Review – Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #3 – Making Space

Comic Books DC This Week
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #3 cover, via DC Comics.

Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #3 – Gail Simone, Chris Condon, Aditya Bidikar/Juni Ba, Writers; David Baldeon, Jacob Phillips, Juni Ba, Artists

Ray – 9/10

Ray: I’ve got to say, this anthology installment has some of the strongest creative lineups I’ve ever seen—including legends, newcomers to DC, and rising indie superstars. So how do these three stories turn out?

First up is “Deeply Strange Adventures” by Gail Simone and David Baldeon. Obviously, Simone is no stranger to DC antiheroes, but she’s never had a Harley run. She is, however, an expert at parody, and she turns her unique brand of humor on Tom King—with an opening page that sends up Heroes in Crisis and a main story that spoofs Strange Adventures. When Harley interrupts Adam Strange’s Zeta Beam and winds up sent to Rann in his place, she has to play Earth hero against a mob of marauders. This turns out surprisingly well, with her actually bringing some social change to Rann’s elite society—and even having a surprising little ulterior motive for her field trip.

Look familiar? Via DC Comics.

For something completely different, the acclaimed That Texas Blood creative team of Condon and Phillips join forces on their first DC work, “Stacked Deck.” Given these two’s forte, it’s no surprise that this is a noir-accented story. Focusing on Harley’s first attempt to work with Joker, it puts an even darker twist on it—showing how her initial attempts to meet with him went horribly wrong and exposed him for the monster he is. Or does it? This is a twisty story that keeps you guessing exactly when and where you are, and the ending just works perfectly as a last-second gut punch as we exit Harley’s mind and return to the real world.

Finally, things end on a surreal note as acclaimed writer-artist Juni Ba is joined by Aditya Bidikar on “The Rebound.” Harley and Joker have just broken up—in violent fashion—and she finds the rebound she needs in an adorable black cat. Unfortunately, her idea of a bonding exercise is planning a heist to find the perfect birthday present for Ivy—and a cat isn’t exactly the best partner in crime. This is a slight, silly story that feels like it’ll fit perfectly in with Harley’s animated version more than the current comic book version, but the real star here is Juni Ba’s cartoony art which constantly shifts with the chaos.

All in all, another great set of stories without a weak link.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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