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.