Written and Illustrated by Stjepan Sejic
Published by DC Comics
There are a slew of Harley Quinn comics coming out these days. This is the Black Label version of Harley courtesy of writer/artist Stjepan Sejic.
It’s one of the more interesting Harley Quinn stories right from the first page. The book shows her in a very different light and it is very well done, indeed.
When we first see her, Harley is in a beautifully drawn nightmare. She is walking along and she sees the Joker under siege by this crazy looking Bat Creature! Harley fends Batman off of her poor patient. She then has a conversation with the Joker and they turn into the characters as we know them, in full villain mode!
We then cut to Harley working as a criminal psychologist when she was working at Arkham Asylum. We see Harley’s struggles in the beginning. Her frustrations. And it works wonderfully. Sejic does a great job of grounding the character and making her feel real. It is sure to make the tragedy that follows even more impactful because of it. Sejic is a fantastic writer. He proves that throughout.
Fortunately, Sejic is a terrific artist as well. Harley’s first meeting with the Joker is so well handled, that it’s almost definitive. Eventually, the Batman shows up for an appearance and Sejic draws him perfectly. It’s a highly dynamic scene and it really makes the reader sit up and take notice. I loved it right until we found out it was another nightmare. This was a little weak and cheap because, as I said earlier, this could have been a definitive moment.
But then Sejic directs the narrative to show Harley becoming the criminal we all know and love. That is when the book really soars. This is the crux of the story. And it is dark and psychological and just completely awesome. Sejic swings for the fences in every scene and succeeds mostly and does it with style.
By the end of the issue, we are left with a promise of what is to come. I am excited to see what happens next. This is a beautiful first issue, and I hope the next issues are as good as this one was.