Her ubiquity across the DC Universe would make you believe otherwise, but Harley Quinn doesn’t spend all her time running with the super-set. Some days she freelances in her old profession of Harleen Quinzel, psychologist.
Others, she consults on security matters.
So it is that Harley Quinn and her baseball bat embed themselves at Gotham Metropolitan Museum of Art. And the Cupid of Crime (I looked that up) proves to be quite the detective, working out just who’s taking the exhibits.
I did too, and was rather pleased with myself until I remembered I’d actually seen the cover of this new DC Digital First offering. Oh well, the identity of the art thief isn’t the big draw of this comic… it’s the chance to read more of Mark Russell’s take on the DC Universe, following his recent work on the likes of Swamp Thing and Wonder Twins. Here we see a few Batman villains from his perspective, learn what art means to them and hear their commentary on collectors. And for good measure Russell throws in a new bad guy, Head Shrinker, whose name, given the look we get at his henchmen, is rather the misnomer. Interesting guy. And as drawn by Laura Braga, a bit of a hunk, if ‘gorilla’ is your thing. He certainly fills a suit nicely. And his goons are striking (and struck), I hope we see more of them soon.
Braga’s Clayface is equally good, especially the shape he’s in once ever-inventive Harley has had her way with him. I’m not terribly fond of the current Penguin design – too creepy – or Riddler look – terribly mundane – but Braga keeps them nicely on model.
Most importantly, her Harley is terrific, elegantly ditzy without the frenetic anger she’s often lumbered with. Harley is particularly adorable in medical mode, I’d certainly take my problems to her… I’m sure she’d knock some sense into me. Braga is also excellent at creating a sense of space, showing us the corners and corridors of the museum, and she conveys motion with pizzazz. Terrific colours, too, from Luis Guerrero, and letters from Marshall Dillon. Andrew Robinson’s good-natured cover is the cherry on the Mississippi mud pie.
I don’t know how many of these Harley Quinn tales DC have produced, presumably for their 100-page giants, but if they’re all as enjoyable as this 79p wonder, bring ‘em on!