I probably have an unhealthy love for Harley. I love her dopiness and her intelligence. I love her compassion and her brutality. I love her loyalty and her independence. And since most people would tell you I’m “one bad day” away from becoming the Joker anyway, it’s fitting that I’m crazy for her. So what could be better than two Harley stories in one issue? Luckily, that’s what Harley Quinn #17 delivers and the best part is Paul Dini co-wrote the second one.
“‘Deadly Sin’ part one! The twisted Harley Sinn’s been released from prison, and she’s looking to hurt Harley in a whole new way…by going after somebody she loved and lost! And to make this issue extra-unmissable, a brand-new backup story begins, set in Harley’s earliest days with the Joker—and co-written by one of Harley’s original creators, Paul Dini! “Harley Loves Joker” kicks off as Harley makes the biggest mistake of her burgeoning criminal career…accidentally revealing the location of Mistah J’s hideout!”
While “Nether Regions” gave us the fun, flirty, talk-too-much Harley, “Deadly Sin” (or “Red Meat” as the cover says) gives us a smart, tough, kick-ass Harley. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti continue to tap all of the intricacies of Harley’s personality. I would never have expected her to school Red Tool in the cause, tragedy, and importance of understanding the homeless problem in the city, but there she goes impressing me again. Add in a little ass kicking and you have a decent start to a new arc that promises to be darker than the last.
I’m literally giddy after reading the first part of “Harley Loves Joker.” Palmiotti and Paul Dini are writing a story that could have been pulled right from Batman: The Animated Series and I love it. Bret Blevins, Jay Bone, and Alex Sinclair’s artwork nails the style of the cartoon without being identical. The end result feels both familiar and new.