DC This Week

Review – Harley Quinn #3: The Doctor Is Insane

Harley Quinn #3 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Harley Quinn #3 – Stephanie Phillips, Writer; Riley Rossmo, Artist; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The new state of Gotham has been pretty interesting to explore, but it wouldn’t work nearly as well without this title—where we look at it from the side of the most hated people in Gotham. Harley may be a hero now, but she’s still a killer clown in the eyes of the traumatized people of Gotham. While Hugo Strange begins twisted experiments on unfortunate people in his custody, Harley tries to help people like her with the assistance of her ex-clown buddy. The first step—opening a support group for former clowns looking to escape the Joker’s shadow and their own demons. It would be a good idea—if she wasn’t posting a welcome sign for anyone who wanted to come in and cause trouble. And after a promising start, it soon becomes clear they have an intruder in their midst—in the form of Lockwood, a sadistic former Arkham guard with a personal grudge against Harley.

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Mad experiments. Via DC Comics.

The opening is pretty character-driven, but once Lockwood enters the picture, the second half of the issue kicks into high gear. He didn’t come alone, and now everyone who attended the meeting in good faith has a target painted on their back. It’s Harley and some hapless sidekicks against an army of Hugo Strange’s goons, and it’s no surprise that this issue turns into a high-speed chase across Gotham. If Harley thought she had gotten away, things get pretty complicated by the end of the issue—and this is easily the creepiest Strange has been in years. Nanako has some questionable choices in allies, but it is sure to make for some good stories. The psychological underpinnings of this run continue to be the best parts, with Stephanie Phillips balancing Harley’s chaotic vigilante activities with some understanding that makes a lot of sense for her backstory.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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This post was last modified on May 24, 2021 5:18 pm

Ray Goldfield

Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

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