Harley Quinn: 30th Anniversary Special #1

DC Comics

Written by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Rafael Scavone, Stephan Sejic, Stephanie Phillips, Kami Garcia, Paul Dini, Sam Humphries, Rob Williams, Cecil Castellucci, Mindy Lee and Terry Dodson

Art by Chad Hardin, Raphael Albuquerque, Stephan Sejic, Riley Rossmo, Mico Suayan, Jason Badower, Guillem March, Eric Henderson, John Timms, Dan Hipp, Terry Dodson

Colors by Alex Sinclair, Marcelo Maiolo, Ivan Plascencia, Annette Kwok, Tomeu Morey

Inks by Rachel Dodson

Letters by Dave Sharpe, Josh Reed, Pat Brosseau, Deron Bennett, Richard Starkings, Comicraft’s Tyler Smith, Tom Napolitano, Saida Temofonte, and Clayton Cowles

The Rundown: A compilation of short stories in celebration of Harley Quinn.

Uncommon Bonds
A foiled robbery attempt on Harley’s New York residence leads the former clown to return to Gotham. She then reconnects with Alfred Pennyworth and the two confront armed thieves in Wayne Manor. Afterwards, the duo have a lively meal together.

An Alfred/Harley team up is the adventure I never knew I needed. Their odd couple dynamic was a treat to behold.

Cease and Desist
Harley joins the newest member of the Suicide Squad, “Fifteen Minutes Man,” on a reconnaissance mission. Once the two arrive at the selected location, they discover something unexpected, and the real meaning of Fifteen’s name is revealed. Afterwards, Harley waxes sentimental as she contacts Waller.

This was a heartbreaking story that focuses on Harley’s compassion, as well as the brutality involved in Suicide Squad membership.

A conversation with Catwoman triggers Harley’s desire to wreak havoc on Gotham’s criminal element. She then goes out in search of goons to harass. Later, she confronts an old acquaintance and Ivy arrives on the scene. Finally, a flashback conversation provides more clarity regarding the current events.

I found this to be a thought-provoking tale that delves into Harley’s psyche. I also really loved seeing a reunion of the Gotham City Sirens.

How To Train Your Hyena
In the past, Harley and her hyena pets confront an enemy. In the present, she and Kevin search for the animals in a wildlife preserve where the encounter a group of poachers. Then Harley takes things into her own hands in an attempt to stop the villains from causing harm.

This modern tale will tie-in to Harley Quinn #22. I love watching Harley interact with those she loves, and this story captures her heart and soul.

Criminal Sanity
Harleen confronts Commissioner Gordon regarding an open investigation. She then gives her opinion on a murder case resulting in a speedy capture of the killer. She is later offered a consultant position with the GCPD.

This tale explores the life of Harleen Quinzel and her time working with the Gotham City PD and serves as a prequel to the Joker/Harley: Criminal Insanity limited series. I really enjoyed this story. It was interesting to see Harley’s life and personality before she was influenced by the Joker.

Sirens Soiree
When a bored Harley convinces the Sirens to throw a housewarming party, chaos ensues as a variety of guests arrive including both hero and “former” villain. When an unexpected partygoer arrives, Harley relies on her therapy skills. Finally, the roommates leave their guests in favor of a quiet night out.

Another fun and interesting female-oriented story featuring Gotham’s favorite trio. I enjoyed the interactions between the various partygoers.

A Legend is Born
The story opens with Harleen going on a quest. In the recent past, Harleen quits her job as a barmaid and goes on a quest to recover something precious. After exploring a hidden castle, she encounters a deadly monster and obtains a special weapon. Finally, in the present, Queen Harleen has a discussion with her subjects.

This is a cute medieval adventure that could possibly lead into further tales.

The Last Harley Story
Harley challenges Amanda Waller during her time in the Suicide Squad. Then, after a deadly incident, she goes on an epic adventure. Finally, her recent activities catch up with her.

This rather bleak narrative is expressive of what could be a long-held fear of Squad members. However, I really like the way this tale was presented.

Troop Harley Quinn
After being rejected from the Gotham City Women’s Club, Harley becomes a Gotham Gals troop leader in an attempt to gain entry into the prestigious organization. She then proceeds to teach her troop leadership skills based on their preferences. In the end, Harley and the group make positive changes.

This lively and youthful adventure has a positive and empowering message. I enjoy stories that place emphasis on empowerment and staying true to yourself.

Harley’s World
Harley is chased through Gotham City by Batman. She then has run ins with her ex-lovers. Afterwards, her true circumstances are revealed.

This wild and whimsical adventure has a heartbreaking ending. Yet, it perfectly captures the spirit of Harley’s life and times.

Harley Quinn: 30th Anniversary Special #1



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