Harley Quinn #63
Plus, a mysterious new comic by M. Clatterbuck appears...in which Lex Luthor makes Harley an exciting offer!
So the final moments of the Trials of Harley Quinn are upon us, and while the story has arguably contained some of the most emotionally heart-wrenching developments in the series thus far, issue #63 ups the ante with a much heavier focus on the death of Harley Quinn’s mom.
This death has been slowly creeping nearer for a few issues now, but things have started to really deteriorate with her cancer. As she goes from hearing the news that there isn’t much left they can do to sliding into a coma, Harley Quinn is left in a reactionary state of shock through most of the issue. The creative team spearheaded by Sam Humphries’ scripting conveys this impending doom remarkably well, giving the impression that this revelation could really break Harley.
Unfortunately, we also have a “b plot” involving Harley’s trip to the old video store where she is met by death himself. He accidentally takes her instead of the forsaken video store, to which she talks her way out of thus winning another Trial and setting her on the path to the very last one. All of this just feels unnecessary, resulting in a disjointed narrative. The emotional developments with between Harley and her mother squandered with the amount of time devoted to this secondary plot, and we are ultimately left wondering what happens next in the hospital.
While I understand the tie-in to Year of the Villain, I also couldn’t help but feel that it occurred at an inopportune time within the series. Despite this, the issue is still an enjoyable read. Otto Schmidt continues to impress with consistently solid artwork, possibly even my favorite so far. His vision of Harley Quinn suits Humphries’ writing uniquely well. Everything from Harley’s facial expressions and body language to Death’s jaded demeanor are executed in really interesting ways that help to establish the overall aesthetic.
Harley Quinn #63 isn’t a bad book, but it does miss out on some long building potential. Hopefully it can capitalize on this next issue, but with the Year of the Villain currently going on, DC might have other things in mind for the on and off again antihero.
'Harley Quinn #63' is an emotionally complicated story backed by powerful visuals, but it unfortunately loses sight of this narrative and becomes slightly disjointed as we near the end of the issue.
Harley Quinn #63: Death Becomes Harley
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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