Harley Takes a Serious Undertone in her Latest Installment (Harley Quinn #23 Comic Review)

Harley Quinn #23

‘Family Circles’ story written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Connor

Panels by John Timms, Coloring by Jeremiah Skipper

Cover Art by Amanda Connor and Alex Sinclair

‘Harley Loves Joker’ story written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Paul Dini

Panels by Bret Blevins, Inks by J. Bone, Colors by Alex Sinclair

Harley considers a deal with her current top nemesis, Harley Sinn, and plans dinner with the family. Meanwhile, Police Chief Spoonsdale confronts the Mayor of New York on his suspicions and things are not looking well for the Chief after.

What You Need to Know: Considering that we are discussing Harley Quinn and the writing of Amanda Conner and Jim Palmiotti, this issue turned slightly serious as her and Goat Man had discussions about the power of being unique. I enjoyed the small reprieve of slapstick comedy rebuttals during their casual conversation as they rode the subway to their dinner destination with Harley’s parents about how often people consider their worst qualities as something to be admonished for and it actually makes them beautiful and distinguished from their peers. Perhaps Amanda and Jim are reaching out to their younger audience through Harley, who is well loved amongst the younger DC fans, and letting them know it’s ok to be different and a little odd from the main crowd.

While I am still not the biggest fan of John Timms’ art style for a Harley Quinn series, he seems better fitted for Green Lanterns or Batman, there was a lot more detail in the panels this issue and so the pacing was better played in the issue. Again, not a lot of action in this issue, with a healthy dose of slapstick comedy comments from Harley with her crazy PG-rated mashup of insults, but the small breaks in characters and tone (from funny to serious) made this read more enjoyable than most. I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic that the writers understand that Harley can be funny and still be intelligible to older readers while appealing to the younger fans.

What You’ll Find Out: Harley Sinn’s offer was shelved for another issue, having her tied up in Madam Macrabre’s museum until Harley returns from dinner with her parents. Elsewhere, you see Spoonsdale share his disaste for the Mayor (to his face, no less) which bodes badly for him and almost guarantees Harley’s future involvement and taking up Harley Sinn’s offer.

Meanwhile, Red Tool reaches out to Poison Ivy and they seem to be cooking up some type of “save Harley” plan. But what is it and does it involve this future timeline’s crusade to end Harley Quinn? From the looks of it, Red Tool appears to be a time-traveling Harley Hunter who made the realization she’s not that bad and deserves some protection.

Meanwhile, in Harley Loves Joker, Harley has finally finished the Joker’s new hideout. Unfortunately, Harley didn’t think of the final bill. Where will she get the funds?

What Just Happened? Harley Sinn is locked away for now, Police Chief Spoonsdale now has a bullseye on his back, Harley gets oddly serious and Poison Ivy and Red Tool are teaming up. That’s a lot of material in a 21 page comic, this fan is pleasantly surprised by the latest issue.

Rating: 8/10

Final Thoughts: Vast improvements, but only time will tell if the writers stay the course.


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