Harley Quinn Black + White + Red is a series of pure magic. The open-ended premise combined with the color limitation of black, white, and red have created incredibly exciting comics. This week, artist Dani takes the reins and she has done some of the most iconic horror comics in the last few years. From The Low, Low Woods to Coffin Bound, she has shown us a different kind of world that’s dark, dirty, and cutting edge.
This issue reminded of the eighth issue which had visual jazz that was wild, free, but also stable in its storytelling. The book has a heat to it like any good action thriller set in the sticky Florida summer. Titled “Sunshine Getaway”, the comic starts with Harley very pissed off as her hyenas have been kidnapped. She’s busting heads in the Oyster Hotel and wants to find them yesterday. You feel the heat of the day thanks to the use of red in the sky, how it lingers in the corners, and of course, the palm trees.
Harley is cool-headed, stable, and determined in this story. Dani conveys the fact that she’s a little more under control because she needs to save her babies. The reason her hyenas are stolen makes sense too, setting up her eventual violence on the perpetrators as valid.
This book works well because it’s has a style that’s chaotic yet controlled, just like Harley. Dani’s use of negative space, or in this case the white space, draws your eye to the areas that pop. Her fat-wheeled motorcycle, for instance, has white where the empty staples of the tread would be. Or Harley herself, whose skin is the white space of the page. It’s striking and works well throughout in various ways.
The story itself is a bit thin — it’s more of a quick caper than a Harley-focused story — but it’s still fun. The energy in the art is where this book will last with readers. There’s a way about it that takes an extra second to understand or translate to your brain that makes it an experience in itself. It ends up being more about figuring out how Harley gets her babies back than an intriguing character study or a plot to unfold.
Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #10 is a feast for the eyes as you unravel Dani’s frenzy of lines and color that make for a pretty picture. There’s simmering energy underneath it all even though the plot is paper-thin.
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