Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki


*No Major Spoilers*

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named Mama. Ever since Harleen’s parents split, Mama has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This graphic novel caught my eye at the library, and I thought I’d give it a try. I do like Harley Quinn as a character and since this was going to be a new take on her origin story I thought this deserved my attention. So let’s shatter this review of Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass!

First off, I love the diverse cast of characters involved. Ivy is African American and even though her parents are an active part of the community they still struggle with fighting the gentrification of the neighborhood. Ivy spends a lot of her high school days protesting the school’s film club’s non-diverse movie club. I think seeing her fight for justice as a whole and not just environmental issues makes her a more relatable character.

Harley is as chaotic as always. She’s picking fights with boys she calls ‘boogers’ and teaches them a valuable lesson about not messing with her or her family. She behaves like she’s in middle school and not in high school, which got on my nerves a bit. Harley quickly falls in love with her found family and seeing her defend them was heartwarming.

I was glad this novel wasn’t 100% focused on Harley and Joker. I do enjoy seeing the friendship dynamic between Harley and Ivy no matter what story or universe. Joker is more of a background character up until the final climax. He is still somewhat rational, and Harley even sees that eventually.

I don’t really have any major gripes with this story except Harley’s immaturity and the overuse of the word ‘booger’. Again, this is supposed to take place during high school not middle or elementary school. Just a small nitpick on my part.

Overall, I really enjoyed this fun graphic novel. It was a fresh take on Harley Quinn’s backstory and I thought this was a great found family story also. Even though Harley’s insults toward boys could’ve been more diverse, I think this suits Harley as well.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Marvel Comics

REVIEW: She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Deconstructed by Mariko Tamaki

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*No Spoilers*

Jennifer Walters has survived the second Civil War…barely. But, having risen from the rubble, she re-enters the world a very different kind of hero. Fueled by a quiet rage, Jennifer is determined to move forward, to go on with her life, but the pain of the past and all that she’s lost is always there. An undercurrent, a pulse waiting to quicken and trigger Jen’s transformation into the one thing she doesn’t have control over…


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have read some of the She-Hulk comics in the past. I admire how she can be an awesome superhero and be a successful lawyer for the other superheroes. I think it would be awesome to have someone like Jennifer or Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) in your corner when you need it most.

We meet Jennifer with an internal struggle. She wants to leave her superhero past behind her and focus on her return to lawyering. However, the past is more difficult to run away from than Jennifer can handle.

When Jennifer returns to her job, her first client is a woman about to be evicted from her apartment. Jennifer investigates the matter, and comes back to inform the client there’s nothing she can do. Things get out of hand fast, and soon Jennifer is forced to make a tough decision.

Overall I enjoyed this story. There are small appearances by Captain Marvel and Hellcat (aka Patsy Walker to fans of the Marvel Netflix series Jessica Jones and The Defenders). And I want to be the friend Hellcat is to all of her friends. She cares about Jennifer in this story, but when Jennifer rejects her help, Patsy gives Jennifer her space. That is a good friend.

In conclusion, I enjoyed She-Hulk: Deconstructed. Even though the overall plot was not overly complicated, this is a great introduction to She-Hulk. I would recommend this graphic novel for Marvel fans or people who love female-driven stories.