Harley Qwednesday :: Harley Quinn #0
I intentionally avoided discussing the controversy surrounding the production of Harley Quinn #0 when it was heating up the internet a few weeks back, but I think I'll speak to it now that the issue is out and the controversial scene has been nixed. I promise to be brief.
To recap: DC Comics asked aspiring artists to draw Harley attempting suicide with small appliances and a bathtub. The 'winning' page was set to appear as part of the story in Issue #0. Little story info or context was given to the public about the narrative in full, and understandably some people took issue with the concept, focusing primarily on the fact that Harley would be nude (in the bath) and committing suicide (even though she was a member of the Suicide Squad!).
Disclosure and presentation on the part of DC may have lacked sensitivity or foresight, but mostly (and this is just my opinion) I think people over-reacted. As a fan of classic Looney Tunes, Tex Avery, the Three Stooges, and slapstick comedy in general, and as one who felt it was easy to understand what the writers were trying to do even given the limited information they presented, I actually thought the scene would have been funny within the full context of the story. But people got angry and it didn't happen. End of story.
So let's move out of the past and into Harley Quinn Issue #0, with art by seventeen famous (and soon to be famous) artists, available at comic shops everywhere right now!
Harley Quinn #0 is a meta tale that breaks the fourth wall throughout: Harley talks to herself, teddy bears, her artists and even us readers while dreaming of being the star of her own comic book, and imagines said comic drawn by a multitude (17) of current popular artists.
No such dream would have been complete without art (above) by the man who made Harley (along with Paul Dini) from day one: Bruce Timm.
I submit that a page should have also been given to Terry and Rachel Dodson to draw and ink, since they were the artists on Harley Quinn's original comic book run. Why there wasn't any art done by the Dodsons is beyond me - maybe the reason was legal, scheduling related, or maybe financial, but if it was merely because no one considered the idea I take greater issue with that fact than with the suicide page that wasn't.
Missed opportunities aside, the story was pretty cute and sets us up to where the main series will begin. It does not yet explain her Roller Derby costume, but hey...Harley Quinn in a Roller Derby costume. I'm still not overly fond of a full-body-permawhite Harley Quinn, and I am definitively a purist when it comes to her costume. But I have to admit, a Roller Derby Harley Quinn is a sexy beast indeed.
The story presents some fun surprise artists too, like Art Baltazar who provides art to the page that ups the ante on Kevin Smith. Bat-bladder spasm? Psshhh, you fanboys ain't seen nothing yet.
Other highlights include art by Stephane Roux, Dan Panosian, Walter Simonson, Darwyn Cooke, and Becky Cloonan to name just a few.
Harley Quinn #0 has me hopeful for the series. I'm interested to find out what Harley gets herself up to on a monthly basis. If you've read it, let us know what you thought. If you haven't I recommend it!