Review: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh

Breaking Glass reimagines DC Anti-Hero Harley Quinn as eccentric, misfit teen Harleen. Harleen has experienced her fair share of injustices and prejudices by age fifteen. And things have compounded again, now that she's just arrived in Gotham City and discovered that her grandmother--who she was supposed to live with--has passed away and no one bothered to tell her, or her mother. Fortunately, she's taken in by her grandmother's dear friend, drag queen Mama, who becomes a solid role model. At Gotham High, she becomes firm friends with Ivy, an activist who truly wants to make a difference. But then more challenges arise when a powerful real estate company moves to take over Mama's apartment block. To stop it, Harleen needs to make a tough choice. Should she stand with her friends, who are campaigning tirelessly against the changes. Or should she join with her new friend, the Joker, who promises faster and more decisive action against the corporation who want Harleen and her gone?

This is a clever coming-of-age story about friendship, loyalty and betrayal. While Harley Quinn's character cops a lot of flack from DC fans, there's no denying that she is the perfect lead in the story of a misfit teen whose desire to stand up for her friends lands her in a lot of trouble. There's something undeniably likeable about this incarnation, to the point where I think the story would lack something if it featured a different DC anti-hero, such as Selina Kitt/Catwoman. Anyway, this is an enjoyable read and beautifully illustrated. Although it will probably appeal most to teenagers who feel at odds with the world, the story is told well enough to appeal to readers from a broad range of ages and backgrounds.

Highly recommended. 


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