Harley Quinn #71
Harley thought a little trip to Los Angeles would help her cope with grief, but grief followed her all the way to the West Coast. When a new friend of hers dies, she knows in her heart there is foul play at work. She'll have to put down her mallet and pick up a magnifying glass to prove her friend was murdered. And will Booster Gold help her investigation or only hinder it?
Harley Quinn #71 is yet another powerful entry in an already impressive run from Sam Humphries, who seems to have tapped into an iconic vision of Harley that few other writers would be capable of pulling off, but it’s the art from Sami Basri, Hi-Fi and Dave Sharpe that really set this issue off!
Fans of wrestling will surely find plenty to love in Harley Quinn #71, but at its core, it is a murder mystery whodunit that pushes Harley into uncharted emotional depths. With her best friend’s death being wrongfully called a suicide, we see Harley take to the streets to beat the $#%! out of anyone who might be able to provide information. This puts her on a path of introspective guilt and anger as she faces down everyone from Nazis to Babyface to bring the truth to light.
While the action and hilarious banter firmly ground this book as a Harley Quinn comic, it’s the internal struggles that Harley is still managing how to cope with that drive the intrigue of this issue. Harley is an emotionally complex character ripe with storytelling potentials for existential dilemmas of loss and love, and the creative team uses this poignant story to flesh out those aspects remarkably well. She is also a character that typically rushes into a plan without much actual planning, and Harley Quinn #71 puts her in a position where she must trust her doctoral instincts and devise a ruse. This is where Booster Gold finds relevance in the story, and while it’s a fun inclusion, there is also something underlying between the two. This dynamic only emphasizes the range Harley has and shows that she can’t be boxed-in even now.
Despite the well-plotted action, mysterious developments and moments of hilarious banter, Harley Quinn #71 finds its most notable success in the artwork from Basri and Hi-Fi. The emotional beats and detective-style pacing are powerful solely because of how well executed every panel and splash is. Everything from Harley’s over-the-top expressions to excellent panel layouts featuring impeccable lettering from Dave Sharpe proves this is a creative team that needs to stick around for a while. It isn’t a grand finale or special anniversary issue, but it’s among the best artwork in the series so far, showing that monthly superhero comics can still be consistently impressive.
Is it a perfect issue? Definitely not. It’s forced to carry additional narrative weight as the second issue in the arc and the attempts at providing context sometimes pulls you out of the introspective insight provided. I’m not really even that much of a fan of wrestling myself, but this creative team is telling such a compelling story featuring a vision of Harley that tugs at your heart while still making you think, that I can’t help but love the issue even with its few faults. It’s a complex look at how Harley struggles to cope internally with her oftentimes emotionally shocking life, all packaged within wildly whimsical and chaotic story. It might be easy to look over this new arc because of it’s fanciful covers and seemingly lighthearted tone, but this is classic Harley in the making! Don’t miss out.
Harley Quinn #71 is a wonderfully complex look at how Harley struggles to cope internally with her oftentimes emotionally shocking life, all packaged in within a wildly whimsical and chaotic story. This is classic Harley in the making!
Harley Quinn #71: Jus’ Th’ Answer I Wuz Lookin’ Fer…
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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