"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 of Lime and Light, and Savant, who apparently 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 then they watch as she stumbles out 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 an open door, and the team prepares to do a quick smash-and-grab. But when they get inside, they find that Harley's already dead. However, this is not the case, given that it's not Harley at all. It is a man dressed in her outfit. They soon realize that this is a trap.
Within moments, they are surrounded by numerous men dressed as Harley, apparently former men of the Joker's. Deadshot gives the order to kill everyone, and the team goes to. He 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, passing by the Jokers's old cell, and realizing that though she can never go back to the way things used to be, her memories with the Joker will never go away either.
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 that was contained in his file. She suggested that he is all about control, that his performances create mayhem so that he can be the eye if the storm. Without looking, she sensed that Aaron Cash was preparing to take down the Joker, should he get agitated, and she told him to back off. Her display impressed the Joker.
He turned his attention to her own past, deducing that she comes from New York, 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.
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. Harley asks whether it is true that the Joker is dead, and the doctor splutters that he was apparently skinned alive, and that the Gotham City Police Department is keeping his face in evidence. Having got 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 live one over his gaping maw, threatening to chomp off his head if they don't get answers. The victim doesn't have any answers, but from inside King Shark's throat, Yo-Yo begs him to tell the others that he is still alive. Rather than let Harley's henchman say anything more, King Shark smashes him against a wall. Fortunately, Lime and Light find a pair of Siamese twins who are still alive.
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, Joker had explained how being able to make someone laugh gives him power. He said that making someone laugh or cry gets their attention. Then, he turned to her and revealed that he knew her father had been killed by a drunk driving fat car with a tailored suit and diamond pinkie-ring, whose high-powered connections had got him off. Harleen had been powerless to do anything about it.
Saying this, he slapped a wad of paper down onto the table in front of her, recalling 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 the pinkie finger of the man who had run down her father, complete with its diamond ring. Joker consoled her and promised that he could show her how to do what he had done, apologizing for having failed to bring the rest of the driver's corpse in with him. Now, 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.
After shooting one of the siamese twins through the head, his brother reveals that they hadn't told Harley that the Joker was skinned and dead, because they knew she would shoot the messenger. Deadshot is surprised at this news, and Waller confirms that the Joker was skinned alive, and that his face is being held at Gotham City Police Headquarters. Deadshot realizes immediately that Harley will be hitting Police HQ next, and the squad rushes across the rooftops to find her.
From a nearby rooftop, they watch as Harley surrenders to the police, having goaded them into arresting her and taking her inside the station - exactly where she wants to be.
"The Hunt for Harley Quinn, Part 1"
- Harley Quinn
- Suicide Squad
- Amanda Waller
- The Joker (Flashback Only)
- Dr. Serrano (flashback and main story)(Dies in this issue)
- Aaron Cash (Flashback Only)