Ever seen a cartoon or old TV show where there’s a love potion (either consumed or airborne), and zaniness happens when unintended civilians become entranced with our protagonist? That’s Harley Quinn #3, but with escaped convicts, slaughter in a hardware store, bad-lady on cop-lady kissing and
dwarf Glenn Danzig Big Tony being an unintentional pimp.
Despite how dismissive my recap was, this was a pretty fun one-off Valentine’s Day tie-in. The previous adventure of Harley and Poison Ivy are established via the love potion gift Ivy leaves, and newly established side characters like Big Tony and Queenie stay true to form. Given how hard DC has been to follow over the last nine months thanks to tie-ins to Zero Year, Gothatopia, Forever Evil and Villain’s Month (which I’ve enjoyed, but are clearly made for trade editions, not monthlies), it’s very refreshing to have an entertaining, episodic comic that stands on its own.
I know I say this in every HQ review, but Conner and Palmiotti know how to write and plot Harley Quinn better than anyone since vintage Paul Dini. They’ve struck a great balance of a sensitive, somewhat lonely woman and a no-holds barred badass who refuses to be victimized or stand-by and watch others be victimized.
Hardin’s art continues to shine, and the mixture of his lines and Sinclair’s coloring are pitch perfect. Harley often looks very sexy, then creepy and off-putting at just the intervals, and the effect means the reader never gets too close to her. It’s like what women who get into goth or steampunk are going for, but rarely achieve.
So, another excellent issue on the stands. Not mind-blowing, but a solid read for sure. I’m starting to get interested in seeing what Conner and Palmiotti will do with a multi-issue arc, because I’d love to see them maintain the comedic edge as the stakes get higher. The mouse traps have been set all around here (assassins, a mysterious bounty and a living situation that came about a little too easily), but I’m enjoying the suspense of not knowing when they’ll snap.
Harley Quinn #3:
Reviewed by Benjamin Scott