Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con #1 (Comics Review)

Launched last year, Harley Quinn by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner and Chad Hardin has pretty much taken the market by storm. The first few issues were all chart-toppers and the series has continued a good sales run without any signs of serious flagging. I’ve loved and disliked the series in equal measure for while the story has mostly been good, the art has been less so, but that kind of fluctuates as well. Still, I won’t deny that Harley Quinn has been a most fun book indeed and that the fact it has managed to steer clear of any other book/event/crossover has been rather impressive.

When DC announced plans for Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con #1, I got really excited. Can you just imagine the sheer fun of such a title? The promise of lots of crazy antics, lots of surprises, lots of fourth-wall breaking, it is all there in this title. And when I read it last week, this title delivered on every bit of them. From the group of Joker cosplayers to Harley Quinn cosplayers, from Dan Didio and Geoff Johns and Stephen Amell cameos to Harley Quinn going to Jim Lee for an artist portfolio review, this issue was all-out fun. The art was a bit iffy and slightly inconsistent, but I’ll give that a pass.

Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con 001For starters, I love that cover by Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts. Amanda Conner of course delivers on some great covers every single time and this one is no different, especially not when she is assisted by Paul Mounts, who is pretty good on his own. The cover captures the idea and essence of this entire issue perfectly and it tells you flat out what kind of a feel it is going to have. If you don’t like the cover, then you are probably NOT going to like the issue, I feel.

Pretty much as the title suggests, this issue is about Harley Quinn and her New York gang going to San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest and bestest and greatest and a lot of -estes geek event in the world. Drawing in tens of thousands of people, SDCC is going to be held this coming weekend and this issue is a sort of fun celebration of that with one of DC’s craziest characters getting up to all sorts of shenanigans here. One of the best parts I think was Harley taking along a fully inked and lettered comic to the Con for showing off to some DC execs in the hope of getting a writer gig. I mean, how awesome is that?

Much as with the Harley Quinn #0 issue, Harley Quinn breaks the fourth-wall a lot of times, in that her interactions with the real world are often the subject and the reader is never really drawn in, but when she is going up against the cosplayers of the Joker gang or the Harley Quinn Fan Club, you get the idea, especially when Dan Didio, Geoff Johns, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Stephen Amell cameo in the issue. It could have put me off, had this all been done with any less skill, but with Harley Quinn #0 Jimmy and Amanda did something wonderful and they repeat that here, almost to perfection.

And another great thing is that often the issue relies on some of the insider jokes or the recent controversies, such as when the comic version of Dan Didio is talking about some theoretical DC month event and he mentions using 4D covers on all titles and the costs and the covers being able to survive a nuclear blast and all that. Hah! A great reference to last year’s 3D covers controversy, delivered in a real-nice cheeky manner.

But if I’m truly honest, the best part of the comic is what Harley does to the cosplayers of the Joker gang. Unbeatable 2 pages there.

Paul Pope, Javier Garron, Damian Scott, Robert Campanella, Amanda Conner, John Timms, Marco Failla, Dave Johnson and Stephane Roux are the artists on this issue while Lovern Kindzierski, Paul Mounts, Brett Smith and Dave McCaig are the colourists with John J. Hill being the letterer for the issue entire. Some of the artists didn’t quite have a good grasp on Harley as a character, especially where her expressions are concerned, and so I didn’t enjoy their work so much, but others were absolutely superb. And I loved the fact that between all the Harley Quinn cosplayers there was a girl who wore the same costume as Harley from Batman: The Animated Series. It is the costume that the character debuted in, and you could say there’s some sentimentality there. The colourists however were all excellent, and they all did a fine job. I’m not really as bothered with the art since this is pretty much meant to be a fun spin-off of the main series and is as light-hearted as it is meant to be. Bringing together all these artists must have been a right job, and I’m glad that the final work has come through as well as it did.

With this issue, you could say that my interest in Harley Quinn has been renewed and that I’m really looking forward to the next installment of the mains series.

Rating: 9/10

More Harley Quinn: #0, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.

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Posted on July 21, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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