Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes
by Karl Kesel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a fun read. The art was great, the stories were fun and interesting and had more depth than I was expecting, in some cases (and a little less in others.) And Harley was ... Harley.
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?
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