Review: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight
It’s Harley Quinn meets The Warriors and Snowpiercer in Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight. Harley dozes off on a Coney Island-bound subway and finds herself in a corner of the city she never imagined…the X Train, a pirate-filled locomotive sailing the troubled waters of New York’s underground!
Writer Daniel Kibblesmith takes us on a wild train ride that riffs off of and spoofs so much. Part of the fun of the comic is the pithy riffs and rips on pop culture. Harley delivers a punch or two dozen making her way to the front of the train car in a checklist of references.
Kibblesmith puts together a story that’s pretty straightforward and wears its heart and ideas on its sleeve. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight at its heart is a side-scroller brawler video game. Each car representing a new level and challenge. With that, Kibblesmith takes advantage with each car also being a wink and nod to pulp culture with numerous references to The Warriors, video games, DC Comics, Snowpiercer, and more. The comic is a digital “spot the pop culture reference.” And it works.
Part of why it works is the kinetic energy of the art delivered by Marguerite Sauvage. Harley is focused in on in red while her adversaries deliver the black and white. We get to see the flow of motion as she beats her way to the front of the train. There’s a motion to the art that reminds me of my metro rides in DC. To see Harley dance and beat her way to the front is a bit of visual poetry in the positioning and flow. Sauvage also does something a bit interesting with panel transitions as well. While not all of them line up, there’s more than enough motion between them where a swing might begin at the end of one panel and end at the beginning of the next. We fill in the gap of her movements.
I read my copy through a simple reader but there’s a chance through something like comiXology’s Guided View, the transition may be enhanced even more. The lettering by AndWorld Design too stands out as keywords are emphasized adding an extra punch to the jokes and at times making them entirely.
It’s not surprising that I enjoyed Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight. Not knowing the specific story, just the creative team, I knew I was going into something I’d like. But, what Kibblesmith and Sauvage deliver is an homage to so much of the pop culture I consumer and hold dear. It’s a connect the dots of things I enjoy. It’s another winner for DC and their DC Digital First program. Not only is it a fun comic but it’s yet another stand-alone comic anyone can pick up and enjoy. It’s also yet another example of what you’re able to do creatively with Harley Quinn.
Story: Daniel Kibblesmith Art: Marguerite Sauvage Letterer: AndWorld Design
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review