Review: Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #5

“Black, White, and Redder #5”
Writers: Matheus Lopes, Bilquis Evely, Justin Halpern, Sperement
Artists: Bilquis Evely, Kath Lobo, Sperement
Letterers: Simon Bowland, Wes Abbott, Josh Reed
Review by Kendra Smart

Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #5 brings with it an exquisite cover by Sana Takeda showcasing the duality of Harley’s past and present. The color work is one of my favorite parts of this cover as it draws the whole piece together and immediately makes it stand out.

What we’ve really been waiting for, though, is the stories, all of them. I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest this month, so let’s dive in and take a look at the three tales in this great comic

Something Wicked This Way Jests

Our first story is titled “The Harley Spirit” and is set in an instantly recognizable time period. It’s brought to us by both Matheus Lopes and Bilquis Evely with Matheus Lopes also writing the script and Bilquis Evely handling the artwork and colors. Simon Bowland provides the letters for this Olde English-styled story.  The artwork immediately reminded me of A Proud Taste For Scarlet and Miniver and sparked happiness. 

The tale is of a downtrodden Jester Joker, who’s incited by the critiques of a more successful show by his minstrel Harley Quinn. As Harley picks herself up, an herbalist or “old hag” character enters the fray to help. Ivy tells her if she’s ever needed, for Quinn to go and find her and y doing so find her true family as well.  Fed up with the mistreatment, Harley makes her way to Ivy and the other women who have vengeance in mind and she becomes their champion. 

Thank You For Flying Bud And Lou Airlines

In our second tale, “Flight”, the artwork shifts to a more animated style, and we move up into the air aboard a prison transport flight.  Justin Halpern leads the charge as writer, with Kath Lobo providing the artwork, and Wes Abbott on lettering. The artwork’s great, crisp clean line work with a charming and whimsical style. It matches the laughter that the writing supplies amply.

Being transported to prison isn’t something that Harley or Mr. Zsasz really wants to do, and Zsasz has a plan for a change of destination. All he has to do is give Harley the signal. The problem is, that Harley may or may not have taken some pharmaceutical offerings from Scarecrow and suffered some memory loss from their previous conversations. So, we’re most certainly winging this riot and hostile takeover, complete with Smell-O-Vision. Sit back, seatbelts on, and enjoy the in-flight drinks!

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

In the third and final tale, “#DoubleTrouble”, Harley discovers cosplay and a devoted fan base.  The story and art are provided by the immensely talented Speremint, and the lovely lettering’s by Josh Reed. The artwork is a very modern take, quirky and fun. The hyenas in the selfie shot instantly sparked joy for me, but let’s get into it. 

So, Harley’s just trying to get her doggie bag home when she bumps into a Con full of costumed characters. Best hiding in plain sight EVER! She soon discovers that they think she’s a famous cosplayer who dresses as…. none other than Harley herself! So, she makes a plan, to be the best at… being Harley, and joins the online fray. However, it isn’t enough and soon Ivy gets involved to help with closure. What could go wrong with a face-to-face confrontation on a live stream? I really enjoyed this cute and funny “moral of the story” type tale with the horror undertone. 

Conclusion

With each group of stories, there’s so much enjoyment to be had. Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Redder #5 continues offering us the same high quality and fun we’ve come to expect from his title, we get just a few more sides of the prism. This series has been an absolute joy to review. 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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