Part of what has made Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red so much fun is seeing the various takes on the same character by different teams. The digital anthology series has varied with each issue giving us something new with each release. The issues have entertained and been one of the best ideas and releases of the year. In time for the holidays, we’re getting a new round this time with a theme to tie then together. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #16 delivers some Christmas cheer as Harley and her team attempt to save the holiday.
Harley thought she was doing a good deed by busting up the ring of crooks that stole all of Coney Island’s Christmas presents – but when her Gang gets a little overzealous and the gifts all wind up roasting in an open fire, the task of replacing every single one lands in her distinctly un-Santa-like lap!
Writer Frank Tieri mixes up the action, humor, and inappropriate comments in this over the top holiday tale. It’s a fun story that delivers a little bit of everything for readers. The first half gives us a somewhat typical action sequence with purposely cheesy lines. It’s the latter half where Tieri’s tale takes off with quick hits as far as jokes, some very adult.
When Harley and her crew attempt to fix the problem, the chapter stands out. It becomes a series of jokes as to “what’s inside the box” or the reactions of Harley attempting to do good. Where it could easily have played it clean, the issue takes things just enough across the line to surprise and make things more in the adult category. Jokes will likely go over kids’ heads but surprise those who get it.
The art by Tom Fowler is solid. Joined by Brian Reber on color and Dave Sharpe on lettering, there’s a lot packed into every page and panel. There’s a lot of characters to juggle here and the art tells so many little stories throughout. While Harley does her thing, there’s other jokes and stories being told in the background. It’s impressive how much is there visually and each panel and page had me lingering in an attempt to catch every joke. And even then, I’m sure I missed quite a few.
Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #16 is a solid entry in the “holiday” pack of the digital series. It delivers some laughs during this holiday season with a bit of adult humor. A fun, and funny, digital comic that’s well worth checking out.
Story: Frank Tieri Art: Tom Fowler
Ink: Tom Fowler Color: Brian Reber Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review