REVIEW: ‘Harley Quinn: Black, White and Red,’ Issue #2

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Harley Quinn: Black, White and Red #2
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Red #2 is published digital-first by DC Comics, writing and art by Mirka Andolfo and letters by John J. Hill. When Harley Quinn discovers Catwoman is challenging her for the online title of Gotham underground’s queen of cool she takes it personally. In order to settle the feud, Harley and Selina face off on the fashion runway. Which classic villainess will do their little turn on the catwalk the best?

In the first issue we were given a look into the mind of Harley Quinn. This psychological journey looked into what makes Harley tick. Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Red #2 steps away from the deep stuff, and instead has Harley be the Clown Queen of Chaos. In many ways, this switch feels like a perfect metaphor for Harley’s existence in general. Bouncing between a walking punchline, and a truly three-dimensional character.

I’ve made no secret that when it comes to the two Harleys we split our time with I’ve always been more fond of the serious Harley. The wacky crazy Harley has rarely managed to hold my interest. That having been said, Harley Quinn: Black, White and Red #2 does as good a job of highlighting wacky Harley as I’ve seen. Writer Andolfo puts together a story that’s fun and frantic, without going too overboard. This is largely due to his balancing Harley’s over the top energy with Catwoman’s cool as ice demeanor. The two play off each other beautifully.

Harley Quinn: Black, White and Red #2

The main beat of the story, the two main characters having a showdown on a fashion catwalk works perfectly for each of them. Though for entirely different reasons. The concept of a “walk-off” fits Harley’s chaotic “yeah! Let’s do that!” mentality perfectly. While on the other hand, Selina just belongs on a catwalk, whatever bizarre reason might have brought her to it. As highlighted best in her recent 80th-anniversary issue, Selina has always had a sense of style.

What Andolfo creates in the story is reinforced in his art. The blend of chaos and style is put onto the digital page wonderfully. A bit of roughness to the line art keeps the art in line with the more chaotic main protagonist. While the continued confinement of the color selection to black, white, and red allows Andolfo to utilize the red element to make the various outfits truly steal the page. It’s a theft Catwoman would applaud.

Wrapping up Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Red #2’s presentation is a magnificent lettering performance on the part of Hill. He places speech balloons with excellent skills. He couples this with some wonderful font usage, allowing him to emphasize the text when appropriate. Needless to say, most of these lines belong to Harley herself.

Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Red #2 delivers a fun, stylish, and somewhat bizarre fashion fueled tale I thoroughly enjoyed. The lead ladies are balanced against each other wonderfully. With the huge shift in tone between issues one and two, I’m left extremely curious about what the next piece of this series will bring us. But, whatever it may be, I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Harley Quinn: Black, White and Red #2 is available now digitally.

Harley Quinn: Black, White and Red #2
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