Harley Quinn Black + White + Red #3
The third chapter of the DC Digital First series Harley Quinn Black + White + Red delves into the sometimes mythical status of the character and how her story has evolved so tremendously. It’s an external look at the character, examining the imprint she has left on both fans and the greater DC Universe.
This series so far has somehow been able to capture just about every perspective of the character I’ve personally come to love. From her struggle with identity to her path with relationships, it’s been a wildly fun look into exactly what the character represents today in fandom. Chapter three takes that approach to sometimes meta levels with a word of mouth story about some goons stealing a canister of Custom Joker Gas from Harley. As each goon gives their rendition of the what went down, we start to see a depiction of Harley Quinn come to life that shows just how flexible she can be, affording some great storytelling opportunities.
As an admittedly big fan of writer Saladin Ahmed, I was certainly excited to dig into this issue. Ahmed delivers a succinct story in the familiar one-shot vibe of the series so far, but takes it in a different direction with the different visions of the character. Javier Rodriguez sets the story apart from anything else so far with a true black and white approach to the artwork that utilizes the color red in some dynamic and interesting ways. Tying it into her past with the Joker is clever, but let’s be honest, using her past with the Joker as a catalyst for a story has been done before. This story smartly avoids that pitfall by mostly focusing instead on the reputation that surrounds Harley as an individual. With some strong lettering from Cowles, the issue proves to be executed quite well, making it well worth your money.
More than what we’ve seen so far in this series, chapter three captures the feel and aesthetic of the classic Batman Animated Series that made so many fall in love with Harley originally. The artwork helps to really sell this execution, but her demeanor and even dialogue shows the influence of the BTAS series. This alone will have plenty of fans eager to dig in.
It’s easy to see that after three issues, this series is off to a remarkably strong start. As a standalone comic, this is a fun story with some truly memorable artwork and it might even help to show why the character has grown in importance for DC over the years. Within the context of the whole series so far, we are seeing a broad and incredibly exciting vision of what Harley can be for DC Comics, every bit as able to work successfully in an expansive range of stories as icons like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Her evolution carries weight and intrigue, and the creative team uses that alongside her mysterious aura to pull off a great story in just one comic.
The third chapter of the DC Digital First series Harley Quinn Black + White + Red is a truly fun story with remarkably memorable artwork, examining the the imprint Harley has left on both fans and the greater DC Universe.
Harley Quinn Black + White + Red #3: Never Throw Out ALL Your Ex’s Crap, Right?
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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