“Finals Crisis” – Part Six, and “High Stakes”
Writers: Tini Howard and Sam Maggs
Artist: Sweeney Boo and Kelly Jones
Color Artists: Sweeney Boo and Jose Villarrubia
Letterers: Steve Wands and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Review by Kendra Smart
Harley Quinn #32 is here and with it the dread of finals… blegh! Harley’s back in the real world but not out of hot water just yet. Plus, just what’s going on with Bud and Lou?
There’s so much to break down, so let’s start with the cover. Sweeney Boo gives us a stellar piece that features our favorite gal with some viciously adorable friends. She’s done a stunning job on every level!
Strategically Placed Peach
Harley has a very pleasant return as the issue opens. Life seems to be falling back into place, even after a warning from “Bud” and “Lou”. As she preps her students for their finals, interstellar shenanigans take place, because… why wouldn’t they?
Harley also gets pushed too far in a reenactment mixed with technology from Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn, tech that she’s quite familiar with. but even that doesn’t begin to touch on the mystery of “Bud” and “Lou”, or what’s happening to Harley’s students in their new setting. With so much going wrong, it’s hard to see right!
What Is This Blegh? I Do Not Say Blegh!
Something’s being built up beautifully in this issue and we get a ton of tension. Tini Howard, Sweeney Boo, and Steve Wands are an absolutely winning team. The writing’s clever, the art and colors are masterful, and the lettering’s just right in every instance.
The star of this book, however, and this is something that’s really hard to say, given the quality of the issue’s main story, is the bonus tale “High Stakes“. It’s written by Sam Maggs, with art by Kelley Jones, colors by Jose Villarrubia, and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Everything about this story knocks it completely out of the park. Everything’s precisely what it needs to be for the tale and the characters to shine. We get a story of love and gain, death and marriage, in exquisitely perfect fashion.
If I were to think of perfect issues that I’ve read over the years, ones where I’ve been gripped or haunted by the book in some form, Harley Quinn #32 would rank with the very best. I felt all of the soul of the original charm of, not only the old-school comic styles of art but also the wonderfully warm sensation of enjoyment and Dracula love with “High Stakes“.
Treat yourself to a copy, why dont’cha?
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment