Harley Quinn #8 – Stephanie Phillips, Writer; Riley Rossmo, Artist; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Harley is now deep in the middle of Fear State, and it’s brought out the best in the book. The narrative is split this month, with Harley and her antihero friends on a quest, and Kevin on his own in Gotham. Harley’s plot is naturally more complex, as she finds the “seed” Ivy created of herself—the more innocent, child-like Ivy who needs to be reunited with Queen Ivy to complete the whole self. But as Harley and her allies Catwoman and Gardner plan to take Ivy down below Gotham, they’re interrupted by Keepsake and his gang of cut-rate villain knockoffs. Some hilarious flashback segments ensue, and I highly enjoy watching Harley and her friends roasting the ripoff villains. But despite how ridiculous they are, they actually put up a fight and Keepsake once again proves himself both a ridiculous incel and a serious threat to Harley. It’s not an essential read for the main Fear State story, but it will enhance it.
And then there’s Kevin, Harley’s new partner in ex-Joker goon rehab. He’s made his way back to Gotham, and debuts his own personal vigilante costume. This character has really grown on me, and he has some great commentary about body image and bullying as he starts on his new chapter. It’s not long before he encounters a woman named Sam, under attack by Magistrate goons, and she proves pretty capable on her own. The two form a quick friendship, although I’m guessing there’s more to her than it appears. At the same time, Hugo Strange’s master plan takes a dark turn, and Kevin finds himself in the middle of it and faced with a terrifying choice. It’s a comic that has some surprisingly funny moments, but it can also be terrifying and heartbreaking at times, and it does a great job of getting you invested in both the characters we know very well and the ones we’re just getting to know.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.