About 20 issues ago, Paul Dini contributed a back-up story to Harley Quinn, set in the days when Harley and Joker were still a couple – couple of criminals, couple of crazies, take your pick. Harley Loves Joker picks up where that story left off, with Harley in imminent danger of losing the happy ha-ha-hacienda for which she has paid dearly to acquire.
Not only is Harley in debt to the Carpenter, a master criminal who also builds lairs for other super-villains, but Mr. J is being dogged a new thief in Gotham. The Grison has been beating the Joker to one score after another, and it’s making him unhappy. But there may be more to the Grison’s motives than merely grabbing Puddin’s attention.
No one can deny Dini’s skills as a writer, and seeing him on a character he co-created is a genuine treat. Bret Blevin’s artwork evokes animation, but not so much so that it comes off as a cheap imitation. It has its own style that works on multiple levels, and works very well.
My only concern is that Harley Quinn is an increasingly popular character in danger of being over-exposed. She has her regular title publishing twice a month, and in addition there have been numerous specials and guest appearances in other books. It is my hope that the audience will not grow weary of her err too long.