Review: Future State: Harley Quinn #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Stephanie Philips
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: ALWI’s Troy Peteri
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Future State: Harley Quinn #2 shares a second look at a potential future with readers. One where Harley Quinn and the Scarecrow team up to take down Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask.
Pairing Harley with Scarecrow is a brilliant move. Stephanie Phillips knows that Harley Quinn brings out the worst in people. Using Harley’s strengths against Dr. Crane is a masterful strategy.
There are fans, and even a few DC Comics news reviewers, who will tell you that Harley is downright annoying. They are not wrong and Harley knows this and plates on the value of her annoyance.
Just like the actual world, there are always belligerent people who know that they’re rude get under your skin attitude, or how they move through the world I make it less enjoyable for others. Harley pokes and prods at Doctor crane. Using schoolyard tactics and psychoanalysis, Harley Chris crane in the Seeing Things her way.
Scarecrow it’s a legendary Rogue for a reason. His understanding of fear and the power it has over everyone is on Full display and it overshadows even Black Mask.
Positives — Art
Simone DiMeo & Toni Infante build the rooms, the streets, and the people of Gotham line by line. The textured layers are shaded and shadowed with the weight of time, and age, and change. Tamra Bonvillain shines the light on just enough to show the reader the vibrancy of the moment. In equal parts, no matter how bright the light shines, there are dark corners in the rooms and on the rooftops where the light never reaches.
DiMeo, Infante, and Bonvillain are a triple threat. While Phillips is crafting a world altered by Harley’s perception of reality, the artists bring it to life in beautiful and horrifying renderings. Harley Quinn gets the last laugh, but the reward is grim at best and tragic at its worst. It takes a talented team to make this victory feel hollowed out.
Harley comes out better than her cohorts or the reader might in a similar situation. It is as much a constant as expecting that Batman will always get the villain. Or at least Save the Day. Knowing that Harley was going to eventually use crane against black masks comes at the expense of knowing that Harley will inevitably turn on Crane.
Fans and foes of Harley Quinn know that there are certain expectations that come with reading a book that’s stars the Joker’s former sidekick. Balancing that expectation is the feeling that comes with every new insight into parts of Gotham where others rarely tread.
Harley’s stories, past, present, or Future State are about more than just heroes and villains. These stories show the reader so many of the things that people deal with every day and with a healthy mix of the annoyances we all face, in the feelings, we are all guilty of seeing in others and not ourselves.