The Joker, newly empowered by an ancient artefact, has taken his abuse of sidekick Harley Quinn to new levels. The psychologist turned villain knows one person can provide the emotional support she needs. But first, Poison Ivy needs to be released into the wild.
Requiring a bolthole, Harley takes them to her sister’s home, where she visits a little girl Ivy assumes is her friend’s niece.
And that’s just the start of an outstanding episode of the always brilliant mini-series one that will have Ivy and Harley shippers glowing with delight. I’ve never been a fan of the pairing, seeing it as a path to neutering two great antagonists but, firstly, this story isn’t DC canon (whatever the heck that is this week), and secondly, it is just wonderful.
Writer Tom Taylor earns the happy ending he provides the characters, with a terrific blend of action and emotion, one illustrator Cian Tormey sells with intelligently choreographed, excellently executed set pieces. Facial emotions and body language are spot on – check out the staging as Ivy visits Joker – and there’s a lovely Film Noir feel to Harley in the opening scenes. The DC Digital First budgets never seem to stretch to original cover art, but Tormey even provides a full-page image that works as an eye-catching opener.
I don’t know if Rain Beredo’s colours match the palette of the video game which inspires the Injustice stories – I’ve never seen it – but they work very well for this series. Ivy’s personal environment is an enticing blend of greens and browns, while Harley brings a little more neon; the colours blend as well as the characters. And Wes Abbott keeps the calligraphy clear, adding all the emphasis needed to meet the beats. Editor Jessica Chen has put together a top team and I hope she works with them elsewhere in the DC line.
It’s unlikely, but I hope this is the last we see of Ivy and Harley in this compelling series – in one world, at least, let them have a Happy Ever After.