Prior to reading this issue, here’s what I knew about Harley Quinn:
- She was The Joker’s girlfriend, though it’s not entirely clear if he was as committed to her as she was to him.
- She’s mentally ill.
- She was, at some point, a member of Suicide Squad.
- Kevin Smith named his daughter after her.
DASSIT. I’d never read a comic book with her, or about her. This is probably more understandable once you know that I’ve always been more of a Marvel girl than DC, though my favorite superhero since childhood is Superman.
When I heard about the Convergence event (pre-Flashpoint characters and worlds re-emerging and being torn apart to form something new), I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to jump into some DC titles from the beginning. While I have decided to – for now – bypass the main Convergence issues, I will be reading a few of the tie-ins based on characters I was already interested in, or wanted to know more about. I picked Harley Quinn, Superman, Suicide Squad, and The Flash. Of those four, I’ve read the first three and decided to continue with (and review) HQ and Superman. Suicide Squad just didn’t hold my interest, though I really wanted to support my thick-sistah, Amanda Waller.
The premise of Convergence is fairly simple: a mysterious dome has covered select cities within the various pre-Flashpoint DC universes. No one can go in or out, goods can’t be exported or imported, and anyone with powers becomes regular, power-less. In ‘Down the Rabbit Hole,’ (Harley Quinn #1), the dome covered Gotham City just as Harley Quinn was about to kill a cop who’d busted up her armed robbery of an art museum.
A year later, Harley has adjusted to being a somewhat normal woman thanks to the help of Dr. Elstree and the love a man, Louie, who was the cop she was about to kill in the museum. As part of her therapy, Dr. Elstree had arranged a meeting with the recovering cop, hoping it would help Harley empathize with her victims. She did more than empathize: the two are in love and living together. Her life seems to be under control until we learn she’s been seeing flashes of The Joker.
Meanwhile, Catwoman and Poison Ivy don’t need their powers to kick the asses of the men who tried to rob their building. Everything comes to a standstill when a voice emits from the dome. His name is Telos and he announces the dome will be lifted so that a champion from each city can fight. In the end, only one city will remain while the rest are tossed into oblivion. And the champion for this Gotham is none other than Harley Quinn. She’ll be facing off against a muscular rabbit with a cape – Captain Carrot from the Tangent Universe. The muscles and the cape lead Ivy and Catwoman to assume they’re pretty much fucked.
The bad guys agree and decide on a new plan: Find Harley and kill her so Telos can pick a new champion and they’ll have a real chance at not dying. Of course, this means Catwoman and Ivy need to get to her first to stop that from happening.
When they arrive at Harley’s, Catwoman handles subduing Louie while Ivy administers a shot that will restore the old Harley. Louie is furious. Harley had been drug-free for months, maintaining her new outlook on life all on her own. Oh, buddy. You don’t know about the flashes of The Joker in her mind.
Whatever they shot her up with works and Harley awakens as her old self.
- The way Harley speaks is going to take a bit to get used to, but it’s funny. Moider?
- The concept is interesting, but seems a bit dated. Even Harley asks, “What’s the Hungry Games?” when Ivy tries to explain why they need her. Awww. Bless.
- The main reason I decided to stick with this over something like Suicide Squad was because I immediately connected to Harley and genuinely want to see what happens next. I’m rooting for her. Can she return to the old Harley, help the city, but still love Louie?
- Her body is kinda ridiculous. She looks like she could kill a man with a leg along. Love it.