“Reach for the sky” (Toy Story). Seems like Palmiotti and Conner are living by that quote. This third issue is crazy, not in a good way. Panel after panel of wild outlandish dialogue and story building. It’s understandable that the creative team has to finish the story line that they began with, but three issues of this nonsense is enough. Reading this is almost equivalent to reading a children’s book for the 50th time in a row, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and no that taste is not zombie guts. With this new Rebirth series, expectations have been high for many of the new series, some have risen to those expectations and others have not only fallen short but make us wish we could erase them from our memories completely. It isn’t the characters that is pungent, but rather the overall writing style and the way this whole series is progressing. Repetitive slamming away at poor jokes will not make them any better, no matter how much Palmiotti and Conner want them to be. Granted there are a few moments of exhilaration and joy during this issue. The material is so cut and dry, the jokes fall short in every which way, Harley’s cleverness and wackiness ceases to exist within this Rebirth series. Seems like it would be hard enough gathering new readers even with excellent storytelling, but it really seems like the creative team is going out of their way to prevent Harley from rising to the anti-hero that she can be and who we all want her to be. Throw in some good dialogue and one-liners and this series could make a turn for better but the damage may already be done. If not for being a free review copy, I guarantee this would not make it into my collection.
Now that the bashing is out of the way, a few things that are actually quite remarkable about the issue comes at the hands of Hardin and Timms. Two exceptionally talented artists, giving everything they have to create a fun entertaining issue that sadly doesn’t have the writing to support it. The art is literally incredible, the amount of detail in each panel and how each scene feels alive. It would be great to see Hardin and Timms work on a project together that has a stronger dialogue. All the blame I am sure can’t be put on just the writers, unless they themselves have full creativity rights to the story. Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for after this first arc is over, to take a step back and really think about the direction they want to take Harley Quinn, because this path is leading them off a cliff.
Looking into the future is something I don’t do, but if I had to guess as to what is coming with this series, more dry humor, more incredible art, and an overall lack of enthusiasm. Save yourself the heartache and money and just read a spoiler for this issue, unless you in fact are enjoying the series. In that case, enjoy.
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Harley Quinn #3 Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner Artist: Chad Hardin and John Timms Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital