So I'm figuring my comic guy didn't forget to send me Daredevil #1, which makes me a little embarrassed I ordered a copy of it along with all those back issues last week. The two things he did miss were Deadpool #24 (though he sent all the other Deadpool issues), and X-Men #9. The latter one barely counts, since that was going to be my last issue before I dropped it, anyway. So really, just one book out of almost 20. Nice.
Harley Quinn #2 & 3, by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Pamliotti (writers), Chad Hardin (artist), Stephane Roux (artist, issue 2), Alex Sinclair (colorist), John J. Hill (letterer) - Harley's bloody tear smile is actually more disturbing to me than all the animals with bloodstained paws and snouts.
Don't think it'll take long to recap the plots. First off, Harley asks Ivy to come visit, and to help her rescue a bunch of soon-to-be-euthanized animals from a shelter. With some difficulty, they manage this, and Ivy even turns Harley's main living area into a nice park for the animals. How sweet. In the second issue, Harley feels lonely on Valentine's Day, and decides to hit the town looking for love or fun. First though, she eats a berry off a plant Ivy left for her. This causes her to emit an odor than makes everyone fall madly in love with her, and she soon winds up fending off an entire bus full of convicts in a hardware store.
As a constant backdrop to all of that, there's an apparently constant flow of assassins out to collect the reward on her head.
So far, Conner and Palmiotti seem to be adopting a done-in-one strategy, focusing on zany little plots that enable Harley to demonstrate that odd mix of compassion and complete indifference she has to suffering. I'm starting to agree with the folks who said Harley's being turned into DC's version of Deadpool. The intellect Harley had, that combined with her warped perspective to make her dangerous and sympathetic, is not in evidence up to this point. Maybe once she starts working the psychiatry job, we'll see a little more of it, but right now, the book's veering a little too wacky.
This version of Poison Ivy was much more playful than I'm used to. Maybe that's how she is in the new 52, but I have a hard time picturing her taking such an active role in Harley's plan to rescue all the cuddly animals. It's not a bad shift, just something I noted as being different. I'm used to an Ivy eternally exasperated with Harley's periodic obsessions.
I can't tell who did what artistically in issue 2. The credits don't list Roux and Hardin as having illustrated different pages, so maybe Roux finished Hardin's breakdowns? Some of the facial expressions definitely seem like Roux' work, but not on a consistent enough basis for me to detect a pattern. The art itself is fine, the action scenes feel a little lifeless, lacking in a sense of impact, but some of the expression work is good. Harley and the dog's terrified reactions to the corpse suddenly rising and speaking was nice. Maybe I just liked the image of the little dog leaping in the air in fright.
I wouldn't say the book has won me over by any means, but I'm willing to give it a while longer.