“Black, White, and Redder #2”
Writers: Kelly Thompson, Brandt & Stein, Ryan Parrott
Artists: Annie Wu, Brandt & Stein, Luanna Vecchio
Letterers: Clayton Cowles and Becca Carey
Review by Kendra Smart
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #2 is upon us. Three new stories to entice and amaze. If there’s one thing I can say off the top it’s how floored I was by the talent behind this issue. Not only do we get three teams of master craftsmen giving us glimpses into the life of Harley Quinn, but we have an equal amount of dedication to the covers as well.
Let’s take a quick peek at those and then dive in!
The “H” Stands For Hunk
Readers are offered three covers to choose from for this collection. Chris Samnee gives us a super adorable mischievous Harley Quinn, who’s clearly unaware of the Batman who’s watching her closely. Don’t you just want to treat it like a horror movie or Pantomime, and yell out “He’s behind you, Harls!”, ’cause I sure did.
The first variant cover is brought to us by Joëlle Jones and Jordie Bellaire, and what a doozy of a drool inducing cover it is. With a French style, Marie Antoinette flair, Jester Throne, has Harley looking lusciously and ornately dressed up to the nines… and so’s the cover. Last but not least, Annie Wu gives us an awesome image of Harley with a grenade pin wiping away a wash of blood. Absolutely brilliant use of space and color.
Home Is Where The Heartache Is
Let’s dig into the stories that make up Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #2. The first story is called “Origin Stories For Dummies”. It’s brought to us by the team of Kelly Thompson as writer, Annie Wu as artist, and Clayton Cowles as letterer.
This tale gives us a story about the doubting of oneself. Harley’s just trying to mind her own business at her favorite watering hole when she overhears a few thugs having a conversation featuring her, but only as the “Joker’s Girlfriend”. Of course, she then does what she thinks is best, although Zatanna may not agree.
Best In Show
In “Great Petspectations” there’s a heart warming that pet and animal lovers can sync to. Brandt & Stein give us story and art while Clayton Cowles returns as letterer. This is a story that’s hard to beat with the message and the hilarious moments provided by… Barkseid. Speaking of, can we get a series for the dog of the hour? I mean, come on!
Judging A Book By It’s Cover
My favorite story of the three, which is saying something because each of these contributions are ridiculously good and entertaining, “Coffee and Pie, Oh My” really delivers. Writer Ryan Parrott, artist Luana Vecchio, and letterer Becca Carey give us something special. Each part of the team brings their A-game to this story, told over Jim Gordon and Harley Quinn having pie and coffee. They’re discussing the events of the night that have landed Harley here in cuffs. Harley swears that she isn’t at fault and what follows is so wonderful.
The theme of the story isn’t an uncommon one, just a simple the villain could never change trope, but this story’s given so much pizzazz and panache, as Jim and Harley have an genuine and honest conversation conveyed with truly beautiful and graceful art. Even the lettering by Becca Carey is carefully thought out and beautiful. This is a truly striking story that is matches Batman: The Animated Series joy levels.
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #2 provides so much enjoyment on every level. The storytelling’s masterful and the art is intricate and pointed. This issue does the heart of Harley Quinn and her very essence and importance, complete justice.
Do yourself the grandest blessing in a self-care regimen and settle down with a copy of Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #2.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment