REVIEW: ‘Harley Quinn,’ Issue #74

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Harley Quinn #74

Harley Quinn #74 is published by DC Comics, written by Sam Humphries, art by Sami Basri, colors by Hi-Fi, and letters by Dave Sharpe. As they say in the squared circle, Harley is on the ropes. Having discovered that the big bad behind the curtain in is none other than Granny Goodness, she must now decide what to do next. The intergalactic level villains are a little out of Harley’s usual purview. But she has a friend that needs avenging. So, Harley will do what she always does. Make it up as she goes along.

Harley Quinn has always been rooted firmly in the modern era of fiction. A reflection of the chaos, violence and abuse society suffers from, her stories have a tendency of shying away from many of the classic comic book tropes. Instead Harley blazes her own path. Happily ever after, and hopeful endings don’t often feel like Miss Quinn’s fortes. But every now and then, the on again off again villainess/chaotic good hero earns one for herself. Happily Humphries is more than capable of delivering her an ending that left me both smiling, and teary eyed.

While many elements of Harley’s ongoing story are given wonderful wrap ups in Harley Quinn #74, I must give Humphries particular praise for his handling of one point specifically. Her ongoing struggle with her own desire to die. For the entirety of this storyline Harley has struggled with whether or not it’s worth it to live. Her best friend has died, and the world feels far too dark to deal with. Throughout the story whether Harley was more interested in justice for her friend, or finding someone tough enough to end her own suffering has been called into question. And the way Humphries addresses this resonated with me tremendously.  And that is to say, there is no perfect resolution to be found in Harley Quinn #74.

Harley Quinn #74 

Don’t get me wrong. Harley definitely feels like she comes out in a better place. And hopefully, with a little help, she’ll find a smile that isn’t painted on. But Humphries doesn’t do the struggle Harley has undergone the injustice of wrapping it up with some pretty little “I’ve remembered life is worth living speech” and TA DA! Harley’s troubles are solved. Instead, the implication I was left with is that, put into the same circumstances in the future, Harley could find herself right back there.

This is a much more realistic take on how such struggles play out in real life. By choosing not to sweep away a problem that often has no permanent solution, I see Harley as someone far stronger than she might have been. While the strength to expel the problem would be great, the strength to bear it is even greater. Because of this touch of the real, and I never thought I’d type this, this issue, I saw myself in Harley Quinn.

While Humphries landed the issue’s writing amazingly, Basri’s art continues to complement its story wonderfully. His artistic range never fails to do excellent justice to both the comedy, and struggle, that Harley Quinn #74 delivers.

Complementing Basri’s art is some wonderful coloring. Hi-Fi continues to put the perfect finishing touch to the artwork in this book.

And while I’m praising how the visual presentation of Harley Quinn #74 enhances the story I cannot fail to mention Sharpe’s wonderful lettering. All the wild emphasis and splashy colored fonts one would expect to accentuate Harley’s wild personality are fully utilized with flawless precision

Harley Quinn #74 wraps up its storyline with a ending page I hope promises a bit of good for our often on the ropes harlequin. She’s been dragged through hell and back recently and I’d love to see something go a little right for her. I’d say she’s earned it.

Harley Quinn #74 is available July 7th wherever comics are sold.

 

Harley Quinn #74
5

TL;DR

Harley Quinn #74 wraps up its storyline with a ending page I hope promises a bit of good for our often on the ropes harlequin. She’s been dragged through hell and back recently and I’d love to see something go a little right for her. I’d say she’s earned it.