Off the Shelf — Harley Quinn Volume 1: Hot in the City

harley quinn hot in the city

Nutshell: Hot in the City is a must for Quinn fans, even though this TPB it isn’t a completist’s dream. Gorgeous drink-it-all-in art, 4th-wall busting at it’s most wack-a-doo, and Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s tongue-in-cheek storytelling gets you one highly entertaining read.

Story: Everyone’s favorite fruitcake gets her own New 52 series!  After a rocky start (naturally), our gal with a sledgehammer heart of gold gets down to business when she inherits a building in Coney Island, decides to get a job or two, and gets targeted by every creep in the city.  Will she rule the day?  What do you think?

Thoughts: I’ve always had a soft spot for Harley.  Her nutball-may-care attitude often hides a soft spot for the downtrodden.  Plus, what woman hasn’t fallen for the wrong man over and over again?  At least she looks good doing it.  That’s been thanks to Amanda Conner and the glorious artwork she cooks up.  I could just stare at Conner’s glorious cover art for hours.  Okay fine; I’ve actually stared at her art for hours.  But don’t worry, I’m getting really good at squinting from 300 feet away.  Thank you, officer.  Ahem.

I got sucked into this New 52 series because of the multiple artists promised in #0.  And boy did they deliver.  #0 served as a master-class with some of the best talent in comics today.  Naturally, I wanted more.  So here we are.  Hot in the City collects issues #0-8 of Harley’s New 52 run, and while that’s a lot of fun and mayhem, I was kinda hoping for two more tidbits.  That’d be Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International: San Diego #1 (say that five times fast), and the commentary, art and other assorted extra tidbits from Harley Quinn #0: Director’s Cut.  Sure, that’d probably make this TPB around 200 pages, but I’m fine with that.  (Plus, you try finding a copy of Director’s Cut outside of eBay and the Amazon resellers snake pit.)

So, what about this particular trade would make fans want to shell out their hard-earned?  Well, it’s a chance to get all the issues collected in a tidy package, along with all the covers (including my personal favorites, Adam Hughes’ beautiful #1 variant, & the Robot Chicken variant of #4) and sketch pages.  If  you already have all the issues, the sketch pages may not be enough to ring the dinner bell, but the collection of variant covers may do the trick.  If you don’t have ’em yet, this is a great way to catch up and get your hands on Harley, Ivy, Bernie and the gang.  Have I mentioned how much I love Bernie the beaver?  Because I do. Here’s hoping for a Bernie-centric issue in Harley Quinn‘s future.

Subscribe or Shelve?:  While this is a TPB rather than the usual single-issue, I’m definitely in the subscribe column for Miss Quinn.  Not to drop any spoilers for folks who aren’t up to #10 yet, but things are just as chao-tastic after her first arc.  Bless your crazy little heart, fruitcakes.

[NOTE: I received a copy of this title from DC via NetGalley]

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