Harley Quinn Volume 1: Die Laughing

5169LPuDVL._SX323_BO1204203200_Welcome back to Harley Quinn’s crazy world on Coney Island…now get ready to wave goodbye, because everyone there just might get eaten alive! Harley’s gotta protect her neighborhood against an all-out zombie apocalypse! Break out the chainsaws, everybody! Then, Harley must set out on a journey that will take her around the world—and into the clutches of a bizarre robotic enemy! And Harley carves her way through the rock underground of New York City, looking for the criminals who hurt someone she cared about…unfortunately, one of the crooks in question has fallen in love with her. Collects issues #1-7.



Admittedly, I never read Harley Quinn New 52 (which isn’t all too necessary, as Conner recaps her retcon in issue 1 of this collection), but with good reason…

I wasn’t too sure if I would warm up to this new Harley Quinn, having grown very attached to her original form created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. The original Harley Quinn was merely a groupie of the Joker, committing petty crimes at best that were just as silly as her “boyfriend’s” Silver Age pranks. I could always picture Arleen Sorkin’s voice whenever I saw her in comic book pages.

Over time, Harley’s methods became more violent, but she always remained in the Joker’s shadow, perhaps hoping – like Silver Age Lois Lane – that the Joker would finally get down on one knee.

However, this new Harley Quinn is different, and, well, there are some things that I like about her. For one, the Joker is no longer an interest to her, which I love; the unrequited love aspect was dull and corny at best, so it’s good that DC threw it out the window (although the relationship with Poison Ivy is – from my perspective – debatable). However, this modern HQ is an acquired taste.

Plot wise, this volume is told in an episodic format; once a main story ends, a new, unrelated one picks up right after, giving this volume a bit of a sitcom feel. Speaking of sitcom, the writer – Amanda Conner – appears to push Harley into a more humorous direction, relying heavily on quirky plot devices that seem bizarre even for DC standards. For example, a green alien lands on Earth to escape his overbearing parents, turns into a cow to “blend in”, gets grinded at a slaughter house, and fed to random Coney Island residents as a hot dog, which turns them into zombies. Basically Sonic Zombie Origins, but starring Harley Quinn.

Not only is the plot zany (Harley battling a giant robot in India piloted by a baby, joining a punk band to get intel on diplomatically immune killers dressed as medieval knights on horseback), but so is the cast: Red Tool – an obvious Dead Pool reference – a talking Egg with a mechanical body…


Random doesn’t really begin to describe my opinion of this.

The artwork is alright I guess: wasn’t too intrigued with artwork by Joseph Michael Linsner, especially his inking. Alex Sinclair makes bright, vibrant colors, and in my opinion, John Timms (Issue 5-7) is the superior artist in this anthology.

All in all, if you want a funny, fast paced comic series – with the zaniness of a Spielberg ’90’s cartoon – that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this comic.

Me? I like the old Harley better.


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