Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #4 Review

Ask and He Shall Appear

Writer: Kami Garcia
Artist: Jason Badower, Mico Suyan
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: May 6, 2020
Review by: Carlos S.

Criminal Sanity is back from the hiatus that has affected all comic books.  Harleen is still on the hunt for the Joker but the same can be said vice versa.  Was this issue worth the wait?  Let me tell you what I think.

The issue begins with Harleen walking through Gotham while listening to the tapes she found in hopes that she will uncover a clue leading to the discovery of the Joker.  She walks by a ballerina mannequin foreshadowing what will actually be discovered later in the issue.  It had also caught the Joker’s attention in the last issue.

Harleen is asked by Gordon to speak to Garfield Lynns once she arrives at GCPD.  We get some small world-building details in this book like the mention of the Grayson family and Bruce Wayne training overseas.  A small nitpick I have here is when Gordon says Lynns burned down Grayson’s Flying Circus.  I think this should be Haly’s Circus but maybe this is something else entirely.  It is really nice seeing Firefly here but I am not too sure why he is here at all.  After seeing a lighter he immediately gives up the information he had withheld from the GCPD previously.  I would have liked to have seen more with him.  This whole set up for “the Russian” didn’t really pay off for me.  (Was expecting a version of Anatoli Knyazev here.)  I am not seeing the point of these two scenes and how they pay off for the rest of the story yet.  Maybe it will be more in the future but in the continuation of the Firefly interrogation, Harleen goes to a bar and breaks this Russian guy's arm.  That’s pretty much it.  Moving on.   
Harleen follows up with another lead on the Joker in the way of his kinda high school crush.  She explains that the Joker never went to his scholarship interview because of her.  When they met up, her jealous boyfriend fought him and ruined the suit he was wearing so he just went home.
The revelation we see here serves to make sense of the overly antagonistic relationship the Joker has with his father.  The father explains that the Joker is not his son and he will always resent him for his wife’s death.

The next scene shows the Joker in a library or a book store where he asks the guy behind the counter for a “special item”.  Luckily for the Joker (and probably for the owner), the owner has what he is looking for in stock.  At least partially.  
Now, we see Gordan at what appears to be a holiday art exhibit waiting for Harleen.  The crowd was not expecting to see what was hanging.  It is like some kind of wooden human ballerina hybrid by Pablo Picjoker.  That is not all though, the ceiling tears open and like a lot of rats come falling out.  Tell me that it is not going to traumatize a four-year-old.  Maybe even a forty-four-year-old.
The GCPD crew regroups to compare notes here.  It is mostly just recap and Joker semi admiration.  Nothing too exciting going on here.  The next scene though?  Makes up for the issue.  Harleen walks into her apartment to find the Joker there waiting on her.  Awesome.  Great cliffhanger.  I absolutely cannot wait to see this confrontation pay off.  Will he convert Harleen to Harley?  Or will she hold strong?

I never have any issues with the art in this book.  Everything consistently looks amazing.  The colors always are bright and popping, especially in the black and white sections.  Personally, I am never a fan of black and white art in any books but it is fine here.  Great details are drawn out in every panel.  I have to say it again, I really like the character design of this Joker, costume and all.
Bits and Pieces:  
Overall I thought the issue was okay.  It was not bad in any sense but it wasn’t great either.  You can read through it extremely fast but it moves the story forward slowly.  Everything looks great.  There were a couple of bombshells revealed kind of, great cameo, and nice nods.  I think that this issue will flow well in trade but it was not anything spectacular by itself.  I still think you should check it out.      



  1. Thanks for another great review, but how can the color be popping in black and white art?

  2. Thanks. In the black and white sections of the book there are certain things that are often highlighted in color. Things like lipstick, hair, random objects. Whenever those things are seen they look great. They pop.

    1. Thanks for that! I haven't picked this one up yet, so I didn't realize.

    2. No problem. I think the entire series is worth a read.

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