Review: Harley Quinn #18

This week’s issue of the Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti penned Harley Quinn gives us several interesting story arcs in one small comic. Having multiple arcs within one issue might seem like a bit much but, as usual, Conner and Palmiotti pull it off flawlessly. Each short arc manages to entertain and engage the reader in a way that pulls you in. The momentum rises with arc so when one arc comes abruptly to a close you don’t feel cheated are more than okay with jumping on the next train to another part of Harley Quinn’s world.

Conner and Palmiotti gave us two of the three arcs within this issue and I was all in for both of them. We see a glimpse at a futuristic hero gearing up to time travel so that she can end Harley before she kills Batman, Harley being snapped up by the Madison and newly onboard Mayor’s cannibalistic solution to the city’s homelessness problem.

We are also treated to a bit glimpse into Harley’s early relationship drama with the Joker that culminates in a Batman ruined heist date. The flashback comes courtesy of Paul Dini and Palmiotti and, stands in dark contrast to the ultra feminist, bad all by her damn self Harley that we know today. Even with the cringeworthy old school Harley making a brief “Harley Loves Joker” cameo it kind of works as it shows us how far Quinn has come. The truth is despite having two male authors we see the turning point. Harley is in love and Joker’s no good for her but, Dini and Palmiotti make her less of a victim and more of a willing accomplice out to cheer up her bae. This is a start of a real character and some agency giving a glimmer of hope for the Harley that exists today.

Joseph Michael Lisner gives us some Tron-esque futuristic art for the first few pages while Harley’s newest nemesis is set on a course to kill Harley before she does something bad. (Unrelated side note, I kind of momentarily fantasized about her using it to get rid of Trump as I’m sure he does way more damage than Harley could have. Which segued into me realizing their world was better because they didn’t have Trump and, then I wished that I was part of their world if Harley killing Batman was their biggest problem.)

John Timms does the rest of the art for this issue and there was no lack of realistic, pop-styled art. The styles meshed well together and thanks to Alex Sinclair being a color god the colors were flawless. Even in the muted palette of the past, the colors made sense. I love it when the reds and blood pop which they gave me in spades. Harley and Red Tool kept off the pages and every blow they deal or received is so visually stunning and interesting that I forgot I was reading a comic book and found myself wrapped up in the story and the action.

Overall this issue was a page turner that kept me on the edge of my seat. It covered political and cultural issues and maintained a high level of entertainment value. Not a panel or word was wasted and I read this issue more than once and retained its freshness, authenticity, and fire.

Story: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti Harley Loves Joker by: Paul Dini and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: John Timms, Joseph Michael Lisner, Alex Sinclair
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review