we all love, guns, hammers, explosions, and even driving off of cliffs, which is all very nice, as each artist tells their own one page Harley story. But the story is primarily told from not Harley herself but the authors, Conner and Palmiotti who decide to constantly narrate and bicker with Harley as she herself breaks the fourth wall in her own story telling.  It might have been fine with just Harley being aware of what was happening, realizing that every page or so something was different, but the writers’ dialogue killed it. They’re not as funny as they think, and they pull the story away from the star of the show. It feels like a fallback trick writers use when they don’t know how else to be funny, break the fourth wall and talk to your character. It’s mostly just bothersome. Sure it’s a little funny and can pull some weak laughs for the first couple pages, but 20 pages of the same thing is slightly excessive.
Annoyance from the script aside, and going back to the art, you’d have to be an artist junkie (which I image most readers are) to really enjoy the book, with names like Becky Cloonan, Stephane Roux, Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Adam Hughes, and Darwyn Cooke, just to name a few drawing a page and giving Harley their own little story. Each artist is their own star alongside Harley, and it’s amazing to see Harley in so many different renditions. It’s easy to want to see a series of Harley, each done by the artists, but of course, excessiveness. But it’s also amazing to see how each style tells a different Harley story, which is a fun little buildup until we finally reach the artist of the series Chad Hardin, and takes us into what will be Harley’s actual story in her series to come.
It’s a fun little, visual adventure meant to take us into the Harley Quinn series, and while the art is amazing and a pleasant tribute to artists alike in celebration of their talents and uniqueness, it’s a shame that it had to be bogged down by cumbersome writing, and at least they promised no more breaking the fourth wall.

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