Review: Harley Quinn #22

“The Family Circles,” Part 1


Writers: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini

Artists: John Timms, J. Bone, Bret Blevins

(Minor spoilers ahead)

Ma and Pa Quinzel are in town, and their daughter is going out of her way to keep up appearances. She puts on makeup, hides her friends, and plays “doctor” in a hospital while a friend plays along. Meanwhile, Chief Spoonsdale’s cannibal case is disappearing after a new attorney shows up at his precinct, threatening that he drop the case. We’re left with a fun cliffhanger of a mystery guest who wants/needs Harley to help her bring down the mayor.

If you’ve been following my reviews of Harley Quinn, then this review will sound like a repeat. This title is a blast, and has been since I started following it a couple months ago. Writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have helped bring this character to the forefront and lead the way as one of DC’s funnest comics. Who would have thought an issue introducing her PARENTS would be fun? The idea itself sounds ridiculous and as a write-off. However, Conner and Palmiotti have planted some great seeds for a payoff in the coming issues. I firmly believe after this front Harley worked so hard to put on, her parents will find out the truth. That’s exciting. Plus, there’s an opportunity to put them in danger, which can bring other dynamics to our lead.

Oh, how good is this title?!

The art continues to be a blast. Harley Quinn #22 continues its streak of looking 100% like a comic book, recognizing the fun world we’re involved in here and the tone that’s set. Everything is happening during the day, colors are bright, characters are bright, and that’s refreshing. I like the dark, complexities happening in many books but it’s great to pick up a bright book that’s not trying to outthink itself.

Paul Dini continues to have a blast with the backup story. In this issue, he brings back his own creation, The Carpenter, and an Alice in Wonderland inspired villain, Harriet. Not too much happens except some great dialogue between the three gals, Tweedle-Dee (or Dum, they’re not sure) and the Joker. Oh, and we get a nice appearance from Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon, as well as a new villain that’s sure to pop up in the next issue. The great backup “Harley Loves Joker” continues, and its wonderful.


I hope DC has picked up on how much fun this book is. Great characters, great fights, great art and a great backup easily makes this one of the company’s most enjoyable titles.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

Ryan Lower

A lifelong fan of the Dark Knight, Ryan Lower grew up far from Gotham in Indiana but has planted roots in Chicago. A writer for a T.V. station, he also enjoys brooding at home in his own batcave, devouring Batman comics, shows and movies.