Synopsis for "The Hunt for Harley Quinn: Part 1"
Somewhere in Gotham City, the new Suicide Squad, still led by Deadshot, tracks Harley Quinn through the alleys after she caused a prison riot at Belle Reve and escaped. Deadshot is less than pleased with his new team members Lime and Light and Savant, the latter having faked his own death in exchange for a reduced sentence during the team's training.
To slow her down, Deadshot shoots Harley in the arm and the team watches as she stumbles into the street and oncoming traffic. Amanda Waller reminds Deadshot that if Harley gets caught, it puts the entire Task Force X program at risk. Harley enters a warehouse, and the team prepares to do a quick smash-and-grab. Upon entering the building, the team sees what appears to be Harley's corpse. Further investigation shows that the body is not Harley, but a man dressed in her clothing, indicating that this scene is a trap.
Within moments, they are surrounded by former henchmen of the Joker's, all dressed as Harley. Deadshot gives the order to kill everyone and realizes that given that Harley is not among their attackers, they are back to square one with no idea where she is.
Meanwhile at Arkham Asylum, Harley wheels a gurney deeper into the asylum. As she passes by the Jokers's old cell, she realizes that though she can never go back to the way things used to be, her memories with the Joker will never go away.
She remembers her first day dealing with the Joker. She had gone in and flatly stated that she didn't believe any of the information about him within his file. She suggested that he is all about control and that his performances create mayhem so that he can be the eye of the storm. Without looking, she sensed that Aaron Cash was preparing to restrain the Joker should he become agitated, and she told him to back off. Her display impressed the Joker.
During this session, the Joker turned his attention to her own past, deducing that she comes from New York and did well in school, but that something in her life is missing. She brushed it off casually, noting that his deduction was simple pop psychology and that she comes from Brooklyn. Before ending their session, she warned that if he planned to use the weapon he held behind his back, he had better not miss, lest she kick his nuts up through his mouth. Given that he was planning to attack her with a straight razor, the Joker was further impressed.
Back at Arkham Asylum, Harley removes the shroud from the body on her gurney to reveal a very much alive Dr. Serrano, her superior when she worked at the asylum. She asks if it is true that the Joker is dead, and the doctor tells her that the Joker was skinned alive and that the Gotham City Police Department is keeping his face in evidence. Having gotten the information she needs, she slits the doctor's throat with a straight razor.
At the warehouse, now surrounded by the corpses of all of the Harley 'look-alikes', Deadshot orders the team to seek out any who are still alive for questioning. King Shark dangles a survivor over his gaping maw, threatening to chomp off his head if they don't get answers. The survivor doesn't have any answers, but from inside King Shark Yo-Yo begs him to tell the others that he is still alive. Rather than let the henchman say anything more, King Shark smashes him against a wall. Fortunately for the team, Lime and Light find a pair of conjoined twins who are still alive.
Elsewhere, Harley sneaks into the old hideouts where she and the Joker used to stay. She thinks of how people are unaware of the relationship she had with the real Joker, not the clown that he wanted the world to see, but the man she fell in love with.
On their tenth session, the Joker explained that being able to make someone laugh gives him power, that making someone laugh or cry gets their attention. Then, he revealed to her that he knew her father had been killed by a drunk-driving, fat cat in a tailored suit and diamond pinkie ring, whose high-powered connections had gotten him off when Harleen had been powerless to do anything about it. Slapping a wad of paper down onto the table in front of her, the Joker recalled aloud how he had come to the realization that the world is full of hypocrisy and that once he didn't care about the rules anymore, he had all the power. As she listened, Harleen unwrapped the paper and found a pinkie finger with a diamond ring, presumably that of the man who had run her father down. The Joker consoled her and promised that he could show her how to do what he had done and apologized for failing to bring the rest of the driver's corpse with him.
At this point, Harley decides that it is better to have some of the man she loves than none of him and prepares to steal his face back from the police.
Back with squad, they execute one of the conjoined twins, prompting the other to speak. The surviving twin reveals that the henchmen hadn't told Harley about the Joker's death and flaying, knowing that she would shoot the messenger. This news surprises Deadshot, and Waller confirms that the Joker was skinned alive and his face is being held at Gotham City Police Headquarters. Immediately, Deadshot realizes that Harley will target Gotham City Police Headquarters next, and the squad rushes across the rooftops to find her.
From a nearby rooftop, they watch as Harley provokes the police, allowing herself to be arrested and taken inside the station - exactly where she wants to be.
Appearing in "The Hunt for Harley Quinn: Part 1"
- Joker (Flashback only)
- Dr. Serrano (Flashback and main story) (Dies)
- Aaron Cash (Flashback only)
- Batman (Mentioned only)
- Green Arrow (Mentioned only)
- Savant appears to die in Suicide Squad (Volume 4) #1, but he abruptly returns in this issue with little explanation, other than his apparent death was a con set up by Amanda Waller in exchange for a shortened sentence.
- This issue is reprinted in Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years.
- Dr. Serrano may have been named for Felix Serrano.
- Suicide Squad Recommended Reading