Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki (Author), Steve Pugh (Illustrator, Artist)

My second Batman-related post of the week! Regular readers know how much I love the world of Gotham… I had originally read and reviewed Breaking Glass last year when I got a one-chapter sampler. I was intrigued and when I saw the title come up on my Hoopla app, I downloaded the whole thing.

Basic Premise: Harley has been sent by her mother to live with her grandmother in the big city of Gotham. Unfortunately, she finds out that her grandma has passed, but the building manager “Mama” allows her to stay in the apartment. “Mama” is a drag queen and welcomes Harley into his family of entertainers. It’s a wonderful found-family that Harley can feel safe in. But, Harley enters the local high school and tries to see where she fits in there. She’s able to meet

Reading through all nine chapters left me with mixed feelings…


  • Harleen Quinzel… to have a book narrated by Harley Quinn is always a pleasure. Her voice, her attitude, and her whole persona. Y’know, she only eats three things? Hotdogs, Coffee, and Cereal! And the words of wisdom of her mother… just priceless.
  • A high school setting. Harley takes on all the boogers (her word for posers, losers, jerks). She meets Ivy, an African-American girl whose mother and father who becomes her partner in crime…

Meh (With Minor Spoilers)

  • Artwork. I liked it up to a point. The realistic style and pencil drawings were very good, but the color just seemed off. At times it was washed with a muted blue/ grey palette, and other times the panels were splashed with bright colors. I really tried to figure out the symbolism of each, but couldn’t.
  • Supporting Characters. I’m just unsure what age group/ audience this is directed towards. DC Ink is supposed to be 13+, yet some of the language and actions of the high schoolers seemed a little uncharacteristic of that age group. Are these characters supposed to realistic representations or archetypes of the typical high school scene?

Overall, a decent read for those looking at this character from a new angle.

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