REVIEW – Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red: Chapter 1

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red: Chapter 1 (DC Digital First)

Written & Art by Stjepan Šejić

Letters by Gabriela Downie

We just told you about the new Harley Quinn DC Digital First series, based on Black & White.  Anyone who has listened to the podcast knows that I am a big Harley Quinn fan.  I was especially impressed with the recent Harleen story from Stjepan Šejić.  Since this first chapter was done by Stjepan, how could I resist?

This story centers around a captured Harley, talking to a new therapist at Arkham.  How do you think that went?  Probably exactly how you would expect it to, but there is a twist.  We get a very vivid story from Harley, and this is where the splashes of red from the art come in.  One of the best things about this story is, the hook was tangling in front of us the entire time.  After that comes the bite, and you are reeled in swiftly and beautifully.  Without spoiling anything, you're going to have the biggest smile on your face with those last two pages.  Whether or not that is a hint, you'll have to see for yourself.

Any time you have a standalone story, there is a bit of worry as to whether or not it will be worth it.  The way that Šejić crafted Harleen, would it be tampering with perfection?  Instead, this story enhances the original with a style that Harley was always meant to have.  Take the already incredible art of Stjepan Šejić, then use black and white, followed by flashes of red that reach out and pull you right toward the page.  It will make you wonder where this has been all of your life.  On top of that, the story covers so much ground in such a short amount of time with perfect pace.  I didn't want it to end, but when it did, it left a lasting impact.  This first chapter sets the bar very high for the future of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red.  I can't wait to see what's next.

RATING:  5/5

(If you don't have a digital comics pull, this book will make you start one.  Don't miss this chapter, where the art alone is worth the price of admission.)