The debut of Future State: Harley Quinn is a comic that caught me off guard. It used Harley’s background in a take on Silence of the Lambs in this new Gotham. Future State: Harley Quinn #2 wraps up the story in a nice two-issue twist that leaves us wanting more.
In this future Gotham, the Magistrate has outlawed masks hunting down some of the biggest names. Black Mask is still out there and Harley is in prison and being used to try to capture him. Playing Clarice to Harley’s Lecter is Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow.
Written by Stephanie Phillips, Future State: Harley Quinn #2 is an interesting take on the character playing off of her smarts more than her wackiness. It’s a Harley I like a lot more making her more than a comedic foil. While the exact details about Crane and Black Mask don’t get too far into the weeds, what’s presented is really interesting. We get to see Harley as she works the system to get her out of the mess she’s in. Black Mask is really a “fill in the slot” role whose more of a means to tell the story Phillips wants to tell. That’s the back and forth between Harley and Crane of who’s smarter.
This is a world and series I want to see more of. The concept of Crane having gone legit and working for the Magistrate is intriguing and something I want to see more of. But, it’s the dance with Harley that’s really intriguing. It’s a more cerebral superhero comic with Harley giving just enough to meet her goals. But, also staying a few steps ahead of Crane.
The art continues its anime inspired and neon infused visuals. Simone DiMeo and Toni Infante team up with Tamra Bonvillain on color and Troy Peteri on lettering. The future Gotham plays well to Harley’s visuals highlighting her bright colors and look. The neon really makes the character pop and though the story is “dark” overall, taking place at night, the art and color still feel bright with a visual punch. There’s a solid visual punch to it all that really plays to all of the strengths of the story and character. Black Mask, Scarecrow, and Harley all look solid with a slight anime look to them all but not quite fully diving into that style.
Future State: Harley Quinn #2 is a great second issue that wraps up the story quite nicely. It’s a solid read that builds upon this new Gotham nicely. It’s nice to see a story more focused on Harley’s smarts and background in psychology than just her goofy sense. The comic still delivers some solid humor despite the setting and world bringing the laughs and leaving us wanting more.
Story: Stephanie Phillips Art: Simone DiMeo, Toni Infante
Color: Tamra Bonvillain Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW