The Joker’s ex-girlfriend is headed back to Gotham and she’s getting some back-up.

Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey 1
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Pencils and Inks by Amanda Conner
Colors by Paul Mounts

With a new movie focusing on one of DC Comics’ most underrated teams in theaters now, the publisher is looking to capitalize with a new mature readers series. It’s a surprising move, considering how rarely DC tries to take advantage of corporate synergy this way. But Harley Quinn has become one of the company’s most popular characters over the years, and there always seems to be some extra focus on the Joker’s ex.

The first issue of the new miniseries is mostly an introduction to where Harley is as the series opens: hitting a rough patch with girlfriend Poison Ivy as her hideaway in Coney Island got burned down by the mob. So Harley heads back to Gotham City to deal with some things before she runs into some old friends in the form of the Birds of Prey.

Of course, this isn’t the Birds of Prey team that comics fans are used to. Instead, the series is aligning the BoP team with the heroes we see in the new Birds of Prey movie, which is sure to ruffle some feathers. But it’s a Harley Quinn comic from Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, so we’ll give it a little bit of slack here.

As a part of the mature readers Black Label line, Conner and Palmiotti have the freedom to go a little bit further than a book within the actual DC Comics universe. There’s a moderate amount of swearing and people in various states of undress, which makes the appearance of Superman in the book a little jarring. Even if it’s in a dream sequence… But this first issue is fun, more than a little crazy and beautifully drawn.

I’ve never really been a big fan of Harley as a character, but it’s possible I should go back and give her series from Palmiotti and Conner a chance, because I really enjoyed this and I can’t wait to see where things go from here.