Writer Sam Humphries
Artist Sami Basri
Letterer Dave Sharpe
Cover Guillem March & Arif Prianto
Variant Cover Frank Cho & Sabine Rich
The dark turn in Harley’s life that I was fearing has unfortunately occurred, Harley Quinn’s mother has died. I feel bad for her and a little mad at writer Sam Humphries for putting her through something so horrible. I’m hoping in this case, as is often true for the heroes, that death in comics is never final and that hopefully Mrs. Quinn came come back into Harley’s, and our lives.
Sam Humphries certainly put Harley through the wringer in this issue, she experienced the lowest lows, and at the end of the issue she achieved the greatest of heights and truly Cosmic levels of power. Mr. Humphries is giving us some fantastic Harley Quinn stories, this will be a run that is pointed back to as one of the greats in her history, I’m calling that right now. How he continues to keep the story fun, silly, serious and lighthearted, all simultaneously, is remarkable.
A perfect example of this is the entire first quarter of the book and Harley’s reaction to her mothers death. After some much needed mourning on a rooftop powered by grief and liquor, Harley decides to swim out to the volcano that appeared off the coast of Coney Island and proceeds to play at being “Harleen, Castaway Pirate Queen.” Mr. Humphries decision to sublimate her sadness into the most Harley Quinn-like avoidance of her own pain was not only a brilliant insight into how her mind works, but he pulled it off flawlessly. The whole thing could have come off as cheesy or cheap, but it wasn’t, it remained sad and funny while being respectful, I felt.
Good heavens, this art! Artist Sami Basri is doing great things in this book, from how he draws Harley and the other characters, to the landscapes and environments, and onto the little sight-gags he’ll slip into the art, I’m loving what he’s doing. His design of “Harleen, Castaway Pirate Queen” is hilarious, as soon as I saw it, I just knew that if Harley was a real person and she decided to run away to an island and play at being a pirate, that’s exactly how she’d look. I’m still cracking up over her coconut bikini top with the star and spade she favors, one on each breast, in red and black.
As much as I liked what Mr. Basri produced, and I do very much, the artwork I appreciated the most in this issue was the colorwork by Hi-Fi. The colors in the book are totally in sync with the art and story. I especially like how Hi-Fi colored Harley herself, she looks gorgeous swathed in bright, half pastel/watercolor tones and hues. Look to the first five pages of the book, where Harley is drinking on the rooftop, and you can see what I mean, the colorwork is what made the art in those panels so impactful. My favorite panel in the whole book, in terms of the colors, was of Harley jumping out at Mirand’r from the forest with her spear, accusing her of being after her “booty,” wow! Get the book and take some time to grok how good Hi-Fi is at what he does.
Here’s to hoping that the next issue takes it easy on Harley, or maybe we should hope that Harley takes it easy on the next issue, considering she now possesses the power of the universe.
Running around a volcanic island, playing at pirates while looking absolutely stunning can be tiring, make sure to keep this book close for when you need a break and…