REVIEW: ‘Harley Quinn,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Harley Quinn #8

Harley Quinn #8 is published by DC Comics and written by Stephanie Phillips. The artist is Riley Rossmo. Colours by Ivan Plascencia. Letters by Andworld Design. This is part of the Fear State event.

Gotham is under attack by Scarecrow, who is working with the Magistrate to implement total control over the city. Harley has been looking for Poison Ivy. She and Catwoman found Ivy in Alleytown, but this is not her girlfriend. This is a creation of the real Ivy to leave part of herself above ground, whilst the original is deep underground. 

In this issue, Harley gets to see the first glimpse of Pamela in ages. Whilst she is only half of the real person, she holds the key to finding both Ivy and an ally against Crane. But current nemesis Keepsake tracks her down with his new team of villains. In Gotham, Kevin has decided that he must take it upon himself to protect the people whilst Harley is away. He discovers a new friend before an old enemy leads him back into danger.

The plot of this issue is engaging but may be confusing for certain readers. This is due to the connection to Fear State and how the story is being told. There are time jumps between issues that may have taken place in other issues. But Phillips helpfully provides an efficient catch-up that does well to bring those that may have missed other tie-ins up to speed. Harley Quinn #8 is split into two, telling Kevin’s story and Harley’s adventure. They feel separate, but both are telling both the Fear State event and the plot threads that have been carried over eight issues of this run so far. There is brilliant action and a reveal that will have readers giggling. The humour in this issue is silly, but that will never be an insult.

Something that this book possesses that others struggle to find is a soul, which comes from the incredible characters. It has a voice, and Phillips has shone in maintaining it. Having Harley reunited with even just a part of Ivy is so lovely to see. The love she has for Pamela has been clear, and her girlfriend has felt like an essential presence without even being there. So finding and getting to her has an air of a reward for both the protagonist and the fans. Seeing her fawn over her friend is refreshing, and having Harley directly refer to Ivy as her girlfriend feels like a very powerful moment in comic book history. There are so many moments of the comic that are beautifully heartwarming.

The emotions in this issue can range from hopeful to poignant to hilarious. Keepsake’s new crew is an incredible selection and a display of excellent wordplay. Even the recap that Harley gives is a delight to read as the flow of the dialogue keeps you enraptured. 

The art is delightful. Rossmo’s distinct style is on full display, as is their comedic ability. Kevin wears a new costume that is superbly designed, as it fits both his personality but that of the book as a whole. Each of Keepsake’s new teammates is a brilliant copy of an existing character, with a satirical look to go with the name. Rossmo’s art style ensures that none of them looks like any villain we’ve seen before. In fact, none of the characters look like superheroes we’ve seen before.

The colours are excellent and, like every other aspect of Harley Quinn #8, contribute to the characters and the storytelling. Each of the different locations exists in a different light. Gotham has been consistently dank and gloomy. Usually, it has been the red, pink, and blue of Harley that has added the colour. With her not there, that is diminished. When Kevin dons his tributary costume, that influence returns slightly. In Alleytown, with Harley, Selina, and Ivy, it is much brighter and more vibrant. One of the most impactful factors is Ivy, a bringer of nature and warmth.

The lettering has always been superb. The font has a liveliness that fits the overall art style. This is one of the first times in the series where someone other than Harley has narrated. Andworld Design makes it easy to tell when the caption boxes are for another person.

Harley Quinn #8 is a lovely issue. Harley’s first hug with Ivy is a reward, as if part of what she has been looking for has been achieved. The comic is so exceptionally emotional, relying on its heart for strength. Phillips may be one of the best dialogue writers in the business, whether it be philosophical narrations or hysterical quips. The reader can hear Harley’s voice in their head when they read her lines. And with the brilliant and unique art, this comic is so characterful. 

Harley Quinn #8 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Harley Quinn #8
4.5

TL;DR

Harley Quinn #8 is a lovely issue. Harley’s first hug with Ivy is a reward, as if part of what she has been looking for has been achieved. The comic is so exceptionally emotional, relying on its heart for strength. Phillips may be one of the best dialogue writers in the business, whether it be philosophical narrations or hysterical quips. The reader can hear Harley’s voice in their head when they read her lines. And with the brilliant and unique art, this comic is so characterful.