HARLEY QUINN: PRELUDES AND KNOCK-KNOCK JOKES
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Terry Dodson with Craig Rousseau
Inker: Rachel Dodson with Wayne Faucher
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Publisher: DC Comics
This is the first of many, Harley Quinn and Birds of Prey related reviews we're doing for the site to coincide with the new "Birds of Prey" movie. I figured what better time than now to shed some light on some cool stories that you otherwise might not have heard about. For the first book, I went with Harley's first solo series.
After the success of The Animated Series, the character was so popular that she was eventually added to the
. She first appeared in the original graphic novel Batman: Harley Quinn, as part of the "
" story. The comic book version of Quinn, like the comic book version of the Joker, was more violent and less humorously quirky than the animated series version. But she still has had the capacity to show mercy and compassion. Shortly after her debut in comics, she got her first solo series
38 issues from 2001 to 2003.
This volume covers the first 7 issues of the series written by Karl Kesel and illustrated by Terry & Rachel Dodson (with some assistance from Craig Rosseau and Wayne Faucher). I still remember picking up the first issue when it originally came out. I was such a huge fan of the character and Batman: The Animates Series, so I knew I had to check it out. Not having read this book in over 15 years though really gave me a fresh perspective. While this book isn't perfect, it definitely is a product of it's time, which isn't a bad thing. It reminded me of a simpler time at DC comics and is a really fun read.
The narrative of the main storyline follows Harley as the Joker betrays her (once again) and she sets out to start her own crime spree and gang. Along the way, she encounters the likes of Two-Face, even trying to join his gang. From an all girl's party to celebrate going solo with the like of Catwoman and Poison Ivy, to a botched robbery at the Wayne Manor spoiled by the Riddler, this book has it all. Naturally, Harley’s screwy personality plays a pivotal part in how everything unfolds (or degenerates), and there’s a plethora of laughs as she tries to forge her own “unique” path in the criminal underworld.
While some of the jokes can get a little stale quickly and the plots aren't groundbreaking, it's a fun read that shows a different type of Harley. Terry Dodson’s penciling work draws inspiration from Bruce Timm’s on Batman: The Animated Series. While his art isn't as polished as it has become today, he really helps evoke humor into his art and it's cool to look at how much his art has progressed since then.
Next to Batman, Harley Quinn’s probably the hottest character in DC Comics at the moment. Her popularity has explode over the past few years. She's kind of taken on a female Deadpool type of role. While she's not yet the "leading lady" type of character in this book, I definitely recommend all Harley fan's picking this book up.