Review: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter 5
Adorable is the best way to describe Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter 5. The DC Digital First series has been amazing with each release. This chapter is a prime example of the willingness to just have fun with the series. A digital series anthology, each chapter has featured a different creative team. With that, each chapter has delivered a different take on the character Harley Quinn. For five chapters it has shown how flexible a character she can be. The takes are all different and all are enjoyable. Interestingly enough, despite those differences, they’re all very much “Harley Quinn.”
Riley Rossmo handles the art and script duties for Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter 5. Rossmo is joined by Deron Bennett on letters. In it, Harley tells her version of history, and her own life, in a fairy tale like delivery. And I really do mean the history of the world as the comic begins from nothingness and ends with Harley’s passing. What’s fun about Rossmo’s delivery is the child-like quality of it all. There’s a playful innocence about it. The story is something a young kid would tell with over the top moments and exaggerations that come with a wild imagination.
But Rossmo also dives into the pain and love of Harley. Her relationship with the Joker is touched upon making it clear this was not a healthy relationship. There’s also a focus on the self-care Harley took part in with the help of her friends Catwoman and Ivy touching upon the loving relationship she has with both. There’s a honesty about it all that doesn’t sugarcoat things but at the same time doesn’t dwell and deliver trauma porn. Instead, the negative is turned into a positive as Harley focuses on how show rose above the Joker and what he had done to her to do good. How it’s depicted feels like how one might explain some of these things to a child which is befitting the type of story told.
Rossmo’s art is fantastic as always. There’s an enthusiasm and energy about it that matches Harley’s glee as she tells the story. There’s lots of small details added adding to the narrative beyond the words of Harley. A look by Harley at Ivy tells a thousand stories and a placement of a character or a small detail added gives you so much more than what’s being said.
Bennett’s lettering rocks as well. There’s small details to what’s done. Harley’s “diamonds” are included in dialogue boxes along with small blemishes. The lettering might be at an angle to match the angle of the panel. It’s all done so well and flows perfectly. The lettering “matches” Rossmo’s artistic style.
Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter 5 is fantastic, though that should be too surprising. There’s a mix of a fun story, fantastic art, great layouts, to deliver a digital experience that makes the price a steal. The digital series has been a home run so far and this latest chapter just adds to what is one of the best releases of the year. Another amazing chapter that’s an absolute must buy.
Story: Riley Rossmo Art: Riley Rossmo Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy