“Black, White, and Redder #3”
Writers: Gail Simone, Chris Condon, Aditya Bidikar and Juni Ba
Artists: David Baldeón, Jacob Phillips, and Juni Ba
Letterers: Ferran Delgado, Steve Wands
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Review by Kendra Smart
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #3 is upon us and with a new selection of stories featuring our favorite gal. Three stories from different points in time for Mistress of Mayhem. Speaking of threes, that’s also how many covers we get to choose from. So let’s dive into the dissection!
What’s Black, White, and Read All Over?
Well, I mean the covers for this issue, of course. Silly question. Cliff Chiang gives us a stunning blood-splattered “Ha”rley with Bud and Lou at the ready. It’s such a satisfying application of gore. Mirka Andolfo goes a different route for her variant cover, depicting an adorable boudoir selfie in the mirror with such a beautiful rendition of Harley. For the 1:25 variant, Sanford Greene gives a nitty, gritty version of our star. It’s a starkly different and unique take on the character and is powerful, to say the least.
How About You Beam Me Up?
Gail Simone, David Baldeón, and Ferran Delgado are our writers, artists, and letterers, respectively, for our first story “Deeply Strange Adventures”, which begins with almost an homage to “Heroes in Crisis”, showing Harley in a confession booth being asked to unload her regrets on camera. We get the admission to small things but then Harley lands on one that wins out entirely. The time she stole Adam Strange’s Zeta ray home and had to defend his love Alanna from the Junkers as a defender.
The artwork by Baldeón is crisp and super clean. It’s so lovely to watch the movement through the panels. The story has so much humor and even a great fourth wall break. brilliantly facilitated by Simone and Baldeón. Harley’s fight gear is such a great combination of Adam Strange and Harley Quinn, oh… and the reason Harley stole the ride home from Adam? Supremely Charming.
No Way To Lose
For the second story, we have “Stacked Deck” written by Chris Condon with art by Jacob Phillips and letters by Steve Wands. An interesting art style matches an equally interesting take on how Harley met The Joker. We join her as Dr. Harleen Quinzel is pleading her case to work with The Joker. What we then get is a “stacked deck”, roll credits, approach to how to “fix” Joker. An equation to the monsters and misfit of the movies, the ones who just needed someone to reach out and grab their hand.
This story goes the way we think it will play out… or does it? The twist is quite touching, coupled with the instant recognition of the Batman The Animated Series. Chris Condon, Jacob Phillips, and Steve Wands do an amazing job of showing us regret, bittersweet emotions, and just how deep a nightmare can reach into our subconscious.
Thank You, Next.
The last story is called “The Rebound”. The writing’s by both Aditya Bidikar and Juni Ba, with art by Ba, and a script and letters by Bidikar. We join Harley, and her diary, as she tells of her recent breakup with Joker. Ivy tells her she needs to work on herself and be alone, but then she meets someone new; a black cat who joins her in her everyday life activities, and it’s love at first sight. However, a fight with Ivy leads Harley not only to a heist, where she’s accompanied by her new feline friend but on a road to discovering, in her own way, how to move forward healthily.
The story’s so charming and heartwarming. Kudos to the duo of Aditya and Juni, their talent shines in this story. It’s told in a great way, and the ending’s heartwarming on many levels. It’s always nice to see Harley’s stories told from different vantage points and perspectives.
Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #3 gives us three lovingly crafted stories. There’s charm and humor and, I’ve said it before, but these books are the best form of self-care. See you for the next one!
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment