Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: John Timms
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
The newest issue of Harley Quinn has a lot of ground to cover, but it does so with flying colors. First up, we get the groundwork for an intriguing new arc. Harley gets a visit from Mirand’r (probably Starfire’s cousin or something) to undergo a series of trials to become the Galactic Angel or Retribution. We don’t get a lot of details about that, but it sure does sound an awful lot like when Harley became a gladiator on Apokolips. I was a little surprised when Harley jumped at the opportunity, considering how everything on Apokolips turned out. But hopefully once the trials get underway, it will make for a fun adventure.
I somewhat expect what follows is simply part of the trials, but for now, it’s just its own separate storyline. Batman investigates a murder in Gotham, and at the crime scene, he finds a strand of Harley’s hair, the remnants of a mallet and beaver fur. Batman deduces that Harley is trying to frame Joker for murder. But I’m surprised Batman didn’t think it was a little too obvious. Harley may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but I doubt she would leave behind beaver fur if she was going to go down that path.
I got a kick seeing Batman fight Harley Quinn again. Their back-and-forth in the last few pages is just fantastic. And it all leads up to a beautiful panel showcasing Harley’s isolation. Her mom’s in the hospital. Batman believes she is irredeemable. You can’t help but feel for her.
I really like this issue, in part because it gets back to the basics. There is no Red Tool or Gang of Harleys to take up story time. It’s just Harley trying to redeem herself for all her past deeds. And it brings up some interesting questions, such as whether people deserve second chances. It’s a fun read you need to check out.
Overall Score: 9/10