Review: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #15
“Happy Thanksquinning”! It’s a holiday treat as Harley Quinn returns to DC Digital Firsts with Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #15. The issue kicks off a new round of digital comics, all with a holiday theme. While Thanksgiving has come and gone, the issue left me longing for Turkey and pie… I guess puddin really.
Written by Sam Humphries, it’s Thanksgiving at Arkham Asylum. Harley and a group of inmates are brought together to celebrate the holiday and recount what they’re thankful for. Of course, there’s a riot and breakout giving Harley an excuse to escape and enjoy the season on the outside.
Humphries nails the tone of the issue. It features a style and voice that would fit perfectly into Batman: The Animated Series. The digital chapter feels like an adaptation of an episode. Like so many episodes it mixes humor and action and a bit of fun. But, most importantly Humphries nails the heart. In an issue without Batman, the story is focused on Harley and her actions and Humphries makes us care for the sometimes criminal.
Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #15 delivers the “awe” as Harley isn’t greeted with open arms by the public when she gets to the outside. It’s a rejection many of us can feel and have felt, especially this year, as we’re forced to make different plans for our holiday season and Thanksgiving. Where we might have spent it with family in the past, this year had many spending it alone or with new “family” unable to travel. There’s a lot we can relate to in that. And Humphries kicking things off with a lot of humor adds to the emotional punch of the latter part of the issue.
Stephen Byrne delivers the art with Troy Peteri on lettering. The art too is reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series. Combined with the story itself the issue has a “classic” feel to it. The art style breaks in some ways taking advantage of eagle-eyed views of Harley preparing for her escape during the riot chaos. There’s also a great use of the images by peppering in visual jokes throughout. Peteri helps as well giving many of the characters a “unique voice” through the lettering. The trio of creators together really evokes some nostalgia in a good way.
Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #15 is a welcome return of the digital comic series. To be able to get new chapters is a nice surprise and each looks to have a nice holiday theme to them. If this is an indication as to what’s to come, it’s a bright holiday season for Harley and our entertainment.
Story: Sam Humphries Art: Stephen Byrne Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review