Review: Harley Quinn #40

by Kendra Smart
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“The Big Freezy” and “Harley Quinn and The Scales Of Justice”
Writers: Tini Howard and Grace Ellis
Artists: Natacha Bustos and Hannah Templer
Color Artists: Nick Filardi and Hannah Templer
Letterers: Steve Wands and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Review by: Kendra Smart

Harley Quinn #40 is with us at last friends, and I for one, am so glad. The issue has a fun, sun-shiny, layered, and humor-laden gem of a cover by Sweeney Boo to boot! The colors are stunning, and the attention to detail shines as whimsy unfolds. That, and hot dogs!

When last we left her, Harley had made up her mind that, in order to stop Freeze, she had to step into the narrative of his plans. 

Let’s do the same and make like Alice, joining the dance.

See… That’s Good Banter

The transition montage is absolutely stunning and so smoothly illustrated. Kudos to Natacha Bustos and Nick Filardi for such craft. This first scene sets the stage for what’s to come, as Harls starts her first day with Freeze’s students.

These folk are, quite literally, Harley’s apprentices: Harmada (Jennifer Crozier, M.D.) and Vampire Squid, M.SC (Wilhelm Teuthis). One’s a treasure hunter and the other a cold-hearted servant to knowledge… but as villains? They’re both a bit green, to say the least. However, Harley’s still set on whipping them into shape, and that’s a good thing, because Freeze has a deadline.

My Icescraper

Tini Howard, Natacha Bustos, Nick Filardi, and Steve Wands did wonders with this issue, as it has the essence of forgotten capers, where the villains are shown thwarting each other in moments of true humor. The over-the-topness of everything still has moments of obvious heart, such as Maxie talking openly and engagingly about his wife with Harley… it’s all so perfect. It can’t be easy to evoke candid moments of light-hearted, genuine joy… it’s a gift. Nice work, team. 

Scales Of Justice

We also get a mystical short story in “Harley Quinn and The Scales Of Justice”, written by Grace Ellis, with art and colors by Hannah Templer, and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. This gem certainly shines! Harley has two first-day encounters as she arrives right on time at the Quintessence Academy of Vice and Virtue.

The question of whether to be sorted into The Golden Eagle Association or The West Nile Mosquitos Society for Rat B@$+@%&$ doesn’t really seem to fit, though. Then, of course, we have Professor Ivy, though. This is such a cute, well-flowing, and imaginative story, as well as a hilarious addition to the dream roster. 


Harley Quinn #40 gives us everything a reader could ask for, including a chilling build-up for plots to come. I’m excited to see how the board shifts and find out which players step up to the plate.

I’ll see you next time, friends. 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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