Review : Harley Quinn #15

harley-cv15_dsThere’s a “flying” squirrel that draws a line between all five of the equally intriguing stories being told in this killer issue of Harley Quinn. As ridiculous as using a squirrel flying through the air as a plot device to show the interconnectivity of a story might sound, the brilliant Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner make it work in such an effortless way that it never comes off as trite, gimmicky or irrelevant.

Palmiotti and Conner have a lot on their plates for this issue, Harley Quinn #15 has a little something for everyone, no matter which part of the story you were hyped up to get back to that week they have you covered. There are five different storylines going on in this action packed Harley tale and every one was essential to the arc. Palmiotti and Conner show that they are masters of telling a good story because with everything going on, not once does the story feel convoluted. I found myself genuinely excited when I would flipped the page and a new story line was waiting for me.

This issue clues us into part of Harley Sinn’s Arkham release deal as she learns more about her target from a seedy motel. Atlee and Harley split up from a battle with Zorcrom so Atlee can get reinforcements, leaving Harley to keep Zor occupied with a trip to Central Park. The mayor’s plan to fix the homeless solution has started to take shape and claims two new victims. And, if that’s not enough the issue starts off 150 years in the future with Devani prepping for what appears to be a government sanctioned cage match for her Batman sponsored quadrant against Harley.

With so many story lines there’s no wonder they went with three different artists to give us a little bit of change between stories. Khari Evans, John Timms, and Joseph Michael Lisner effectively bring the heat with their lines and drawings while Alex Sinclair kills it with his color work. Even Dave Sharpe‘s lettering is on point! Every single element of the visual portrayal of this story is meticulously thought out and executed making it feel like I was watching my new favorite cartoon and not just flipping through pages.

Amazing graphics, superior story and, character distinctive lettering aside, there were some other things I love about this issue that held just as much weight for me. I applauded, in my head, when Atlee went to get back up and she chose another woman! There’s something to be said about having visions of the final showdown with Zom being spearheaded by three strong, bad ass women! I also love that Harley doesn’t use her body to keep Zorcrom busy, she engages him with her intellect, despite the tight, nearly invisible clothes Harley is no sex object, she’s smart and funny and it’s issues like this that showcase it. It was nice to see her shrinking Zor, it was reminiscent of her days at Arkham when she was Dr. Harley.  I also enjoyed that the female villains have their own agency and motivations, none of which are forced by men. The autonomy that Palmiotti and Conner give their female characters is a breath of fresh air and, I’m here for it. This issue is like well-choreographed concert, it engaged me and left me on the edge of my seat, er couch, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Story: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Art: Khari Evans, John Timms and John Michael Lisner Color: Alex Sinclair
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall:9.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review