Wednesday, September 11, 2013

SPOILERS: Detective Comics #23.2

Harley, fully clothed and not in a bath tub, is at the Secret Society's meeting with the Crime Syndicate, and is none too impressed. Order, meetings, these things aren't for Harley, Gotham is for Harley, and right now it's exposed, and she wants to have some fun.

Harley was raised in order, because her family was so dysfunctional and crazy, order is what kept her sane and focused on her studies, order is what allowed her to graduate top of her class and get the most prestigious jobs immediately afterwards. Then she met the Joker, and essentially fell in love with chaos, we all know the story, and as with the New 52 origin, she too took a dip into the chemicals, which truly freed her, and created a second persona to stand next to Harleen. Following that, we learn the origin of her new costume, part field hockey player, part hooker, part fast food employee, and chaos followed in Harley's wake.

Fast forward to a few days before the meeting with the Crime Syndicate, Harley is free of the Suicide Squad and she's having fun in Gotham, but first she has to give out free video game systems to all the boys and girls! Then she dresses up like a cop and visits a police station with quite a bit of dynamite.

Three days later she has a software update download to all the video game systems that turns them all into bombs, but Harley is still feeling a bit empty, maybe it's Harleen coming out of her a bit. This is where Deadshot shows up, having just gotten contacted by Waller who needs the Suicide Squad back together. Deadshot tells Harely they're both similar, bullets that without a target, are aimless and useless. Harley agrees, and seems like the Squad is getting back together.

The Good:

Loooooove Neil Googe's art. Loved it in the Legends of the Dark Knight story he did with Jim Zub that focused around Harley, and love it here. Quite honestly, even though I haven't seen any art from Chad Hardin, I can say I'd probably prefer Googe to have been picked for the artist on Harley Quinn. He's got such a playful style which fits Harley like a glove. What I really love about Googe's Harley are the facial expressions he gives to her. Not every artist is all too great with facial expressions, but Googe's are some of the best I've seen recently.

While the art is definitely what stood out for me on this issue, I did enjoy Kindt's story quite a bit. He's got a good grasp on Harley so far, and it was really fun to just see her causing chaos.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, I don't think Kindt nailed this issue like he nailed Deadshot's last week. It was still really good, but not perfect. I found myself getting a bit lost in Harley's narration from time to time, given her box metaphors, and when she addresses Harleen, who was apparently talking at some point. The Harley vs. Harleen thing definitely could have been a bit clearer. I also think the narration that delves deep into Harley's psyche created a weird juxtaposition between it and what was happening on the page. What she was saying in narration didn't always match what was happening in any given scene, and almost felt as if it was put there after the fact.

Also, like the Mr. Freeze issue, I feel like we didn't really need to see Harley's origin again, but there was a little less retreading than The Dark Knight #23.2

The Bottom Line:

Though this issue was chaotic by nature, given Harley's nature, I feel as if it could have used a bit of order to tighten things up a bit. That said, I do believe Matt Kindt and Neil Googe delivered a fine one and done Harley story, with particularly fantastic art. While not producing the same level of excitement for Kindt's upcoming Suicide Squad run, like the Deadshot book produced, this issue definitely helped contribute to my high hopes for those upcoming issues.



  1. "Harley, fully clothed and not in a bath tub"

    Oh, you!

  2. They could've cut down the origin down to the point where she first meets Joker and it would've been better.

  3. I liked this issue. Strangely, I found myself relating to what Harley was narrating about.
    I liked the last page conversation between Harley and Deadshot.
    Art was great. I think too much space was spent on how she put her costume together. Some parts were a bit scattered, but a good read still. Interesting dialogue about chaos, order and nature. There's plenty to explore with Harley.