“Black, White, and Redder #1”
Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Leah Williams, Nick Giovannetti, and Paul Scheer
Artist: Kevin Maguire,Natacha Bustos, and Tom Reilly
Letterer: AndWorld Design, Clayton Cowles, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Review by Kendra Smart
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #1 is out with a three part collection of tales to tickle your funny bones and make you champion the little guy. This collection of tales gives us luscious art with the colors of black, white, and of course red and features our favorite anti-hero, Harley. Also, we get absolutely spoiled with cover selections with art talent that delivers out of this world art.
What’s Black, White, and Red All Over?
While the stories encased within are important, let us start with the covers really quickly. There are several options to fight yourself over. We will start with the beautiful dual cover by Bruno Redondo, like a playing card we have mirror images of old school Harley and the newer iteration.
Guillem March provides an exquisite homage to Clark Kent as we see an image of Harley disrobing street clothes to reveal her Harley Quinn costume underneath. It is genius and beautifully rendered.
Stanley “Artgerm” Lau provides both a variant and a foil cover of the most gorgeous reminiscent of anime Harley Quinn. Complete with Whammar and mini Bud or Lou, it is a true wonder to take in.
Sozomaika gives us this gritty, graffiti style version of Harley for the 1:25 variant that is wickedly cool.
Last but not least is the 1:50 variant by Tom Reilly that reflects their part in this book as well with a red diamond reflecting the faces of Bert, Gaggy, and Harley. It is such a fun cover and knowing what it stems from makes it all the better.
The Man Of Steal
Our first story for Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #1 is “Man of Steal”. It is brought to us by writer Chip Zdarsky, artist Kevin Maguire, and letterer AndWorld Design. A chilling tale, Harley and Ivy are in the North Pole looking for Superman’s trophy cave on the word of The Penguin. To fence some treasures or potentially find some neat weapons. But even having the password situation solved – go Harley! It doesn’t prepare them for the chaos that awaits beyond those doors.
The artwork is so much fun, crisp and clean and the story bring the humor in such recommended dosages. Mad kudos to AndWorld Design as doing the lettering over not only white but snow must have posed a challenge in making sure the letters didn’t fade and were still clear. Loved this quirky and fun tale.
Push Through The Pain
Our next story for Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #1 is called “Push through The Pain” . This story is brought to us by writer Leah Williiams, artist Natacha Bustos, and letterer Clayton Cowles. It takes us back to when Harley was an active gymnast and features moments in time from her athletic track. Harley has joined a new team and deals with the harshness of not only a twisted coach but the cattiness and envy that comes from young girls.
The artwork and story remind me of an episode of Batman: The Animated Series and Harley Quinn: The Animated Series. It was also a good show of how bullying can come in many forms and be dealt with in just as many ways. Leah Williams does a good job at pacing the story perfectly and Natacha Bustos delivers facial expressions that could be read from a mile away. A beautifully delivered tale with an adorable pajama scene and allusion to future costume choices for Harley.
Our final tale in Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #1 is “Get Gaggy”. It is brought to us by writers Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, artist Tom Reilly, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Harley Quinn has arrived at Gotham City Police Department to give her statement and who else could take it but Harvey Bullock. Harley spins the yarn of a museum heist. How Gaggy and Bert came to recruit her to steal a priceless, Bruce Wayne money, diamond that just happens to be on display.
But not all is as it seems and villainy will only sprout more. Twists and turns enter the fray but boy are they worth waiting on to see! Paul and Nick give us gold with this story. I could hear each character as the story played out. That was lovingly increased with art by Tom Reilly and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Plus who doesn’t love a tourist gag bit?
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #1 gives a slew of amazing artwork and stories to enchant. Plus there is a whole other book still yet to come. If this book is any indication of what is to come, bring it. I would disappear with these stories any day.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment.