ATG Comic Review: Joker/Harley Criminal Sanity

Welcome back, everyone!  We have a new comic review for you this week brought to you by none other than Vibranium Comics and Games in Ocala Florida. Vibranium is a nice small comic shop that specializes in new comics and has a nice selection of some older back issues as well. They dable in the games side of things but they know where their strengths lie and thats in keeping the comics stocked for their customers. Vibranium is great at getting pull lists together for customers and getting you the issues needed if Diamond drops the ball and doesn’t send them (Yeah I’m glaring at you Diamond). At Vibranium you become a part of a nice geek family whether you’re there for the books or if you come in to take part in one of the several games they usually have going in their back room. It’s a pleasant atmosphere and next weekend they will be having their Haloween Comic Fest day and a Haloween party, so be sure to click the banner below to go to their facebook page and check out the event listings to find out the times they are running.

This week we have a comic from the DC Black label of comics and it’s Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity. A few weeks ago we had bought the DC Black book Harleen which is a very good story about how Harleen Quinzell becomes Harley Quinn the lover and sidekick to the Joker. This book, however, has nothing to do with that storyline and is going in a completely new and different way with everyone’s favorite female villain.

Whereas in most books, we see Harley as a psychiatrist who was the Jokers doctor and somehow slid towards insanity, in this book we see her in a whole different light. While still a Psychiatrist she does a lot of work teaching university classes about criminal behavior and when she isn’t teaching or working with some of the criminally insane she is working with the police. We also see that someone close to Harley was killed by the Joker. It is implied heavily that the one killed was Harley’s girlfriend though they didn’t flat out say it. When being told that the case on her roommates killing was becoming a cold case she asked the cop if he would give up if he “came home to find your wife dead, floating in the fucking bathtub.” This line to me shows that they were in a relationship and thats why she has been pushing for five years to get the case solved and find the joker. However, during a flashback scene, they both write off the relationship part and also stress it. The cops at the scene asked about her Roomate not her girlfriend or wife and she doesn’t correct them. However, when asked if she has family they can call for her, her response was that the roommie was all the family she had which to me also sounds like more of a relationship than just roommates.

Anyway, her roommate was the last to be killed that had the Joker’s signature on the crime scene in the past five years. The Joker had just disappeared. That’s a big mystery however Harley is being called in on new cases. One where a man was sawed in half and the top half left on a park bench as though sitting and another one where extra limbs were sewn onto it to create a morbid version of The Vitruvian Man by DaVinci. One thing that fascinated me is the fact that I think this could be the Joker has returned as one of the things they mentioned is that books about surgery were stolen from the house of a victim that lived downstairs from Harley and were also killed the night her roommate was killed.

As good as the story was one of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the art style in it. They did a bit of a switch to the typical tropes and in any scene that was present-day it was in black and white and any flashback scenes were in color. Normally such a thing would be flipped so I thought this an interesting style choice. The other thing with the art was the style was amazing as is common in the DC Black series of books. The Black and White were soo full of detail it amazed me and when they did the colored pages it looked to me as though some of the people were real. It was just amazing artwork all around!

Normally, you won’t see this from me (for a DC title) but today I highly recommend this comic! If you haven’t gotten it yet then what are you waiting for? So since our mascot is a dragon I am going to introduce a rating system for our reviews where you earn dragons instead of stars. You can get a max of five dragons for a great book. For this, I give it 4 and a half dragons and will have a graphic for this hopefully by our next review!

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1 thought on “ATG Comic Review: Joker/Harley Criminal Sanity

  1. Just yesterday, I was listening to a podcast which reviewed this same comic. Those guys reached the same conclusion. They mentioned that they felt fatigued by seeing Harley get rebooted so often, but this was their favorite version of the character yet.

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