Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #6 Review

Gotham Has a New Hero Now

Written By: Katana Collins, Sean Gordon Murphy
Art By: Matteo Scalera
Colors By: Dave Stewart
Letters By: Andworld Design
Cover Art By: Sean Gordon Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: March 23, 2021

In Batman: White Knight Presents Harley Quinn #6, Harley heads to the award gala to capture the Producer and Starlet. And this time, it's PERSONAL! Lou's dead, Harley's home is a pile of ashes, and the mystery is all but resolved except for capturing the bad guys. Harley wraps it all up and then some... almost.

Was It Good?

It was just okay. The art has been consistently great, and there are a few fight scenes in here that are energetic and exciting. That said, the story wraps up a little too neatly with bonuses for Harley on top which makes for a less-than-satisfying conclusion.

What's It About?

We begin with a flashback to an argument between Joker and Harley while a tied-up and gagged Jason Todd sits in a chair nearby. The argument doesn't go well, and Harley breaks it off for good. Bud and Lou hold the Joker at bay while Harley goes for help from Batman.

The tone in this scene gives you the feel that Harley is letting go of the things that hurt but not quite to the point of turning over a new leaf.

Back to now, Harley sifts through the ashes of her home. The GTO shows up to let her know she's off the case because it IS personal now with Lou's death. Harley turns in her badge declaring she wasn't a good fit for the GTO anyway. If she can't go after the Producer and Starlet as a member of the GTO, she'll go on her own.

Later, Harley meets up with Batman (and a cool cameo by the '89 Batmobile) in the GTO parking garage. It seems like a strange place to meet up, and it's never really explained why they went there or why Batman didn't return to prison after the danger with Harley's home was over. You're meant to presume Batman is now an escaped fugitive, I guess.

Out of concern or love, Batman gifts Harley a new suit. It's a cool design, still evocative of the Harley character but with a Batman color palette.

Bat-Harley heads to Sofia Valentine's awards ceremony where the Producer and Starlet are apparently planning a big "finale." During the on-stage award ceremony, Sofia is trapped with a few precise knife throws. Hector, who's giving the speech, offers to go with Starlet if she spares his mother, and Starlet agrees.

Here we pause to consider what just happened because we've lost focus on Starlet's plan. Was the goal to kill Sofia Valentine? If so, she didn't do it with ample time and opportunity. Was the goal to get Hector to go with her? If so, Starlet had multiple opportunities to push Hector to come along prior to the awards ceremony. What was the plan here? It seems convoluted.

Bat-Harley chases Starlet and Hector as they try to escape through the tunnels under the theater. When she catches up to them, it's knives against Bat-mallet in a fairly well-paced and acted fight scene. Sadly, Hector gets killed by a wayward knife throw, but not before Starlet is knocked out.

In the end, Hector is dead, Starlet is under arrest, and Batman gifts Harley her own brownstone, complete with a "bat cave," an arsenal of weapons and gadgets, and a puppy hyena.

In effect, fugitive Batman has passed on the mantle of Gotham's protector to Bat-Harley.

Wait a minute! What happened to the Producer? It's never mentioned or brought up. He's just out there somewhere.

Where did Batman go? Apparently, he's left Gotham as a fugitive on the run.

Does Batman leave Bat-Harley a bunch of money to fund her new life of crime-fighting? It's not addressed.

Batman is on the run or in hiding, he leaves Bat-Harley all his stuff to become Gotham's new protector when everyone knows who she is and where she lives, and the one who started all of this (the Producer) is simply forgotten? Uhh... yeah. Let's go with that.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #6 finishes off a unique detective drama with alternate takes on familiar characters but doesn't quite stick the landing. The art is great, and the action works, but the number of dangling threads detracts from the conclusion.


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