Batman and Catwoman are getting hitched and Joker is not too happy about it. As seen in Batman #48 and #49 he’s willing to kill innocent people in order to make a point to our lovely couple. The events in this comic take place right before those issues, focusing on other villains and their take on Joker’s plan to ruin their big day. Next up: Harley Quinn, so you know there will be plenty of baggage.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Harley Quinn knows a thing or two about dysfunctional relationships. When she hears that her old flame is trying to get in the way of a happy new life for one of her best friends, the Maid of Mischief tracks The Joker down to give him a piece of her mind-and maybe a few blows from her hammer, too.
Why does this matter?
Who doesn’t love a good throwdown between Joker and Harley? Given Harley’s growing independence since Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner developed the character, her relationship to Joker has only grown. Gone is the love affair and in its place is an unhealthy desire to punch each other in the face.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a reminder that the state of the supervillain has changed in Gotham. Two boys are walking about an area once filled with villainous gadgetry and plots. It all seems perfectly safe until one of the boys finds a tooth. Enter Joker, who has Harley Quinn hot on his tail since the end of the Batgirl vs. The Riddler prelude issue. This is a cat and mouse story with Harley giving Joker a few lumps and Joker dishing a few right back. Seeley does a good job reflecting on their new dynamic, reminding readers Harley is no longer his puddin’ and Joker is coming to grips with that reality. It’s another reminder that a lot has changed with the DC villains.
One of the more intriguing elements of this issue is how Seeley probes the minds of these characters in regards to traps. There’s a genuine moment for Joker reflecting on Harley’s traps that’s somewhat sweet and it possibly gives readers a bit of insight into how he did truly love her on some level. There’s also a fun trap in this issue that is quite cute and another that has a fairy tale theme. Both of these traps connect to the deeper meaning between the characters.
Sami Basri draws this issue with colors by Jessica Kholinne. Basri draws a dignified but still psychotic Joker with a whole lot of charisma. This is a book that’s heavy on the dialogue, but Basri keeps things moving with some well-framed panels and a good double page layout featuring a good fight sequence.
It can’t be perfect can it?
By the end of the issue it’s clear Harley and Joker are still working through things, but ultimately there isn’t a whole lot achieved. There are some clever ideas, but I wasn’t blown away by any revelations nor were there any wedding day reveals. These two characters are basically going in circles and there’s nothing certain made from their conversing.
Is it good?
A good issue that Harley and Joker fans will love. Seeley creates some interesting traps for Joker to break free from and we get a heaping dose of arguing between one of the more iconic relationships in the DCU.
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