Harley Quinn Romances #1 Review

Stories:  Alexis Quasarano, Raphael Draccon, Carolina Munhoz, Zipporah Smith, Greg Lockard, Amanda Deibert, Jessica Berbey, Frank Allen and Ivan Cohen
Art:  Max Sarin, Ig Guara, Will Robson, Giulio Macaione, Adriana Melo, Priscilla Petraites, John McCrea and Fico Ossio
Colors:  Marissa Louise, Ivan Plascencia, Andrew Dalhouse, Fabs Nocera, John Kalisz, Michael Atiyeh, Mike Spicer and Sebastian Cheng
Letters: Taylor Esposito, Becca Carey, Steve Wands, Ariana Maher, Saida Temofonte and Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $9.99
Release Date: January 31st, 2023

It’s Valentine’s Day and Harley Quinn (as well as other DC characters) have big plans!  In Harley Quinn Romances #1, an 86 page anthology, romance is front and center.  Unfortunately, as far as anthologies go, I wasn’t feeling the love with this one, though there are a couple bright spots throughout it.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Harley Quinn Romances #1 Review.

The Stories

There are 8 stories in Harley Quinn Romances #1, featuring Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batman, Power Girl, Constantine, Fire and Ice, Midnighter and Apollo, Kite Man(!), Aquaman, Big Barda, Zatanna, Lori Lemaris, Black Canary and Vixen.  Whew, that’s a lot of characters!  I only enjoyed two of the stories out of the 8, though.

The opening story, “Stranger than Fan Fiction” by Alexis Quasarno and Max Sarin, is the strongest story in the book.  Featuring Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, it has some great back-and-forth between Harley and Ivy, as Ivy tries to steal a rare flower worth millions of dollars from a charity ball as Harley professes her love to her.  It’s a super cute and fun story straight out of an old “Love American Style” episode, as Harley shows a story from her journal to Ivy (a story comically similar to “Pretty in Pink” with The Joker and Punchline as the villains/bullies).   I loved the artwork as Ivy reads Harley’s journal, it reminded me of pop-up art from old children’s books, but with a definite PG-13 edge.

The other great story is “Power Girl and All-American Boy” by Amanda Deibert and Adriana Melo, with Power Girl dating Jimmy Olsen.  It’s a fun twist on the Superman/Lois Lane relationship as Power Girl is conflicted over being involved with Jimmy and putting him at risk from her enemies.  We get some great teasing moments between Power Girl and her cousin Superman and a great fight scene between Power Girl and the villain Divine (who’s a Big Barda-style powerhouse).    There’s a lovely bittersweet ending to the story and even a She-Hulk style “breaking the 4th wall” moment from Power Girl. There are a couple stories that came close to being great (a story featuring Constantine and a story featuring Fire and Ice) but the rest of the book feels like filler.

I’m not against these seasonal one-shots, but most of them tend to be mediocre, and it’s hard to invest in these stories when they’re so short and don’t connect to anything else going on in the DC Universe.  I wish these anthologies would feature lesser-seen characters (like Power Girl and Lori Lemaris are featured here).  The book has a Batman story in it and don’t we get enough Batman stories every month already?Maybe in the future, instead of having 8 stories over 86 pages, do 4 stories so that they can be expanded and feel more consequential.  With most of the stories here only getting 8 to 10 pages, it’s hard to get anything consequential happening in them.

The Art

The art on Harley Quinn Romances #1 is wildly varied, due to the 8 artists working on it.   It’s all good, though. I liked Max Sarin’s rendering of Harley Quinn over Fico Ossio’s.  Max Sarin’s work had an animated feel to it, like I was reading an episode of the Harley Quinn animated show on HBO MAX. John McCrea’s art on the Constantine story has a gritty off-kilter feel to it.  It felt like I was reading an old issue of the British comic 2000 A.D., which I loved.   The art perfectly suited Constantine and the bizarre love story. Adriana Melo’s art on the Power Girl story was as fantastic as ever.  Melo is one of my favorite artists, and it was great to see their work popping up here.

Final Thoughts

Harley Quinn Romances #1 is an overall mediocre book with a 2 great stories and 2 slightly better than average stories out of 8.  If you’re in the mood for a mix of stories ranging from the bizarre to silly to bittersweet, this book is for you.


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