Review: Harley Quinn #21

“Red Roses,” Part One


Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Paul Dini

Artists: John Timms, J. Bone, Bret Blevins

(Minor spoilers ahead)

It’s a rooftop battle in this week’s issue of Harley Quinn. Our antihero squares off against the Batgirl from the future in one hell of a fight. There’s punches, kicks, umphs, cracks…you name it. The fight ends in a stalemate, with an outside player having the last strike, taking both women in for a round of questioning. But not all is at it seems, and the seeds are planted for upcoming issues.

Without a doubt, this book continues to be one of DC’s most exciting, and fun comic books to hit the shelf. I’ve always enjoyed Harley Quinn, but never thought I’d be that interested in a continuing comic book series. If I wanted Harley Quinn, I’d watch her team up with her Puddin’ in episodes of Batman: The Animated Series.

However, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have done something special with the character. She’s definitely more hero than villain, yet still has that tendency to do the unpredictable at the snap of a finger.

You may call it deceptive, I call it charming.

While this issue may have slowed down just a tad compared to the previous few, it’s still in the upper echelon of DC titles. Harley is always a gem. Red Tool (who I expect to play a big factor in coming issues) gives off a Deadpool vibe, which I drool over. This futuristic Batgirl instantly had a quality about her that had me on board. There isn’t a fault anywhere in the group, and I left out Harley’s other misfits.

The art is nothing different than what we’ve come to expect. Fun colors, animated characters, detailed yet still exaggerated. The art team have locked into something reliable and shouldn’t change a thing.

Paul Dini continues to prove why he’s Harley’s Godfather in the backup story “Harley Loves Joker”. I’ve been praising this backup since it launched, and I have nothing new to add here. He loves this character and just reading the backup, you will too.


Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini and company are striking gold on a bi-weekly status. Harley Quinn is a blast. Every page reminds you why you read comics in the first place. It’s fun, exciting, humorous and always unpredictable. This is a perfect jumping on point for anyone foolish enough to not be reading the book.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

Ryan Lower

A lifelong fan of the Dark Knight, Ryan Lower grew up far from Gotham in Indiana but has planted roots in Chicago. A writer for a T.V. station, he also enjoys brooding at home in his own batcave, devouring Batman comics, shows and movies.