“Forsooth! I done dang figured it out!” (Harley Quinn #61 Comic Review)

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover Artists: Guillem March & Arif Prianto
Variant Cover Artists: Frank Cho & Sabine Rich
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea
Editor: Alex Antone
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham

Harley Quinn created by PAUL OINI and BRUCE TIMM

Harley Quinn is written by Sam Humphries, features art from Otto Schmidt, and follows the Harley Quinn as she faces trials and teams up with not-quite pals like Catwoman.

Summary:

Harley Quinn and her friends are tying to enjoy a girls’ night with some tabletop games and wine. Harley, Selina, and Tina gather together to play a game, but when Harley flips the hour glass, it sets off a kind of Medieval Jumanji scenario that overtakes all of Gotham. There’s a more sinister edge to this game they’re playing, though, and it proves to be one of the hardest trials Harley has faced yet.

Thoughts:

This issue has a very surreal feel to it, aided beautifully by Otto Schmidt’s artwork, which plays perfectly off more abstract ideas while still being able to capture the moments grounded in reality, creating quite a stark contrast between where Harley starts and ends, in her normal life, and where she ventures in-between, which is much more disjointed and chaotic.

It’s always fun when other characters show up, but this issue put an extra little twist on it that made the whole thing even better. I loved getting to see Medieval versions of so many beloved characters—it was like running the DC universe through a RenFair filter and getting to see them all old-school. Could be a hat-tip to Game of Thrones (Harley does swear by Nymeria and Ghost at one point, but to be fair she makes several relevant pop-culture references in this issue), could just be that it is literally always fun to reimagine characters in a different world. Either way, it’s a great take on this comic book universe, and all the characters who show up.

Harley finds herself in this altered reality, realizing she is the only one who remembers their real lives, and thus the only one who can return everything to normal. This means that, on top of contending with the enchantment that has altered everyone’s memories as well as the world around then, Harley has to work against friends who have forgotten her and, frankly, themselves. This becomes a big problem more than once, as Harley can’t seem to stop herself from responding to her friends as she normally would, remembering too late that they don’t remember her.

It was no surprise to me when this issue ended on a cliff-hanger—there is clearly a lot of story to tell here, and it definitely needs at least two parts, though I’d be happy for three or four. It’s a fun and engaging story line that could be fleshed out quite a bit while still staying fresh.

With solid writing, dynamic artwork, vivid coloring, and a story-line that hooked me from the first panel, I am eager for next month’s installment!

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E.V. Jacob
E.V. Jacob is an artist some days, a scientist others, and a writer always. By day, she's a not-so-mild-mannered business woman, and by night, she works on her novels, because sleep is for the weak. She is a fan of tea, a hopeless geek, and an Oxford comma enthusiast. Pick up her book, THE SHADOWS, on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/y5gkjfx6.
Summary
Things get Medieval in Gotham as the tabletop game Harley and her pals bust out for their girls’ night in turns in to a real-life RPG where only Harley remembers reality…but can she convince the others she’s right, and not crazy?
Good
  • Fun and well-executed concept
  • Excellent use of tropes
  • A solid cliffhanger that leaves me wanting more
Bad
  • In some places, the lettering—while excellent at capturing emotion for the most part—gets rather small
  • I wanted more of that Dali-esque artwork we get when the world is overtaken by the medieval setting!
9.1
Amazing
Story - 9
Characters - 9.5
Art - 9
Writing - 9
Written by
E.V. Jacob is an artist some days, a scientist others, and a writer always. By day, she's a not-so-mild-mannered business woman, and by night, she works on her novels, because sleep is for the weak. She is a fan of tea, a hopeless geek, and an Oxford comma enthusiast. Pick up her book, THE SHADOWS, on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/y5gkjfx6.

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