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Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes SC Paperback – January 27, 2009
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In this volume Harley decides she wants to establish herself as a baddie in old run-down Gotham and for that, she goes on to ditch the Joker and start her own gang. This volume is equipped with half-witted crime schemes, a slumber party, villain team-ups, a failed attempt to loot Bruce Wayne's mansion, and hilarity ensues. The thing that makes this book a plus, is that with Harley's independence from the Joker, the writer is left with plenty of room to explore the character's psyche beyond that of a mere henchgirl with a perverse obsession with one of Gotham's most notorious criminals. The stories go on to illustrate the things that make Harley a heartless criminal as well as the things that make her a sympathetic human being.
Overall this is a good book for any comicbook fan (and Harley fans in general) to possess and enjoy. The stories are fun to read, equipped with witty dialogue, and of course Harley's twisted sense of humour. Die-hard fans of the animated series may be disappointed to learn that Harley's not as innocent in these pages as she is in DCAU, but with Dodson's luscious artwork and Kesel's own spin to establish the Character beyond of what's already familiar to most, make it all worthwhile in my opinion.
The problem here is that despite lip service to her being a "brilliant" psychiatrist and much smarter than her persona, we never really see any evidence of it. Her adventures / scores may be wonderfully planned and thought out, but if so, we don't ever see any of that. And, frankly, a whole collection of bad puns doesn't help all too much.
A couple of the stories here are fun and entertaining - the book is not without its merits - but as a whole, meh.
Side note and soapbox: I get it that comics are fantasy and that they generally appeal to males, but jeebus, does EVERY female have to have enormous breasts, tiny waists, bubble bottoms and skin-tight (or non-existent) costumes. On every page. In every situation. Do not female characters ever sit around the house, or hideout, in baggy jeans and sweatshirts? They have to wear these painted on costumes at all times? Sheesh.
Okay - all done.
A. Bumbling sidekick,
B. Clingy girlfriend,
C. Absolutely awesome villain in her own right?
After reading this compilation of Harley Quinn #1-7, the answer is quite obviously C. In this, the Maid of Mischief goes up against some of Batman's greatest villains, throws a very dangerous slumber party, creates her own team, and overall, is absolutely fantastic. Funny and interesting with great action and superb artwork by the Dodsons.
The art does shift from time to time, and at strange places -- I assume this is a result of Terry Dodson and his wife working together. It will slip from it's streamlined and curvy artstyle to a more cartoony Bruce Timm-esque look, but these changes are pretty rare and don't bother you if you're ready for them.
In this marvelous collection, Harley gets betrayed for the umpteenth time by her puddin', the Joker. She goes on the tussle with Two-Face, throw an all-villainess party, start her own gang, the Quinntets, and then go off on her own schemes that pit her against the Riddler and Big Barda. Along the way, a few detectives search for her, digging into her past.
I'm absolutely trying to find the rest of this series now. Pity it's so tough to find.
Visually, the pages here feature mostly fantastic, seductive, pin-up style panels of Harley mixed with some cartoon like panels that resemble her in the Batman animated series. One has to assume the later is done because of time constraints, but whatever. This is more an observation than a complaint.
The stories here are fairly light weight, but are filled with enough action, humor and dialog here to keep things engaging.
More Harley Quinn please! She's perhaps the most interesting "super villainess" in the history of comics.
Though she's been portrayed as a much darker character in other series (which I've also enjoyed), I really had fun with this return to a lighter, funnier version of Harley. This Harley is very similar to the Harley of B:TAS, visually and personality wise. Though this Harley gets a little more depth and credit for her brains. Which is one of it's points of appeal to me.
One of my favorite things about Harley is that, yeah, she's totally crazy (and has terrible taste in men), but she's also smart. I think it's a disservice when writers "forget" her backstory as a brilliant psychiatrist - there's so much more meat to her when it's acknowledged and integrated that Harley "gets" people: She understands their damage and how they think and she plays on that to her advantage. She even understands her own damage, though she chooses not to acknowledge it. Those traits make for a more interesting character with opportunity for real depth, even when it's played "light".
There are some neat, subtle moments in this volume that touch on Harley's personal psychology and backstory and speak to the fact that she's smarter and deeper than others give her credit for. I'm hoping for more of that in the next volume, which I'll be reading asap.
Overall, I liked seeing Harley "take a break" from her Mistah J and step up from sidekick status in these not-always-entirely light-hearted stories. There were some very funny moments mixed in with some great scenes of Harley just being a totally kick-ass chick, which is always one of my favorite character traits. What's not to love?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Harley Quinn and I think she is perfect when she has her cowl. I know she recently got revamped but this is what I see as "classic Harley" and it is my favorite... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Flo
Great condition and fair price. Thanks for helping me further my collection :)Published 4 months ago by Elizabeth
An amazing Harley Quinn story! This is much much much better than the new 52. This stands to be among one of my favorite versions of her! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amanda Bright
Volume 1 of the set. Great series, I like that it's only 4 volumes long. Very affordable collection to enjoy. Harley Quinn is great!Published 11 months ago by Charlie Forrester
This is volume/book 2 of the set. Great series, I like that it's only 4 volumes long. Very affordable collection to enjoy. Harley Quinn is great!Published 11 months ago by Charlie Forrester