Harley Quinn #25
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Lolli & David Baldeón
Colors by Rain Beredo
Letters by Deron Bennett
The Rundown: Harley Quinn meets several versions of herself in this Multiverse-bending adventure.
Somewhere in the multiverse, a 50+ year old Harley is attending a card game when she is met by a 2000’s goth version of herself. The two then engage in a deadly confrontation that leads to Old Lady Harley opening a portal that leads to the world of Harley Who Joined A Bowling League in Indiana For Free Chicken Wings. Before Harley Who Laughs can cause a commotion, the former Harleys escape to Bowling League’s home. The two less violent women then having a stirring heart to heart before heading out to stop Harley Who Laughs. Later, the three Harley’s are reunited, and an all-out brawl occurs. Then, Killer Frost arrives and lends her aide in the fight against Harley Who Laughs. Finally, Bowling League Harley makes a movie that causes something shocking to occur.
The Story: In this issue, Phillips treats the reader to the best of Harley Quinn. She is able to capture the emotional maturity, intelligence, humor, and overall bad-ass nature of this anti-hero. I am impressed that Phillips has chosen to use a multiverse story line to end her run of this series. And although this issue is part 4 of the final arc, this episode feels like the beginning of a love letter to Harley Quinn. Deliciously exciting action sequences aside, I was captivated by the dialogue between Harleys and their acknowledgement of the Joker’s influence over their lives. As they waxed philosophical on their experiences, I was struck by the level of growth displayed by the two survivors of abuse. The two women battling an angrier, less healed version of themselves, in my opinion, is representative of trauma, and how past wounds will sometimes reappear in times of sorrow. As Bowling League Harley deals with her resurrection, I hope she will find healing as she interacts with the various versions of herself and learns what it truly means to love all the parts of yourself.
The Art: This issue contains spectacular, high-octane action-oriented panels. The modern, realistic styling and attention to detail captivate the eye and perfectly captures the energy and tone of the tale. I found the illustration both appealing and immersive.