[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Alex Sinclair & Jeremiah Skipper
Scatapults, Terminators, Assassins oh my! This issue has it all. Picking up where issue 20 left off, the fight between Harley and Devani, the Bat-fanatic sent back in time to kill Harley, continues. Before long someone else interferes in the fight and Devani’s story begins to get thicker and thicker. What will happen when the face punching stops? Will one of them be dead?
The action in this issue is flashy and fun. Devani uses certain tools and gadgets that reflect her troubled history and the errors that happen when history is written. The scenes that take place after the fight are even better though. Each character is made much more interesting and complex.
The best part of this issue though is, without a doubt, the reveal that has been built-up for a few issues now. Harley’s Parents!!! They are unexpectedly pleasant looking, slightly dorky and yet categorically normal!
The biggest problem in this issue is the clunky transitions between art styles. While the transitions have been smooth in the past, they feel abrupt in this issue. The differences in the styles are extremely different, one being rounded and soft with simple color choices while the other is highly stylized with sharp edges and many tonal differences.
The ending pages contain the story written by Paul Dini and Jimmy Palmiotti. While it is certainly fun and nostalgic to see the art style of the series that got most people into comics in that year, it felt out of place. The very simple and flat story was awkward at best next to the far more complex story that precedes it. Its only positive is that we do get to see more of the poor conditions and treatment that Harley Quinn endured at the hands of the Joker.
Overall, Harley Quinn #21 is fun. It does a lot to build Harley’s world and enrich the characters in it. The visuals clink together here and there, but readers will enjoy.