By now, we’ve gotten a good look at the kind of sales estimates this series has received…and it’s not good. This book has been floundering, unable to stay anywhere near the top 100 comics. Unfortunately, this was expected. None of the Harley Quinn-led books have been selling well. This is the third Harley Quinn mini-series they’ve released in the past year that has tanked in sales. Harley’s main solo isn’t doing much better. So the question is, why does DC keep green-lighting so many unsellable Harley Quinn comics? You’d think they’d have some kind of reaction to this, as they have had Harley Quinn on such a massive pedestal for so many years.
It’s a real mystery to me, but there have been a few stories in this anthology series that I’ve enjoyed. I might as well make the best of this series and see if there are any more gems in it that perhaps a few people will enjoy.
Harley Quinn and the Seven Sidekicks by Zoe Thorogood
This first story has some amazing manga-like art. Zoe Thorogood draws Harley in a style that showcases her cuteness. Meanwhile, each page is filled with lots of details that make the location interesting without feeling cluttered. The panel layouts also have good, tight composition as they exemplify multiple actions and emotions happening at once.
However, the problem with this story is that it doesn’t really have a story. Harley thinks that what she’s missing in life are sidekicks. Once she gets to experience a group of sidekicks who are just as nasty as she is, she decides she might not want to be that way herself and winds up alone and in a state of limbo of who she wants to be. The End?
This is very much like the state of limbo in which DC Comics has had this character in since forever. They cut her ties with most if not all of her root identity and haven’t known who she is or what to do with her next. That’s how you get stories like this that end up going no where.
A Voice Traveling by Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer
This is another story that doesn’t have much of a plot. Harley is reminded that she had a bully in high school who has now become a criminal, and she goes and beats him up for revenge. She delivers a final line about girl power, and that’s that.
This story could have been interesting if it was done when Harley was a more grounded character. You’d have a girl that’s legitimately dangerous and insane out for revenge on the people who wronged her in the past. However, this is written and drawn like a Y. A. novel with no depth beyond “beat up your bully!” This doesn’t make too much sense since Harley herself is a crazy and violent person who is awful to be around.
The artwork, once again in the style of a Y. A. novel, isn’t bad. The cartoonish expressions and character designs were fun and fitting for the story. As for Harley’s dialogue, it was a bit too exaggerated. Since when has Harley Quinn said things like “Yous” and “those men’s over there”?
Golden Years by Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman
The only good thing I can say about this final story is that Harley would be 110% the type of person to watch soap operas. Everything else about this short story is awful though.
The artwork is so chaotic with panels so cluttered on each page that I had an incredibly difficult time figuring out what was going on. The plot begins with an elderly Harley’s soap opera being interrupted by aliens, so she dresses up in her jester garb (despite the story reminding us for the 1 millionth time that Harley is “over” the Joker) and goes out to kill the aliens. We get to see old Harley making-out with a Xenomorph in this tale, for some reason. In fact, the whole story amounts to nothing more than random, gross-out unfunny antics. There’s no rhyme or reason to anything beyond trying to make the reader go “what the heck am I reading?”
- You want the amazing Duck Amuck cover by Joe Quinones.
- You want to collect some of Zoe Thorogood’s art.
As you can tell, I’m not at all crazy about this book. DC just needs to stop publishing Harley Quinn titles for a while. Just keep her as a supporting character in other books if they can’t present anything better for her. Elseworlds tales used to be the only place you could still find any good writing for Harley Quinn, but now this series has gone downhill, too. DC has had plenty of big characters that they’ve been able to retire from solo content for a time: Green Lantern, Catwoman, Robin, Green Arrow, etc. It’s time for them to do the same with Harley Quinn.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.