Old Lady Harley #2
In this dystopian-future tale, Harley’s quest to find out how The Joker could possibly still be alive has taken her back to their old stomping grounds, but Gotham City is very different nowadays! Nobody’s allowed on the streets without the Batman’s permission—but who is this Batman, anyway? Harley’s only choice is to return to Arkham...the Arkham Home for Criminally Insane Retirees, that is! Fancy a round of bingo with the Riddler? Or some pool aerobics with Killer Croc?
Where do we even begin with an issue like Old Lady Harley #2?
From the first page it becomes all too obvious that this is going to be an absolutely bonkers reading experience. From the sentient and organized zombies to Harley’s painful recollection of past times with the Joker, we find a story that switches drastically between whimsical and serious, but does it quite perfectly. This is only emphasized later by the introduction of Bruce Wayne followed by his rogues gallery.
The interplay of tone adds to the somewhat chaotic nature surrounding both the apocalyptic atmosphere of the series and Harley Quinn as a character. Bruce Wayne becoming more computer than man is a startling depiction of his desire for control gone wrong, but it is hilariously contrasted by the all-too-real problems of his now aged roster of villains. This difference works great throughout the entire issue and sets up the next issue in Bludhaven really well.
The artwork from Inaki Miranda, Eve De La Cruz and Dave Sharpe somehow manages to be both bleak and colorful, which contributes to the dark whimsy that makes the series so unique. Harley is beautifully rugged, and the world they interact in feels believable and simply epic. Because of the nature of the issue and the worldbuilding required, Dave Sharpe’s letters become even more important, helping to establish a comfortable pacing. Overall, it’s a visually stunning book.
With all of the surprises revealed in this issue like the tragedy surrounding Nightwing and Killer Croc’s unusually long list of exes, the most significant is undoubtedly the fate of the Joker. Knowing the Joker, he is most likely not dead, but Lobo’s involvement will be interesting in upcoming issues. Especially considering the tension Harley is bringing to their confrontation!
If you can take the series for what it is, which is a wildly fun but still insightful take on the future of the DC Universe, there is a lot of interesting story elements to potentially explore. Old Lady Harley #2 shows this potential exceptionally well with the help of some truly impressive artwork and a few great jokes!
Old Lady Harley #2 is a dark yet whimsical issue that successfully utilizes character development rather than action to drive the story forward in an interesting way. This creates a believable and truly remarkable world filled with both danger and plenty of laughs!
Old Lady Harley #2: Death by Bat-Pun
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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