Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Harley Quinn #22 Review



Written by: Stephanie Phillips
Art by: Matteo Lolli, David Baldeón
Colors by: Rain Beredo
Letters by: AndWorld Design
Cover art by: Matteo Lolli, Rain Beredo
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 27, 2022

Harley Quinn #22 begins a new arc with Kevin heading into the frozen North looking for the League of Assassins and a Lazarus Pit to resurrect one Harley Quinn. Who murdered her and why is the mystery you never knew was waiting for you.

Is It Good?

It's no secret I've been critical of this particular run of Harley comics, but credit where credit is due, Harley Quinn #22 is not bad. There are flaws, to be sure, but on the whole, this is a decent start to a new arc.

If you've seen the cover, you know Harley is dead. Phillips lays out Kevin's quest to bring her back to life with surprisingly solid character interactions, dialog, and plot progression. Phillips also peppers in plenty of flashbacks to show the murder by a figure waiting in the shadows and to lay the foundation for a firm murder mystery.

Of course, there are a few flaws and oddities that may or may not be sticking points. For example, Kevin suddenly decides to dye his hair green, giving him a more Joker-like appearance, which directly works against Kevin's development away from being a "clown." Harley is Harley, which means she's loudly obnoxious, almost ignorantly foolish, and retains no potential as the smart, capable character she can be. And the biggest plot goof of the lot is the presence of a small, talking alien who appeared in the Harley Annual without explanation. The alien is simply here now, and part of the story.

Lolli and Baldeón's art is a breath of fresh air after Rossmo's departure. Kevin's cartoonish visage (now with green hair?) is unavoidable, but at least the setting and characters are more appealing. The colors are bright, bold, and attractive, and the action is energetic without tilting into slapstick tomfoolery as this series has done in the past.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Harley Quinn #22 begins a new arc with significantly improved art, good pacing, and the makings of an effective murder mystery. Fortunately, the flaws (Kevin's green hair, Harley's personality, and an alien?!?) are compensated for by some darn fine technical execution.


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