Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1
The creative team that transformed Harley Quinn forever returns to shake up her world once more—and this time, the gloves are off!
Harley Quinn has avoided Gotham City ever since she broke up with the Joker and found a home, and a kind of family, in Coney Island. But when she gets an offer she can’t refuse, she has no choice but to slip back into the city as quietly as she can, hoping to be gone before anyone—especially her ex—learns she’s been there. But for Harley, “as quietly as she can” is plenty loud…and before she can say “Holee bounty hunters, Batman,” the Joker’s sicced every super-villain in the city on her pretty ombré head—and the only team tough enough (or crazy enough) to come to her defense is the Birds of Prey!
The foul-mouthed, no-holds-barred sequel to one of DC’s raciest runs is here! Get on board early, before we come to our senses!
The return of fan favorites Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti to Harley Quinn is here, and with it, a wacky and emotional return to what made the creative team so popular. As we pick up right where the duo left off previously, we are treated to a wonderful helping of classic Harley antics and a life more complicated than ever before.
There is one shining aspect of this book that is undeniable and that is the voice this team gives to Harley Quinn. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have captured a characterization and voice for Harley that simply can’t be matched anywhere else. What they bring to the character is unique and powerful, and it helps to make issues like Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1 truly stand out amongst a rather long list of titles involving ol’ Harls.
It’s difficult to deny the influence of the recent Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn film, however. The team involved in this book is literally a carbon copy of the team we see on screen, sans Barbara and all. For those wanting a strict Birds of Prey title will have to wait just a bit longer, because this one is still Harley’s story. Harley takes the overwhelming amount of focus in this first issue, but we do get everyone introduced within the final pages. There is definitely more Birds of Prey story coming in future issues, but there was a lot to establish with Harley to kick this issue off. We are picking up on a lot of story that has already occurred, and this issue touches on everything remarkably well from Harley’s interactions with Ivy to the always hilarious Red Tool.
Without needlessly comparing this issue with the film, the team here already has great chemistry and their dynamics feel genuine. Cassandra is an exciting addition, but all of the characterizations feel true to who they are, speaking volumes for this creative team and their willingness to bring these characters together and capture each individual sense of uniqueness.
None of this would have been possible without Conner’s interior work though. Every page is a whimsical fight against chaos that brings back their classic aesthetic while also delivering plenty of new aspects to keep things interesting. Longtime fans of Conner and Palmiotti’s Harley run will feel right at home with the visuals. Conner, with the addition of Mounts colors and Hill’s letters, is able to do something entirely different with these characters and make the issue indisputably theirs. You won’t find a book even close to this anywhere because only this team can pull of this type of story so well.
I won’t delve into the storytelling precedent DC is setting with ushering Harley Quinn into the Birds of Prey mold, but if she’s going to be wrapped up in that team’s drama, this is the way to do it. Harley’s falling out with Ivy kicks off a team-up that feels worthwhile which helps this issue feel like it actually has a meaningful story to tell. The ending reunion is heartfelt and Conner’s depictions emphasize all of the conflicting emotions the team members are feeling, but it sends us as readers into the next issue excited to spend time with a truly wild cast of characters.
The long awaited return of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti pays off in a big way with Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1, an issue packed with an iconic Harley finding her away in a world even crazier than she is. It’s a book that any fan of the character simply must pick up, especially those who have been around since this team helped to turn Harley into the global phenomenon that she is today.
You won’t regret it!
The long awaited return of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti pays off in a big way with Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1, a spectacular story that is incredibly heartfelt and of course, wacky as hell!
Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1: Aaannd Here We Go!
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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