REVIEW: ‘Harley Quinn,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Harley Quinn #6

Harley Quinn #6 is published by DC Comics. The issue is written by Stephanie Phillips. Laura Braga comes in as the artist, and the colours are by Arif Prianto. The letters are by Andworld Design.

In the last issue, Harley broke into Hugo Strange’s laboratory and freed the clowns he had been torturing. But Strange is still working and still performing experiments. Harley ventures into Alleytown in search of a shipment of drugs that Strange has brought in. Doing this puts her on the radar of the Magistrate. Luckily she is also in the territory of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Selina agrees to team up with Harley to keep an eye on her. 

The plot of the issue is fun but has multiple factors to its construction. It is trying to start a new arc, taking the fallout of the last issue, and trying to regain momentum. What Phillips excels at is using the upcoming event of Fear State to fill the comic with energy. There is tension in the air, with changes happening around the city. Everyone is in danger, and that is known. There are some important moments in Harley Quinn #6 that will lead directly into the crossover. Aside from that, this is a brilliant team-up issue. The action as the two Sirens unite is amazing, and there is a real sense of peril at one stage. Phillips wonderfully explores the relationship between Harley and Selina. Of the three Gotham City Sirens, these two have often felt like they have the least chemistry. The writer plays on that as Catwoman is very dubious of the clown. Kyle is protective of Quinn, but she teams up with her to get her out of Alleytown, so she doesn’t get in any more trouble. In turn, Harley’s attitude is the complete opposite.  She watches Catwoman fight armored killers with wide eyes, possibly out of idolization and a little bit of attraction too. The dialogue between the two is perfect; the suave serious nature of Catwoman’s attitude works brilliantly alongside Harley’s chaos.

It should also be mentioned that one of the most prominent figures in Harley Quinn #6 is missing. Ivy isn’t in this comic, but her presence is felt through Harley’s references to her. When Harley talks about Ivy, the writer, and artist both make it appear like she has butterflies in her stomach. She speaks about Pamela in a very flirtatious and outright loving way. The way Phillips embraces this connection is pivotal to how both characters progress going forward.

The artist has changed since the last arc but remains fantastic. Braga brings something different to the book, with a style that favors realism. Harley is designed superbly by Braga, and the energy that radiates from her is fantastic. What is lovely about this comic is the smile on Harley’s face, which is infectious to the reader. The artist gives Quinn such a fabulously expressive face, and the mood inside the scene hinges on that. Catwoman is also drawn very well, with more of a stoic impression. Braga gives both characters an individual sense of movement, but their body shape is also completely separate. The fight scenes have superb choreography. The feeling of speed and the impact when Harley smashes a person’s face with her baseball bat is prevalent in every bit of combat. 

The colours are stunning. Catwoman and Harley look brilliant in a panel together because of how contrasting their palettes are. Quinn is so colorful as Prianto covers her in a combination of blue and red, as well as the occasional pink gum bubble. Next to her is Selina in her sleek, shiny black leather. Behind them, the backgrounds produce a lovely atmosphere as the light blends beautifully with the darker shades.

The lettering is very easy to read and effective. The large balloons filled with dialogue are placed well by Andworld Design and the comedic moments flow superbly.

Harley Quinn #6 is a fantastic start to a new arc. Phillips bridges the gap between what has already happened. But the expertly crafted double-act with Selina allows the story to stand on its own without the foreshadowing. The writer has an awesome style that makes any conversation stunning. The new art team settles in brilliantly. As Harley Quinn falls into the umbrella of the Fear State crossover, it will be interesting to see which direction this book goes.

Harley Quinn #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Harley Quinn #6
4.5

TL;DR

Harley Quinn #6 is a fantastic start to a new arc. Phillips bridges the gap between what has already happened. But the expertly crafted double-act with Selina allows the story to stand on its own without the foreshadowing. The writer has an awesome style that makes any conversation stunning. The new art team settles in brilliantly. As Harley Quinn falls into the umbrella of the Fear State crossover, it will be interesting to see which direction this book goes.