Harley’s Little Black Book #1 (DC Comics)
Not content with having just 2 books and random annuals starring Harley, DC has created a brand new bi-monthly team up book for Mr. J’s squeeze. Harley’ Little Black Book is a look at the DC universe through Ms. Quinn’s eyes, and when it actually commits to that idea, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s opening issue is a lot of fun. The problem is that it feels like it takes too long to get to the Wonder Woman team up that this issue’s cover depicts.
Palmiotti and Conner’s script has Harley interrupting some drug runners who are on their way to send a shipment to London. Learning of their plot to take out the “big hero” who lives there, Harley quickly pieces together that Wonder Woman is in trouble, and, being a closet mega fan of the Amazonian, takes this as an opportunity to become Wonder Woman’s new sidekick. Palmiotti and Conner’s script is actually pretty funny in this regard, as Harley’s delusions about meeting Wonder Woman are really entertaining, as is the sequence where they finally meet (yes, it’s pretty much what the cover to the book is).
However, this book still has the same problem that bugs me about the main Harley Quinn book: it’s just not very funny. Anything in the book that doesn’t focus on Harley’s infatuation with Wonder Woman kinda falls flat. It also takes way too long for this plot to get going, with pages that are stuffed with exposition and weird asides that will be confusing to anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with Harley’s main series. And as entertaining as it is seeing Harley try and get Wonder Woman to see her as an equal, in a lot of ways it feels like Conner and Palmiotti are just taking what Marvel did with Deadpool a few years ago and trying to make it work with Harley.
At least the art looks good. Amanda Conner does double duty here, as she draws this opening issue as well as co-writes it. As always, Conner’s art is arguably the reason to pick up the book, and she has some truly awesome panels here. Her facial expressions are still second to none, and the action scenes are as excellent as ever. There’s a few fill in artists helping out on a couple of pages, but they’re pretty seemless when compared to the pages that are just Conner’s work.
Harley’s Little Black Book has the potential to be something really fun, especially if Palmiotti and Conner can get to the team ups faster. If you haven’t liked any of Harley’s other series or specials, this isn’t going to change your mind, but anyone already reading those will probably enjoy this too.