Story: Stephanie Phillips
Art: Matteo Lolli and David Baldeon
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: Andworld Design
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: February 28th, 2023
In Harley Quinn #27, it’s the final showdown between Harley Quinn and the Harley Who Laughs, who has been jumping through the multiverse wiping out Harleys on various Earths and now holds Poison Ivy hostage. But if you think this is going to be a simple Mortal Kombat-style battle between the two, then you don’t know Harley. Hold on tight, because you’re about to go on an insane trip through the multiverse, and you may run into a few Jokers along the way!
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Not since John Byrne’s run on She-Hulk has there been as much fun fourth-wall breaking as in Harley Quinn #27. From the first couple pages of the issue, Harley speaks directly to the reader, at one point even pulling a “stop time and freeze the scene” snap of her fingers that rivals anything Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell” did (I never liked that guy, he was too shifty). I’ve always loved Harley because she deals with life in a warped and off-kilter way. She’s total chaos but lately, she’s also become quite a hero too, no longer seeing a swing of her mallet or a knife as the perfect fix to everything. I love the surprising way she resolves the conflict with The Harley Who Laughs. Along the way, we get to see more of Harley and Old Lady Harley (don’t tell her I called her “Old Lady”, she’ll run me over with her car) fighting and plummeting through the multiverse together.
Old Lady Harley is an interesting character. She’s from another Earth and because of her age, she has more of a zen attitude about things. She’s constantly bewildered by our Harley’s decisions, but never argues with her, she just bemusedly asks her questions to ensure our Harley knows all the ramifications of her actions. The pair have kind of a mentor/mentee relationship (or Yoda/Luke Skywalker for all the Star Wars fans out there) that’s fun to read. Even more fun are the dozens of other Harleys that got accidentally pulled to our Earth. Last issue, Harley, Old Lady Harley, Batwoman and Kevin rounded them up and have them tied up, and as Harley, Old Lady Harley and The Harley Who Laughs have a confrontation, the other Harleys hilariously yell comments in the background like the most obnoxious peanut gallery ever. I wish we could have seen more of them in action, but it would be impossible to give each of them lots of “screen time” here. We also get multiple monstrous versions of The Joker, some of whom look so terrifyingly horrifying and grotesque that they’d cause even Deathstroke to cry for his mommy. This is why I love multiverse stories, you get to see different versions of existing characters, and when you have great writers and artists (like we do here) there are no limits to what we get.
Matteo Lolli, David Baldeon and Rain Beredo’s art on Harley Quinn #27 gives a powerful punch to the finale of this storyline. I loved the designs of the various Jokers and Harley’s facial expressions always make the book fun to read. The panel layouts are imaginative. When Harley and the others are falling through the multiverse, there are tiny fragmented panels showing each of the characters, giving the disorienting feeling of falling through space.
Harley Quinn #27 concludes the “Who Killed Harley Quinn?” storyline with a fun trip through the multiverse, along with some hilarious, horrific and touching moments. Harley Quinn and Old Lady Harley make a great team and I hope we get to see more of the other alternate Earth Harleys in the future.