REVIEW: ‘Harley Quinn,’ Issue #19

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Harley Quinn #19

Harley Quinn #19 is published by DC Comics, written by Stephanie Phillips, art by Georges Duarte, colours by Romula Fajardo Jr, and letters by Andworld Designs. This is the second part of the Task Force XX arc. Harley and a ragtag group have been sent into space towards an abandoned Justice League Watchtower. But as they leave Earth, a missile is hurtling towards their spaceship… 

Harley Quinn #19 takes a drastic turn in genre as the plot really starts to move along. The story becomes a space horror as the danger of the mission sets in, blending Suicide Squad with Alien. And immediately, Phillips shows a brutal side to them, proving that not everyone on that spaceship is getting home safe. This is a part of the comic that was certainly unexpected. Death was not a huge part of the run so far, so to see it beginning to be toyed with is unsettling. There is also a sick sense of humour emanating from the comic that made me smile, then hate myself for smiling. It is difficult to know if the last part of the comic was laced with foreshadowing or if it is a spine-chilling misdirection.

The characters are written brilliantly, the large cast brimming with voices. The writer cleverly controls this number, not allowing for there to be too much dialogue at once. Harley is the real personality of the group, as always, with a mean side beginning to show through with some very dark comments. Phillips also made me feel sorry at times for Harley, as she is often ignored by the other team members. However, some of her own remarks seem overly harsh from this version of the character. The other characters involved are beginning to shine, including those that I didn’t expect to capture my heart. Back on Earth, Luke Fox is beginning to attract unwanted attention, and tensions are beginning to mount between him and his family. 

The art is amazing. There is jaw-dropping precision in Duarte’s pencils. All of the characters are in the same spacesuits, except for different sizes, but there are brilliant individual details within the helmets that reveal the faces. Even if they are at the back of the shot, they can be clearly visible without breaking the realism of the scene. There is one particularly emotional moment, and the lack of a suit for this makes it much more heartbreaking in its execution. But there is morbid humour included that the artist helps to magnify. The old Watchtower, when the team reaches it, has lost familiarity and has been replaced with sinister shadows.

The colours are awesome, again mesmerizing in their detail. The textures added to the final location are immense, littering the surfaces with dust and grime that adds a beautiful level of depth. The most impressive example of detail is the signs of welding and indentations around the lines of the spaceship, particularly surrounding the window. It is difficult to discern if it was accomplished by the artist or the colourist, but it is clear this attention to detail is held by both of the creators. The lettering is very bold and easy to read.

Harley Quinn #19 places our hero in a creepy space horror comic. Phillips orchestrates a brand new type of story brilliantly, balancing the last cast beautifully whilst making it clear that not everyone is safe. The art is simply incredible and full of character, exactly what is needed in a comic full of so much personality.

Harley Quinn #19 is available where comics are sold.


Harley Quinn #19
4.5

TL;DR

Harley Quinn #19 places our hero in a creepy space horror comic. Phillips orchestrates a brand new type of story brilliantly, balancing the last cast beautifully whilst making it clear that not everyone is safe. The art is simply incredible and full of character, exactly what is needed in a comic full of so much personality.

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