Harley Quinn #64
Harley’s tried everything to avoid Lex Luthor and his stupid “Offer”—she’s destroyed half a dozen of Lex’s drones, she’s changed her name, her cell phone number—she even faked her own death! Why won’t this bald, pasty-faced weirdo take no for an answer? Harley Quinn takes on the crossover event of the summer in this comic-within-a-comic take on “DC’s Year of the Villain”!
Humphries and company take the routine publisher mandated tie-in concept and flip it on its head in the best way possible in Harley Quinn #64, a book packed full of heart and drama.
As good as the artwork is, this issue finds its strength purely in the storytelling prowess delivered in a short 32 pages. This is a story that stands on the shoulders of emotional character moments that have recently transpired, but also uses them for a clever fourth-wall breaking twist that maintains a firm grasp on your feelings all throughout.
We’ve been dealing with the fallout from Harley’s Mom’s cancer diagnosis for a few issues now and things have turned for the worst. This issue plays out in such a surreal fashion that you can’t help but draw parallels to the struggle of actually coping with such a devastating loss. It’s real in a way that feels both genuine and relatable, which is welcome in a comic that is filled with such wild concepts. We explore this struggle as readers through the dual narrative of Harley in the hospital visiting her Mom while reading a comicbook to those in the room. It’s a beautiful structure that utilizes the duality to take on concepts such as publisher mandates, tropes in comics and even Harley’s troubled past. We also get a shoutout to DC Daily on the DC Universe streaming service where writer Sam Humphries is a cohost! The usage of both humor and intense drama is handled with extreme tact, contributing to the overall success of the issue.
The stories collide with Apex Lex’s offer to cure her mother’s cancer, perfectly mixing the impact of the Year of the Villain event with the recent events in Harley Quinn’s ongoing series. It takes all of the many moving pieces and recent developments, and boils them down to a single heart wrenching moment. The final panels are a testament to the ability of this creative team, from the dialogue to the use of the color black, everything just falls into place. The end result is a book that is executed exceptionally well on almost every level.
Ultimately, Harley Quinn #64 is a near-perfect representation of what the character brings to the table for both DC and storytelling in comics. With a creative team that fundamentally understands who she is, we are treated to a book that captures almost all of her strengths and uniqueness. The ending might not be as happy as others and the story is certainly not over, but as a single issue, this is potentially the best entry in the series post-Rebirth.
Harley Quinn #64 is a near-perfect representation of what the character brings to the table for both DC and storytelling in comics.
Harley Quinn #64: Harley Quinn Ain’t Yer Crossover Puppet
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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