Harley Quinn #62 – Sam Humphries, Writer; Otto Schmidt, Artist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Fantasy Gotham! Queen Selina!
Ray: “Harley does Dungeons and Dragons” has been the best idea for an arc this title has had in a long time. A role-playing game with a depressed Catwoman and an up-for-anything Tina led to them all being catapulted into an alternate fantasy Gotham where Selina is a deposed queen, Harley is an imprisoned heretic, and Tina is the enforcer for the mad queen – Enchantress, back from hell and back for revenge. When we pick up, Harley and Selina are on the verge of being incinerated at the stake by Tina, but Harley is able to break through by reminding Tina of her origin in an “M. Clatterbuck” segment that changes up Schmidt’s unique art style. With Tina having her memory back, Harley convinces Selina to trust her and they sneak into the castle where Tina attempts to convince Enchantress that she went ahead and killed them. To say it goes badly would be an understatement, kicking off the issue’s big battle.
One of the most enjoyable parts of this arc has been watching various DC heroes get reinvented as fantasy archetypes, and this issue doesn’t disappoint. Wanted to see the Bat-characters as mad knights? Killer Croc as Selina’s loyal dragon? Look no further! Humphries does some interesting stuff with Enchantress’ dual nature and what’s possibly happened to June Moone, and another “Clatterbuck” segment pays tribute to Selina’s side of the story. They eventually make their way back and Harley finds out this was another trial, but the real punch of the issue comes in its final segment as Harley reunites with her mother for her cancer treatments and they get bad news about her test results. The way Humphries manages to switch tones seamlessly in a heartbeat is something impressive, and this continues to catch up on the legendary Palmiotti/Conner run as my favorite Harley run.
Corrina: This is the most fun alternate Gotham I’ve read in a while, likely because it was written with some fun in mind. It’s also a little bit cray-cray and that perfectly suits the tone that Humphries has adopted in his run on Harley Quinn. He’s made it clear that while Harley is a little bit irresponsible, a little bit murderous, and a little bit unhinged, that she’s also a hero who believes in her friends, always.
Harley’s call-out to Tina was worthy of Wonder Woman, and her need to reach June hiding inside the Enchantress also showed off her compassion. Yes, compassion!
Schmidt’s been one of my favorite DC artists over the last few years and he clearly was the right choice for this fantasy Gotham, especially in his designs of Selina’s Knights. I can’t help wondering at the lack of Poison Ivy, however. (Possibly an editorial decision?)
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.