Almost two years ago (February 2016), there was an exclusive Loot Crate Harley Quinn comic, which finally now is available to everybody. This oversize special presents the Loot Crate-exclusive story as a stand-alone comic, available in comics shops for the first time ever, with an additional eighteen (18!) pages of brand-new story and art by Amanda Conner!
Nothing too complex here storywise (which makes it easy to insert those 18 pages). This is basically a picaresque in which Harley finds a jinn in a bottle and subsequently makes a lot of silly wishes that go about as well as you would expect with Harley Quinn. The fun, of course, is seeing how poorly her wishes play out. To make it more interesting, she’s not limited to just three (and the way she burns through wishes undoing her previous wishes, that’s a good thing for her. Especially since she never really learns to “get it right”.
For being a two-year old comic, this still reads surprisingly well, which is a testament to the careful world building this series provides. The only obvious indicator that this book wasn’t written more recently is that Harley’s hair is still pre-Suicide Squad black and red. Paul Mounts and Alex Sinclair did the colors (with Mounts covering the lion’s share), but I guess a decision was made not to adjust anything for this release. And that makes sense. Even though the story squeezes in easily into the continuity, the character of Jimbo (the jinn) does date this just a wee bit as he does appear in the regular series (albeit briefly).
Any time you give Harley exactly what she wants, you know it will be a disaster
So Harley makes a bunch of wishes. And most of them aren’t too crazy on the surface, but the results, of course, never quite meet her expectations. In the first (and one of the best), she wishes that The Joker was “nicer, more sensitive” and that they are still dating. Poof, we’re thrown back into a retelling of Mad Love in which Joker appears to legitimately be a dentist and good buddies with both Commissioner Gordon and Batman. He’s funny, considerate, and, naturally, Harley doesn’t like him at all.
Then she wishes to be part of the Justice League with catastrophic results, and then she wants to be able to talk with her animals. Each time she ends up undoing her wish with another wish to reset things back to normal.
There’s really no plot beyond this, but it’s still just fun to follow her through her antics: she wants a boyfriend just like her, she wants to have a movie made about her, she wants to be invisible.
In the end of course she maybe learns a lesson about wishing and ends up right where she started (you knew that was coming, of course), but her interactions with Jimbo are sweet and the conclusion absolutely satisfies. It’s not profound and ultimately has zero impact on the ongoing continuity (especially now in light of the creative changeover in the regular series), but it’ll still put a smile on your face.
Green Lantern has sexier legs than I do!
One of the real joys of this book is that Amanda Conner does much of the interior art. There are a couple of additional contributors for a couple of the wacky wishes, but overall this is clearly Conner’s creative baby and it’s nice to see her stretch after mostly writing the series and doing well over 100 covers for the various Harley books. And here she does indeed stretch, with Harley ranging all over and interacting with so many fun “extras” including Power Girl and the Justice League.
Other contributing artists include series regular Chad Hardin (on that redux of Mad Love), Otto Schmidt (on Harley’s first Justice League team-up), and Ben Caldwell (on a strange interlude that involves diapers and lots of gross green baby barf). Only Caldwell stands out as as strange black bean in a book otherwise full of artwork that meshes well together. But when the subject is this far-ranging, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
- You enjoy these kinds of zany wish-fulfillment stories. This is just light-hearted fun; nothing too surprising.
- Harley failing hard at everything amuses you. She gets her kicks, but ultimately the wishes are all a wash!
- The pure joy of seeing Amanda Conner do interiors is a happy happenstance for you!
Harley finds a jinn in a bottle, makes all manner of wishes and it goes about as well as you would expect. This is a fun special recycled from a 2016 Loot Crate exclusive (which probably makes it new to you!). Amanda Conner provides most of the interiors, which is a real treat, but there’s also almost 20 pages of new additional content to make this worth a purchase if you’re just looking for some one-shot rainy day fun.