Review: “Harley Quinn” #1 is a Lot to Take In

Harley Quinn #1

DC Comics continues to launch new Rebirth titles and the latest to get a new series is none other than Harley Quinn. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering that the character is more popular than ever, thanks to the release of the¬†Suicide Squad film.

Here’s the good news about Harley Quinn #1: this is the only character in the DC Rebirth universe that isn’t getting a complete reset. This first issue is more about reacquainting readers with Harley and who she is, as well as catch them up on her previous adventures. Unfortunately, Harley’s been through a lot – especially in recent years – so there’s a lot for new fans to take in.

It’s interesting that Harley didn’t get her own actual Rebirth issue like many of the other titles, but Harley Quinn #1 serves that purpose. Instead, Harley Quinn #1 begins with¬†Harley and Poison Ivy visiting a spa together, but at the end of the day, the two say goodbye (perhaps hinting that Ivy won’t appear as much in this series as in the previous one).

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti go through Harley’s entire story quickly, including how she went from Dr. Harleen Quinzel to Harley Quinn. The origin story is simple enough, but it’s when Harley starts introducing the cast of characters from her world when things get confusing. The writing is fun and quirky, but it’s also confusing for new readers: Harley doesn’t just introduce the main characters from her previous series, but also throws in her roller derby gang and her Gang of Harleys.

These introductions are over quickly because Conner and Palmiotti also set up a new story arc for the Joker’s ex-girlfriend. And that’s where things get interesting: Harley must take on a zombie apocalypse that threatens to take over the world. It’s Harley Quinn vs. zombies, and what’s not to love about that? It’s obviously leading up to yet another wild ride for Harley and company, and make readers want to pick up issue #2, which is basically the point.

The artwork by Chad Hardin and Alex Sinclair is good, too, with heavy lines that emphasize Harley’s features and vibrant colors that match her personality. There is, obviously, a lot of red and black here, and facial expressions are a little simplistic. It works setting up the new title, which also features some striking cover art with Harley’s latest look.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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