Review: Harley Quinn #17


Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are continuing to let the good times, and great story lines, roll in this latest installment of Harley Quinn. Since Palmiotti and Conner have taken up the reigns of this iconic villain they’ve given her back her depth, complexity and created a feminist layer for her character. In this issue we see some more of the pieces to the story arcs that they’ve been lining up, fall into place. This issue focuses not only on Harley but, on her enemies relationships to her. We get to see first-hand obsession through the lens of the demented  Harley Sin. We discover more of Harley’s sensitive & more rational side as we see her prepare for her parent’s visit, searching for her favorite homeless man and waxing philosophical about the societal problems that cause homelessness. We also get a mini story from Paul Dini, that reminds us of the old, manic pixie dream villainess version of Harley. It stands in stark contrast to the Harley of today but, it’s nice to see as a reminder of how far she’s come.

John Timms, as usual, slays with the artwork. There’s pops of color in fun scenes and a bleak darkness in the more somber panels. The detail that Timms’ adds to each panel with his strong lines and authentic faces is above reproach.  There’s also an amazing color pallet assist from Alex Sinclair‘s signature, seemingly intuitive, color imprint. The artists behind Harley really work well together, despite the multiple story lines there is a cohesiveness within the Harley universe. The art remains consistent, the style remains beautiful and every panel feels like a movie storyboard, which allows the reader to get swept away into the story.

Palmiotti & Conner give Harley a mission and show readers that people are not their pasts, people can change and grow, they can evolve. At Harley’s core, she has always been a kindhearted person. Her “bad” streak doesn’t define who she is , or create a barrier to any kind of change or evolution of who she is.  This issue continued a lot of the looming story lines that Palmiotti & Conner created issues ago and keeps Harley’s universe going seamlessly. In the beginning of this reboot, I initially thought that there was entirely too much going on but, when you have such a talented writing team things have a tendency to fall into place. This issue is just as much a page-turner as the issues that preceded it, we are treated to a great story, character development, complex story lines, deep thoughts, social undertones and feminist leanings. Harley Quinn #17 beautifully weaves together entertainment and tackles topics like gentrification, homelessness, female autonomy and to an extent animal rights. Palmiotti & Conner manage to make this issue political and entertaining and, it’s a beautiful combination that I’m looking forward to seeing more of.

Story: Amanda Conner and jimmy Palmiotti Art: John Timms Color: Alex Sinclair
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review