Read or Die

Review of Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes

Harley Quinn, Vol. 1: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes by Karl Kesel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, yes, I know – I’ve gone backward on the Harley Quinn timeline. (Can you cut a girl some slack? I didn’t stumble across a list of all of the comics until recently) And while I can understand wanting to keep things in order, going into the development of a character is actually really interesting. Mr. Kesel laid down the groundwork for Harley’s independence and the first breakdown of her relationship with the Joker. It’s a little difficult to read at times – both as a stalwart fan and a female – but I genuinely feel the artistic team handled the storyline well. After all, this comic series predates the Rebirth revolution. We’re talking 2007 when females in the comic universe didn’t get the proper standing they deserved. Harley holds her own in a clearly male-dominated world, and comparing her with the Rebirth series is astounding. The lines and character remain grounded and true, which I love. And seeing her come out on top of everyone that underestimates her? You have to cheer and get invested in the plot. It’s the perfect introduction for this iconic character (you know, aside from the misogynistic slant to things).

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