Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Frank Tieri, Jimmy Palmiotti
Release Date: 13th April, 2016
Full disclosure before we begin: I’m fully aware that – much like Marvel’s Deadpool – Harley is a bit of a Marmite character in terms of reader reception. Some absolutely love her, and can’t get enough of her crazy cartoon violence and over-the-top schtick, while others find her about as endearing as fingernails on a blackboard. Me? Well, I think I fall somewhere in the middle, as while I’ve definitely enjoyed some of Harleen’s recent exploits, I’ll readily admit the idea of a spinoff miniseries featuring a gang of wannabe Harleys having wacky adventures filled me with a sense of stomach-churning dread.
Thankfully, the writing of this new series is in the confident hands of Frank Tieri and Jimmy Palmiotti, which means that, at the very least, it’s going to be well written. And that’s exactly what it is, as the banter zings back and forward between Harley and her Harleys as they take to the streets to do battle with the “Hipster Mafia”. Yeah, you heard me. After the initial eye-roll had passed (hipsters are kind of low hanging fruit these days, after all), I actually found myself kinda loving the humour here, particularly the way Harley dispatches the Hipster leader. Genius, I tells ya!
The rest of the issue sees Harley being kidnapped (or is she?), before the Gang finds themselves drawn into a distinctly unfunny situation featuring a brand new villain. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking here in terms of the plot itself, but Tieri and Palmiotti have done an admirable job of giving this book wonderfully offbeat sense of humour without it having to become too self-aware (I’m looking at you, Wade).
Unfortunately, the “Harleys” themselves are all pretty one-dimensional for the time being, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare as the story progresses with them pushed to the forefront. So far however, with the exception of some brilliant names and some colourful costumes, there’s not really much here to write home about.
Visually, the style of the book fits the tone perfectly, with Maricet’s bright, energetic and surprisingly detailed pencils and inks giving the story an extra surge of energy. His pages are crammed with a variety of different, expressive characters without feeling too cluttered, and – it has to be said – he draws a mean hipster.
Overall then, this is a new series that perfectly mirrors Harley herself; Bright, bold, colourful, just a little bit crazy, and almost guaranteed to evoke both love and revulsion in equal measure in its readers. Me? Well, as I said before, I’m somewhere in the middle. Not great, not awful, but well worth a look if you’re a fan of this particular gal.
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