Harley’s Little Black Book is a mish-mash of random stories that teams everyone’s favorite anti-heroine with other prominent heroes in the DC Universe. There’s no real plot or unifying tie between the stories apart from Harley’s involvement. The ‘black book’ theme is just an excuse to have Harley fighting alongside the likes of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Superman.

One’s enjoyment of Harley’s Little Black Book will come down to one simple questioncan you ignore little things like continuity and common sense for the sake of a good story, or, failing that, a good laugh?

If you are the sort of comics fan who will go blue in the face listing the reasons why it would be impossible to sell a Green Lantern ring on eBay, this book is not for you.

If you are the sort of person who thinks that violence only leads to more violence and that no good can come of depicting a Jewish woman beating up the Adolf Hitler of another reality and driving him to suicide, this book is not for you.

If you’re a fan of the classic Lobo comics of the 1990s, this comic is for you. Even before the final chapter where The Main Man himself shows up!

As with their earlier work on the Harley Quinn monthly comic, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have no higher purpose other than making the reader laugh. Much of the humor is juvenile, such as the repeated jokes about Harley’s much-abused stuffed beaver and his ghost, who is still searching for wood in the afterlife.

Despite this, the pair do manage some more sophisticated comedy. The fourth chapter, which sees Harley traveling between realities to the world of DC’s Bombshells, features a sequence with Harley fighting Adolf Hitler that calls to mind the Warner Brothers cartoons of the 1940s despite the fight largely taking place off-panel. The fifth chapter is also noteworthy as a neat tribute to and parody of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.

A team of top-notch artists bring this madness to life. The lion’s share of the book is illustrated by John Timms. Famed pin-up artist Joseph Michael Linser tackles the chapter teaming Harley and Zatanna. Neal Adamswho provided the artwork for the original Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali comicdoes the same for Superman Vs. Harley Quinn. And Lobo co-creator Simon Bisley lends his artistic eye to the final chapter, in which Harley winds up naked and stranded with Lobo on a savage planet.

Given that, it should be no surprise to anyone that Harley’s Little Black Book is rated for audiences 15 and up. There’s no outright nudity anywhere in the book though there is a good deal of suggestive posing and scanty costuming. There is a ton of innuendo and adult situations, particularly in the chapter with Lobo where the only thing that stops the two anti-heroes from having wild sex under a waterfall is the sudden awakening of a giant snake. Yes, they do make the obvious joke. We also get to see Harley riding the giant snake and there are a few jokes about Superman’s balls.

Harley’s Little Black Book
by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by John Timms, Amanda Conner, Simon Bisley, William Tucci, Joseph Michael Linser, Dave Johnson, Neal Adams, and Mauricet
ISBN: 9781401269760
DC Comics, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 15+

  • Matt

    | He/Him Librarian

    Reviewer

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

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