Harley Quinn Annual #1 Review
DC Comics’ Harley Quinn Annual #1 is a crazy comic with an interesting gimmick – Rub N’ Smell pages that tap into the reader’s olfactory senses. Featuring a host of aromas ranging from banana-scented sun tan lotion to Harley’s leather jacket and other, much grosser conjurations, the stunt does add a bit to the book. The idea of a Scratch N’ Sniff comic book in this day and age is a bit absurd, but this is a very silly comic book, so it works – here you have a tiny Harley breaking the fourth wall to tell the reader when and where to rub.
The story begins with Harley taking it upon herself to free her pal Poison Ivy from Arkham Asylum, where she’s being held captive by the odd doctors Dr. Bash and Dr. Bliss. Midway through the issue, Harley accidentally unleashes a potent hallucinogen inside the lab while trying to liberate Ivy from her confinement (if you rub the page here, it smells like very strong weed). From here the issue takes a turn for the bat@!$% insane, as multiple artists take us through their depiction of what’s going on inside each character’s tripped-out mind. Due to the nature of the issue, we get a range of interesting cameos from people like Batman, the Joker, Swamp Thing, and… Hurl Girl.
Overall, Harley Quinn Annual #1 is a fun comic with a neat gimmick, which worked as a one-time stunt. The trippy dream sequences and varied art styles are interesting, and the humor is spot-on throughout. My only concern is that digital readers will miss out on the Rub N’ Smell technology, but DC has stated that they will offer some form of extra to the digital crowd as compensation. Harley Quinn Annual #1 is on sale now for $5.99 (it’s a 48-page issue).