Harley’s insane surge in popularity leads to a variety of things: More t-shirts, more toys and more comics that feature the Villainous Venus.
I wasn’t too fond of the Power Girl/Harley Quinn comic on account that it took her out of her element and I am not too fond of sci-fi in excessive doses. It was a Harley in space story arc and intergalactic environments are the kind that I stay away from. Now, given that this book will feature Harley interacting with the DCU, I am willing to get out of my comfort zone and enjoy a story on its own merits. I just can’t do it for an extended period.
HQLBB#1’s first guest is Wonder Woman. The basic premise of the story is Harley teaming up with the Amazon after Harley discovers that there is a hit on her in London.
Harley Quinn here reminds me of Loki in the recently cancelled Agent of Asgard comic series. They both have insane explanations for why they do the things they do. Their rationales would put a verbose narcissist to shame.
The team up doesn’t occur just like that. Wonder Woman has a moral code and as far as she knows up until this issue, Harley is ‘bad’. The way these two team up involves circumstances and loops that make sense given how different these two characters are. Harley’s history is one that Wondy won’t look at lightly. It is also revealed that Harley herself is a big fan of Diana when she shows Eggy her memorabilia/shrine. The writers add some emotional depth with Harley’s past. She used to be bullied as a kid and she saw Wonder Woman as an example of empowerment. Of course, this being Harley, she is not exactly going to follow Diana’s code of honor when dealing with assholes. Harley gets back at her bullies by tying a rope around their necks. She does this while wearing a Wondy costume.
This shows that Harley has murderous tendencies before the Joker came into her life. This stands out to me because in the Nu52 origins, it looked as though Joker was largely responsible for her transformation. Sure, she may have had inclinations but it wasn’t until he pushed her into the vat of chemicals did she embrace her dark side. In contrast, her pre 52 origins, Harley having a dark obsession was more obvious and this was shown when Harley broke into the gag shop and made her costume.
Just before she shows Eggy her collection while she explains her nefarious plans, Eggy asks her if she ‘learned (her) lesson with Power Girl?’ Harley replies “I can be a sidekick ta anyone that I like. There’s nothing that says ya gotta be a sidekick ta only one hero at a time.”
As of this writing, the very last issue of Harley Quinn/Power Girl will be out on December 30th. This comment is spoilerish. I take it to mean that the way Harley and Power Girl will part will involve Pee Gee telling Harley that while she thinks her methods are unorthodox she will ask her for her help when she needs/wants to. Harley will eat this up like my puppy eats up Milkbones.
This being another series for Harley will mean the addition of new characters. Our new band is the Merry London Legion of Superheroes. We have a plus size character who I suspect is modeled on Australian actress Rebel Wilson. I am for enriching a character especially one like Harley who for a long period was basically known as a one note side kick. However, sometimes I wonder if these extra characters are sometimes created to ‘pad’ a story. It’s too early to tell with this group but I know that I am in love with the band of Harley’s, particularly Harlem Harley and Harvey Quinn.
Finally, we get to the team up. The whole issue builds up the anticipation and the girls share only a few pages between them. If anyone was expecting an extended dialogue between the Amazon Warrior and Cupid of Crime that is missing the point. The title itself implies a ‘brief affair’ between Harley and whoever is guest starring in that particular issue.
Diana listens to Harley’s explanation of that dastardly plans to catch and sell her to the highest bidder. Because time is brief, Wondy accepts Harley’s word. I am sure that Harley helping out during the fight scene helped to reinvent the impression she originally had. WW and Harley was sort of like the one she had with PG. Wondy was defensive at first, then she was cynical and then accepted Harley’s word on account of how quickly she had to resolve the matter.
This being a Harley centric book, it ends on a light note: in a British pub.
Because of Harley’s increased popularity, it is inevitable that she will encounter other characters outside of Gotham sans Joker. The Power Girl team up was understandable given the team having worked on that book. Little Black Book is an extension of that bit instead of focusing on one character, Harley will be interacting with everyone on a one on one basis. I am intrigued.
I think this series shows promise. I can’t wait for future installments. I do worry about oversaturation with new characters but I suppose it depends on how they are used. Harley is a character who is now fully actualized and independent but seeing her choose to be a sidekick is a nice nod to her roots.