Harley Quinn #71 – Sam Humphries, Writer; Sami Basri, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Harley’s attempts to cope with her mother’s death hit another roadblock as she heads to Los Angeles to become a professional wrestler – only to have her new roommate and friend Alicia die mysteriously after a match, her signature artifact the Jade Feather gone mysteriously missing. That’s sent Harley spiraling, especially after it’s declared that Alicia committed suicide, in Harley Quinn #71.
Both Harley and Alicia’s daughter are convinced this couldn’t be the case, so off Harley goes to tear through the city’s underworld. What follows is an often amusing and ultraviolent mission as Harley investigates a white supremacist gang with ties to a fellow wrestler, that somehow goes through an internet troll farm. It’s all pretty topical, similar to what Mark Russell does, but Humphries never makes it too broad. And the gang is surprisingly vicious, managing to get the drop on Harley. But she doesn’t really get any closer to the answers.
After a series of strange interrogations including a talking dummy who seems to be a Scarface knock-off, Harley seeks out the help of one of the few people returning her calls – Booster Gold. I love that Humphries is leaning on the odd team-up forced by an event comic to create a compelling portrayal of two disrespected heroes/anti-heroes forming a bond out of trauma. But the end of Harley Quinn #71 is basically a string of bad decisions by Harley as she picks a fight with wrestling boss Babyface, then creates a massive brawl in the middle of the wrestling ring.
This issue is a little more over the top than Humphries’ usual fare, but its best moments are when it slows down for a minute. The segments involving Harley and Booster, and Harley and Alicia’s daughter, have some real emotional punch to them that fits this arc neatly in Harley’s larger storyarc. Humphries is likely to leave her in a very different place.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.