I remember when this series debuted in 2000. Bear in mind, this was years before Harley exploded in popularity, when she was seen as Joker’s hench and not much more.
I questioned how Harley could anchor her own book and upon deciding I wasn’t interested in solo tales of her at that time, I passed on the title almost entirely (minus #2, as I am a Two-Face fan, afterall).
Years later, I was more into the idea of solo Harley, so I decided to jump into this series.
My reaction then was the same as it was upon this recent re-read: mostly disappointment.
The artwork is beautiful, but that’s really the only thing these early issues had going for them.
The writing is uneven, which emphasizes my idea that at the time of its creation, nobody was sure where to take Harley on her own, as solo tales with her had not yet been done in the comics or other media.
Ultimately, these issues fell flat in the writing arena, but absolutely excel in their art. The Dodsons are true artistes and then some.
SN: I think the first series to star Harley that worked was Gotham City Sirens. Sure, it’s not a solo gig, but she stuck the landing, and then some, in that one.
Its been a while since I’ve read this series. I remember thinking it was decent, but that it didn’t quite feel like Harley, and was too “cheesecake.” My opinion hasn’t changed much. Some people know how to write her, some people absolutely DO NOT. This one falls in the middle for me.
Art work is solid—that remains true. If it weren’t for effective visuals Im wondering if I’d have given it a shot the first time around?? Artwork MATTERS! It can sometimes make or break a story. Here, while overly sexualized, its dynamic enough to help keep things afloat a bit, even though, Harley doesn’t quite have a solid voice and characterization, like we’ve seen in other runs.
@Vroom makes a great point: She was still a fairly new character when this came out, and they weren’t sure what to do w/ her yet or where to go. That’s probably why something felt off. Nice call.
Anyone else read it yet? pssst @Mae? @DC89? I suspect no. Its ok. There’s plenty of others… just curious
yes! while she isn’t exactly the Harley i’ve come to love, i’ve still highly enjoyed the series so far! i don’t think it’s really what Harley should be, but i just love reading about her and as it’s already been stated, the artwork is amazing imo
i may or may not be on issue 12
It’s uber cheesecake @Razzzcat. In issue No 3 Writer Karl Kessel and artist Terry Dodson essentially unearth every single inaccurate female stereotype that they can and shoehorn them all into every single panel of the book. The trope selection ranges from ultra suggestive anatomical poses, close up cheesecake shots, and needless overly suggestive sexual tension between the female characters via the book’s ham-handed script. It’s essentially every twelve-year-old boys’ fantasy of what girls do at a slumber party. The dialogue is a tapestry of campy one-liners, verbal catfighting that shows the female characters completely non-supportive of one another, and a decidedly apathetic attempt to build an engaging storyline. At one point in the story Kessel writes Selina launching into a very pointed diatribe brimming with hatred of men that tends to paint her as somewhat mentally imbalanced due to her unexplained disdain for the XY chromosome. It’s really kinda’ bad in every way. I snipped some examples of the more cringeworthy story elements and posted them below:
Yep. Too much style, but next to no substance. Obviously, they weren’t sure who the audience would be, and time has definitely not treated this one kindly. Hasn’t aged well.
Unfortunately there’s still worse out there. So I’m giving it a C
i think that, as far as i’ve gotten, the sleepover is it’s lowest point. i’m hoping things will pick themselves up a bit. the storyline that inspired some of BOP is near the end, and i’m really looking forward to that
I had just remembered why I stopped reading the series after the first two, it just wasn’t the storyline that I enjoy for Harley. The slumber party was a bummer, if anything I expected Harley to go all out, go do crime with the gals and not just play truth or dare in her hideout. They added Thorn there and gave her room to show her leaving with the delivery boy, I just thought it wasn’t really necessary to have her there I agree with everyone, they just didn’t know where to go with Harley. One reason I think it’s because people probably wanted her with Joker and not solo. But, I will admit I was proud of my girl towards the end of the slumber party to want to focus on herself (how Ivy was proud of hearing that from her). I wish I enjoyed reading the first four a little more but it was pretty disappointing.