Harley Quinn #65 – Sam Humphries, Writer; Sami Basri, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Sam Humphries continues to deliver one of the best Harley runs of all time in Harley Quinn #65, as he seamlessly balances real-life pathos with bizarre and surreal comic book events. Last issue’s powerful spotlight on the death of Harley’s mother was maybe the best single issue of the month, and this issue largely skips a lot of the immediate aftermath – we don’t see the funeral, and instead flash forward to just how badly Harley is dealing with this.
Namely, getting drunk, hallucinating her mother’s ghost, and eventually deciding to abandon her life and disappear into the ocean. This being Harley, she next turns up as some sort of cavewoman/pirate hybrid when she’s tracked down by her pint-sized Trial Guide Mirand’r, who wants to get her back to the last trial so she can gain cosmic power. Harley, though, has absolutely no interest and unleashes a series of traps against her – which fall flat once it’s revealed that Mirand’r is intangible and nothing about this Tamaranean girl is what it appeared to be.
Mirand’r has been a mystery since this story began and this issue finally gives away why – she’s not a Tamaranian or a genie – she’s a ghost. A flashback shows how she was the brave daughter of a Tamaranean priestess who was killed for trying to defend her mother. Her mother cut a deal with the Lords of Chaos and Order to restore her daughter – but the price was that her daughter would serve them as a spirit until they decided to fully restore her to life. This immediately bonds her to Harley more closely, as Harley is battling with her own grief, and that motivates her to return to her trials. The reveal that this is the last trial in itself is kind of predictable, but it’s executed well.
Next issue will deliver the big reveals about what Harley has been transformed into, but I’m most interested in Mirand’r. Between her and the original characters in Dial H for Hero, Humphries is doing the best work with young characters at DC right now – time for a new Teen Titans creative team?
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.