Writer: Tini Howard and Leah Williams
Artist: Hayden Sherman and PJ Holden
Colors: Triona Farrell and Lee Loughridge
Letters: Steve Wands and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 22nd, 2023
Harley’s odyssey through the multiverse continues in Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2 as she is transported to an alternate Earth and shown that being a hero isn’t all she dreamed it to be, especially when she has to battle her arch-nemesis…Braniac?
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After last issue, where Harley was tossed into every nightmare possible by Insomnia and came out smiling (much to Insomnia’s dismay), Insomnia finally found Harley’s greatest fear (hint: it involves the multiverse).
This issue, in Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2, after some Grant Morrison-style meta references to the multiverse (Harley is literally shown the Multiversity book that Grant Morrison wrote years ago), Insomnia drops Harley on an Earth where she’s a Superman-level hero, living a squeaky clean life while battling injustice. It’s so much fun seeing Harley in this role. Where most of the Knight Terrors books are grim and dark as midnight, this Harley Quinn two-parter has been surprisingly light-hearted. Maybe Insomnia was in a good mood here?
What makes the issue even more enjoyable and a nice change of pace from the usual Knight Terrors fare is that the bulk of it is written and drawn in the style of bronze age Supergirl stories. The dialogue of all the characters (except Harley, of course) is very much like dialogue you’d see in a 70’s or early 80’s Supergirl comic. Even Braniac slings some corny dialogue throughout the book. The issue serves as Harley’s version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, as it shows how her life would be different had she not got mixed up with the Joker and through a freak Barry Allen-type accident gains super powers. There are several hilarious moments as modern Harley interacts with a 1960’s TV sitcom-like Earth.
The issue ends on a great note and writer Tini Howard even manages to work in Harley’s current storyline (which got dropped for the Knight Terrors two-parter), putting her back on course again. This has always been my problem with these massive crossovers, when there’s a great storyline going in a character’s book, it gets interrupted for months and kills the momentum of the book. Here, though, Harley’s storyline is thankfully continued without a beat once the Knight Terrors stuff is over. There’s also a backup story with the second part of a Harley story that’s much bleaker than the main story and leans heavily on obtuse sci-fi lingo. I wasn’t a fan of it. Mercifully, it’s only 8 pages long.
As mentioned above, Hayden Sherman’s art on Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2 does a great job of giving the book a Bronze Age feel. Harley flies around battling criminals in an interesting variation of her original Harlequin outfit. Braniac looks so much like Curt Swan’s version from the 70’s Superman comics that I had to flip back to the credits for the book t make sure the art wasn’t some lost work by Swan. It’s lovely work. PJ Holden’s art on the backup manages to keep Harley down-to-Earth despite all the high concept sci-fi going on around her.
Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2 is an enjoyable second part to Harley’s Knight Terror story. It gives us a fun look at Harley as a Supergirl-style hero and detours Harley’s previous storyline back on track after the Knight Terrors interruption.