The Clown Princess of Crime gets her own title in DC’s New 52 lineup. But…will it be handled well? DC is no stranger to controversy over their female characters since they rebooted their comics. Characters like Wonder Woman and Catwoman faced much criticism toward their self-titled comics, while Starfire, Harley Quinn, and others received redesigns that were overtly sexual. The new Harley Quinn comic attracted controversy before it even started, when DC decided to hold a contest for artists to draw the titular character contemplating suicide.
Needless to say, the expectations for this comic were quite low. However, even after an unfocused issue #0, I still grabbed the #1 issue, because following Harley Quinn in her own adventures without being on the pages of Suicide Squad was an appealing idea.
Writer Amanda Conner has Harley moving to New York City. With a motorcycle piled high with an eclectic mix of personal belongings and a big-mouthed beaver strapped to the front, Harley Quinn rolls into the city to start a new life away from Gotham. This first issue is setting up what could be an interesting series, but that remains to be seen. We see Harley moving into an apartment, dealing with financial woes, and job hunting. Mundane tasks are mixed with Harley’s brand of mayhem, and a cast of freak show characters will seemingly accompany and aid the heroine as she goes through this journey.
Inconsistencies with the artwork were jarring with each page turn. Harley Quinn looked different in so many panels that it was annoying. Surrounding details and backgrounds were much bette,r as they brought this NYC to life in vibrant color.
Harley Quinn is one of DC’s most complex and interesting characters. Born from an animated series and inserted into the pages of the comic, she deserves to have a title that showcases how incredible she truly is. This could turn out to be that title. As she says in the very first panel: “…new city, new faces, new things to discover!”