Harley Quinn: Preludes And Knock-Knock Jokes by Karl Kesel, Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson (graphic novel review).

December 28, 2021 | By | Reply More

After the recent reading of Terry Dodson’s interview in Comic Book Creator # 26, I decided I ought to look at some of his work which was run in the Harley Quinn comicbook from 2000-2001 reprinted in 2007, the first seven issues in ‘Harley Quinn: Preludes And Knock-Knock Jokes’. They were spread over three graphic novels so if you buy together check the indicia page so you get them in the right sequence because there are no indications on the cover.

In some respects, as this predates the Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner material, I had to remind me themes from their run are predated here. Harley Quinn still briefly has a thing for the Joker, who doesn’t really care but will use her when it suits him. Her best friend is Poison Ivy.

Of course, with the Joker back in Arkham Asylum and Harley realises he doesn’t really love her like she did of him, she’s making her own way and reasserting her authority. If you ever wanted to know how you join some of the ‘celebrity’ villains gangs, here’s how to find out and discover they can be pretty mobile. In all of this you do have to wonder where the Bat is considering Harley is working on his Gotham turf.

Ah, when Harley gets her own gang together she leads them on a theft at Wayne Manor, only to encounter the Riddler and his gang doing the same thing. Oracle’s keeping watch and the only person she can drum up to stop the burglary and to stop either gang from discovering the secret tunnel that the Manor has is Big Barda.

Looking objectively at the art, Terry Dodson’s clean art works well with women characters where lines need to be simple. Saying that, his men are more cartoonish but everything is carried by the pace of the story. With Karl Kessel’s writing, it’s an example of leaving your sanity at the door when writing such characters.

I do think the appeal of Harley Quinn is more to do with the madness of the stories and not typical of DC’s normal cast. It would be interesting to see if DC ever comes up with a super-heroine with a similar appeal and then I remembered Power Girl. Things to come.

GF Willmetts

December 2021

(pub: DC Comics, 2007. 190 page graphic novel. Price: I pulled my copy for about £20.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-4012-1657-3)

check out website: www.dccomics.com 


Category: Comics, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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