Harley Quinn #18 – Stephanie Phillips, Writer; Georges Duarte, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: After the conclusion of the Verdict saga, Harley’s series goes weekly for a massive change of pace—as Harley joins up with a new version of the Suicide Squad to head to space. Amanda Waller is off on Earth-3 with the Crime Syndicate, but that doesn’t stop Task Force X mainstays Bronze Tiger and Killer Frost from trying to hunt Harley down for unknown purposes. She’s finally brought down by the D-lister Dreadbolt and brought to the base where they’re joined by Lashina—and in a bizarre twist, Verdict, who was rescued from the cops after her attempted mass murder spree last issue. This is a weird crew and it’s about to get weirder, but there’s one big change—this crew is here by recruitment, not by force. Waller has been replaced by Luke Fox, who is trying to forge his own legacy as Batwing and play his own role in the future of the DCU—as he tries to tie up one big loose end.
One key thing about this issue is that it takes place in the aftermath of the beginning of Dark Crisis. The Justice League is gone, and Harley references her very brief stint in Jon Kent’s Justice League redux. But she’s not really a team player—despite Luke’s attempt to convince her otherwise. The presence of Verdict, who is still ready and eager to murder Harley, complicates things, but Harley is willing to go along with it as long as she gets to bring her personal undead bodyguard—Solomon Grundy. This issue is mostly setup, with Harley being chased and briefed on the mission, but the end of the issue indicates we might be in for some fun sci-fi action. Once again, Phillips seamlessly switches out genres between arcs. The other big change this issue is that we have a new artist, and Georges Duarte’s nicely cartoony art fits the bill well. It’s a promising start to what’s sure to be a chaotic month of stories.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.