Review: Harley Quinn #25

by Paul DePaola
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Harley Quinn is on a mission to free her friend Mason Macabre.  She saved him from the corrupt New York jail but he was sent to Arkham Asylum.  Now she has to head to Gotham to free him from a place that is filled with more than just ghosts of her past.  She is set off on a dangerous mission, but can she survive Arkham and the Joker?

The Positive

Harley 25 2Harley has a lot of fun in New York and has assembled a great cast of characters, but there is something about her returning to Gotham and Arkham Asylum especially that feels like coming home.  Of course, when you are Harley Quinn, coming home isn’t always the best choice.  Nothing could prepare for her fully for what’s ahead.

Harley has managed to rope Poison Ivy into helping her through this.  They get a very fun scene together as Harley prepares for the mission.  They share a special bond and are written as a great couple.

She manages to break into Arkham, but the guards quickly see through her disguise and begin to move against her.  She handles the guards easy enough, but it’s when she confronts the Joker that things get difficult.  For a book that is usually very funny and approaches things from an almost cartoonish perspective, it’s a pretty big tonal shift here as she confronts the Joker.  The laughs are gone and we see just how twisted their relationship was.  It gets intense as they not only physically attack each other, but throw out emotional and mental attacks as well.  It’s great to see Harley stand up to him and hold her own.  She ends it with a great line about finally understanding why Batman hasn’t killed the Joker.

Harley 25 1 crop

The Negative

Comic book continuity is always a very fluid thing and you can drive yourself crazy trying to make sense of it all.  Harley is back in Gotham, but it’s not quite the same Gotham as we’ve been reading in the other DC books.  I would’ve liked to have seen her interact with the Gordon-Batman or the altered post-Endgame Joker.  Unfortunately, none of that is referenced here.  We get the normal Batman and the normal Joker.  It works best for the story to have her deal with the classic Joker who is such a major part of her life, but it is confusing from a continuity standpoint that all of the books do not line up.

The Verdict

The normally fun Harley Quinn takes a heavier turn as she confronts the Joker and her past.  It’s intense but shows  how Harley has grown as a character.  Mason has been saved and they even managed to stay on the good side of the Bat.  I loved seeing her return to Gotham, but it would’ve been nice to see her return to the current Gotham.  I understand why they did not choose that option though.


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