Agnes Garbowska, Amanda Conner, Batman, Batman Day Week, Build-A-Bear, comic books, comics, Comixology, Dark Knight Returns, David Finch, DC Superhero Girls, free, Fun, Harley Quinn, Harley Quinn Day, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joker, Marcelo DiChiara, Red Tool, Shea Fontana, Tom King
Continuing this week’s theme of
Batman Day Harley Quinn Day 2017, today I am looking at the comic books for this year’s event.
HARLEY QUINN BATMAN DAY SPECIAL EDITION
This issue is a reprint from the current Harley Quinn series by the creative team of Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, and John Timms. The story starts off with the Joker appearing uninvited at Harley Quinn’s home. After Harley demands that he leaves, Joker says he wants to talk to her about their future. Outside, Joker has a run in with supporting character Red Tool.
Later, Harley and Red Tool go to a chamber with a series of doors. Apparently this place has been mentioned previously in the series, but since I haven’t been reading it, I’m not familiar with it. They then proceed to blow up one of the doors and discover a huge, gelatinous tentacle monster within.
Once they have destroyed the monster, Quinn returns home to rest up for her meeting with the Joker. However, Red Tool sabotages her plans and meets with the Joker in her stead. The story then ends with an implied confrontation between Red Tool and the Joker in the next issue.
This is an alright story and it’s nice to see Joker in Harley Quinn’s world, but I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for a promotional giveaway. Between the door sequence and a subplot involving something with the mayor, there were too many things I was either confused or didn’t care about, and I’ve been reading Batman comics for 28 years! I realize they want the reader to be interested enough to pick up the monthly series, but after this why would they? It’s probably a good cross-section of the book, but this doesn’t make me want to check it out.
BATMAN DAY SPECIAL EDITION
For the giveaway Batman book, there is a reprint of number 16 of the latest volume. This is the first part of the I Am Bane storyline. I loved this issue when it came out and there is an AMAZING scene where the Robins meet with Batman, sans costumes, in a Batman inspired fast food restaurant. The character moments alone from this scene make the book. As far as I am concerned, that scene is a high point of Tom King and David Finch’s run.
While this is a reprint of a recent issue, which has become DC’s m.o. of late, see recent Free Comic Book Day offerings from them, this issue had an added bonus. Harley Quinn has a framing sequence before and after the story here. She talks directly to the reader and references the story within. Fitting in with the whimsical theme as portrayed on the cover, adding a silhouette of Harley onto Frank Miller’s classic Dark Knight Returns cover. The only way they could have enhanced this would be to have her interrupt the story within. While this would have been extra work, it definitely would have added some MST3K-like shenanigans to the book.
I would have preferred an original story as a freebie book, but this is a nice compromise and keeping with the theme of Harley Quinn taking over Batman Day.
DC SUPER HERO GIRLS BATMAN DAY SPECIAL EDITION
The final offering from this year’s event is a preview of the upcoming DC Super Hero Girls book, Out of the Bottle, by Shea Fontana, Marcelo DiChiara, and Agnes Garbowska. I have been a fan of this concept since last year’s Free Comic Book Day issue.
In this issue Katana, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn are work on an art assignment to make their own comic books. We see the stories that Katana and Supergirl have come up with while Wonder Woman and Harley struggle to finish the project. The story is set to take a turn though as Harley discovers magic paints that are sure to lead to some mischief in the graphic novel.
The remainder of the book is file pages giving information on the characters. Towards the end there is also a maze you can complete. For a new reader, this is a pretty easy story to get into. Not a lot of backstory and confusing subplots to bog down the fun. This should be very accessible for any reader.
Throughout the comics there are also Harley Quinn themed ads for upcoming products. The oddest is probably a Build-A-Bear one with Joker and Harley themed bears. Another bonus is that all 3 books come with digital codes. This is nice since you usually have to shell out $3.99 for a book before DC will give you a digital version. However, all these books are free on Comixology, so the inclusion of the codes seems unnecessary. Also, be sure to check with your local comic shop and see if they have any copies left if you missed out.
All-in-all, these are good comics that will hopefully bring some new readers into the world of comic books. Plus, they’re free so you can’t complain too much.