Review: Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey: Hunt for Harley (DC Comics)

Writer: Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Amanda Connor and Chad Hardin
Colourist: Alex Sinclair and Paul Mounts and Erica Eren Angiolini
Letterer: John J. Hill and Dave Sharpe
On Sale: 23/3/2021

The creative team that transformed Harley Quinn forever returns to shake up her world once more-and this time, the gloves are off!

PLOT AND STORY

After falling behind on her very unsavory mortgage payments, Harley finds herself in debt with the wrong people. On a mission to solve her financial struggles Harley must return to Gotham and ruffle a few feathers and none more than her ex puddin The Joker. Through entirely faults of her own, Harley becomes Gotham’s most wanted and it’s down to her pals the Birds of Prey to help save the day.

Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor return to create what I would honestly say is the most fun Harley Quinn story I have ever read. This story truly encapsulates the crazy mindset of Harley whilst embedding the message that deep down she is a hero. Harley Quinn has become the Deadpool of the DC universe in my opinion because she works best in the graphic world of comics. It’s in this playground where Harley can let loose and bring so much humour and joy to the pages. 

From start to finish this is a very funny book. It’s crude and awkward humour that works so well with Harley’s personality and it’s this version of Harley which plays the biggest influence on her movie and animated adaptations. Be it the cheesy one liners like “Nailed it” when shooting someone with a nail gun or the awkward situational moments like getting out of bed naked in front of Alfred Pennyworth and the expression on his face.

For me what really stands out is how good the story flows throughout the whole book. It’s not just a simple action rom-com and it doesn’t rely on the graphic scenes to turn the pages. This is a well plotted, written and executed story which has depth and layered plot points giving a huge collection of characters their own time to shine.

ARTWORK 

The first thing that stood out for me with this book is just how sexy it is. There are countless times we see Harley with next to nothing on and every time the book is drawn in a way to emphasise her womanly features. This is the same for all the female characters, drawing back on comics from the 80’s and 90’s but with a very modern style. It’s a bold statement to make in today’s climate but it works. Some of the narrative even makes comments on some of the more raunchy costumes like the size of Power Girls cleavage whole.

Amanda Connor has to be my favourite Harley Quinn artist because she always looks perfect on every page. Even with a more toned figure in the Black and White and Red stories she brings Harley’s natural beauty out. 

The second highlight which stood out for me was the vibrancy to the colour scheme thanks to Alex Sinclair. Gotham is a dark and depressing city and we are so used to seeing that but the way this book lifts colour from the pages is majestic. Every page has something which stands out and catches your eye, it’s either the bold red in Harleys bikini or the bright yellow of Bat Girls costume or the Huntresses eye catching purple or a simple neon graffiti tag on a background wall.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

A collected edition of 5 individual issues which really benefits from being read collectively. If you like the movie or animated version of Harley Quinn then you will love this book because it will feel very familiar. I found this to be the most fun, most entertaining Harley Quinn story I have ever read. The beauty to this book is that Harley is the main character but the Birds of Prey are ever present and Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Rene Montoya and Black Canary get plenty of page time.

I read this via an advance physical copy issued by Penguin Random house on behalf of DC Comics and received no other incentive to review this comic. All images are owned and courtesy of DC comics.

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