It’s the moment we’ve been building toward for months! The rumble in the jungle! But actually in Gotham, because we’re not in the jungle. It’s the throwdown showdown between me, your hyper-verbal, semi-reformed former villain, and Verdict, the violent vigilante vowing to have vengeance on…well, everybody! Can I clear my name after being locked up for a crime I didn’t commit?
But Why Tho?Harley Quinn #17 is a heartfelt end to an arc. It seeks to try and patch up the pain that has been felt throughout the arc whilst also forcing the characters to go through more. And it seems like a love letter to both Rossmo and Plascencia is absolutely warranted. This is their last issue on the series, and it is very difficult to ascertain just how pivotal they have been to this story. Phillips is a sensational writer who has helped Harley find her voice. But Rossmo and Plascencia have been integral to building this world. The unique shapes for each character, the chaotic fight scenes, the panel layouts that are never straight have become a signature of this book. It’s been a team that has truly helped make this comic my favourite to read and cover. When this artistic duo has not been in the book it has not felt right, and it will certainly take some time to adjust going forward. They will definitely be missed.
Dark Knight NewsHarley Quinn #17 didn’t only give us an amazing finish to a great story, but also a perfect way for the character to move forward. I can’t wait to see what’s still to come in Harley’s future.
Geek DadVerdict is a type of villain that’s been done quite a few times, so she could have easily become stale, but Phillips does a good job of making her come off as genuinely unstable, particularly in this final issue. She’s a good example of what happens when a villain with a genuine point winds up losing sight of their goal and becoming obsessed with revenge by any means necessary—even if it means claiming the lives of people they love. The final standoff with her and Kevin is tense, although the ending leaves a lot of things open—and it seems Verdict’s story may not be quite over yet. I am excited by the tease for the upcoming Task Force XX storyline, because it seems like the concept might be getting back to its roots of genuine wild cards like Bronze Tiger on the team instead of a-list villains we know won’t be killed off. It’s a solid arc, but I’m ready for this book to get a little more wild and wacky in the coming arc.
Women Write About Comics - WWAC
The Batman UniverseThe Verdict arc reaches the end in Harley Quinn #17, and writer Stephanie Phillips does a nice job of tying together various strands. The friendship between Kevin and Harley has emerged as one of the strongest themes of the book, which is a surprise to me as I initially did not care for it. It is genuine and complicated, and, to be honest, it is refreshing to see two flawed former villains treat each other with kindness, respect, and compassion. I was very happy to see Batwoman return in this book, as I find the possibilities between she and Harley to be quite exciting, and I am looking forward to seeing what happens after they brunch. Regular readers know I do not care for artist Riley Rossmo’s style, but I find his portrayal of Batwoman to be borderline ridiculous – a mass of sharp angles with a literal mane of red hair. While Rossmo’s style suits the dynamism and movement of Harley, it does not work with the more staid Batwoman, and I wish for a bit more reserve in how Batwoman is represented. Finally, it is noteworthy that Mayor Nakano officially apologizes to Harley. This does not complete her redemption – it is not clear what would – but it does represent an important step in how Harley is perceived by Gotham’s political elite and further solidifies her position within the Bat-Family.
Weird Science DC ComicsHarley Quinn #17 ends the current arc with a plot that makes little sense, a wacky Harley that acts with even less sense, and wonky art.
ComicBook.comLike a lot of Phillips overall run on Harley Quinn, this current arc has been kind of all over the place and this issue in particular really drives that home. While leading up to Harley Quinn #17 saw things get a bit more serious and the stakes get higher and higher for Harley, things end with what amounts to dollar store psychology, cheap jokes, and some goofiness with no real anything. What's frustrating is that rather than actually take on some of Verdict's very valid issues with Gotham and Harley, everything gets played for some laughs with Harley managing to save the day when she's not even the one doing the saving. On top of that Rossmo's art is more erratic than ever. Phillips can write a good Harley. But this issue just isn't it. Nothing about this issue is it.
Batman-NewsLook, I’m a reviewer. My job is to look at media through as critical and objective a lens as possible and tell people if the piece of entertainment is worth their time. This just isn’t. Neither the story or the characters make sense or have consistency. The storytelling pretends to have depth through some occasional monologues, though everything is actually very shallow. We’re nearing Harley’s 30th anniversary celebration, and I’m reminded that the character exists because fans reacted so positively to her concept and personality from just one guest appearance in Batman: the Animated Series. And well, if Harley was written in that show the way she is being written now, the character wouldn’t exist at this point.