It’s still in its infancy but Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti’s Harley Quinn series looks like it’s going to blossom into a special kind of book, the kind that occupies a dark, dank corner of the DC universe where the macabre and the perverse run wild under the guise of hilarity. And trust me, Harley Quinn #2 is all of those things. Right from the outset with its alarmingly-cute-but-sick-and-twisted cover of Harley being buried beneath the fuzzy masses of some furry friends with a penchant for blood, this issue revels in being totally demented. Connor and Palmiott’s frantic narrative is sure to wet all fanboys’ appetites, whether it’s the team-up/sleepover between Harley and Poison Ivy or Harley’s exhaustive search to find a fridge large enough to store all the dead bodies she’s amassed so far. She’s only on her second issue but Harley’s been a busy, busy girl.
If the tone of this issue isn’t made clear by its arresting cover, the first character introduced is named Madame Macabre. Macabre is the curator of a wax museum chronically history’s most heinous killers and she is absolutely delighted at the prospect of the notorious Harley Quinn being the building’s new landlord. Most of Harley’s brand-new cast of misfits takes a back seat, however, to the familiar face of Poison Ivy, who Connor and Palmiotti seem to take extra delight in writing. From her introductory prank on her gal-pal Harley to her desired to be kissed rather than hugged, there’s a decent mixture of fun and perversion when the two girls bond over freeing some animals from a local shelter and thwarting another assassination attempt on Harley’s life. Connor and Palmiotti’s adult humor dips only briefly into adolescence when Harley asks Ivy to “meet her beaver,” but hopefully this just means the writers’ got that easy joke out of their system.
Last issue I took certain umbrage with artist Chad Hardin’s design of Harley Quinn as a slimmed-down, toned and muscular model-type, however, this issue might be swaying my opinion on the matter. Her look is still of that ilk but the wacky mix of a long-legged beauty taking absolute delight in serial killer-like murders is as downright unsettling as intended. Hardin’s art sells the off-kilter feel of Connor and Palmiotti’s narrative just as much as the character herself. She’s spry and sporadic and loveable and psychotic. That’s our Harley.
Just from the cover, I knew I was going to enjoy Harley Quinn #2 and if there’s any doubt, pick this issue up and find out how both twisted and delightful the character can be. Connor and Palmiotti provide the perfect blend of the macabre with all things both fuzzy and wuzzy.
GNN Comics Grade: NEAR MINT (8.5/10)