What’s fifty Harley Quinns from all over the Multiverse plus one interdimensional murderer hell-bent on killing all of the aforementioned Harleys, divided by two very hungry hyenas, all to the power of Kevin…?
But, also, a really weird way to spend your weekend.
Nothing like meeting yourself 49 times to give you a real good existential crisis!
I’m not one for self-doubt and all that… but it’s hard not to be at least a little jealous of mermaid Harley.
The Comicbook DispatchHarley Quinn #26 escalates the threat to Gotham City via dozens of Harleys from various Earths. There’s some great action, a few hilarious moments, and a wonderful moment between Harley and Kevin. This is the most I’ve enjoyed a Harley Quinn story in a long time and I look forward to seeing what happens next issue.
Dark Knight NewsThere’s only one more issue before this story’s complete. “Who Killed Harley Quinn?“ has been a wild ride and this latest chapter gives us a deeper look at, not only Harley Quinn’s character development, but we see development with Kevin’s as well. The way he stands up for himself to shock Harley back to herself is wonderful. Emotions like this are reasons to invest in these stories. Not only are they relatable but between the words and the art, it comes to life. I look forward to seeing the conclusion to this part of Harley’s story.
The Super Powered FancastThe Story: This issue has some top-notch action scenes. I was particularly struck by the general cordiality shown by the different versions of Harley. Even though, they are all quick to brawl, I found their humor and self-awareness charming. This chapter focuses on Harleys disparate friendships and how they sustain her. While Kevin is her rock, watching them have a healthy disagreement is interesting to witness. The cliffhanger ending is predictable yet impactful, and it makes me eager to see what happens next. The Art: This issue uses a modern, realistic comic book styling in which the images have dual focus on both character and surrounding. Although set at night, the colorwork is bright and bold in such a way that the impact of Batwoman and the Harleys are heightened. Overall, I found the visuals to be both appealing and immersive.
Geek DadPhillips has one more issue to go, with a lot to still go. While I don’t think this run necessarily always reached the heights of other runs, I think it’s done the most for Harley’s characterization and her status as a DC power player of any in this new era of DC comics.
But Why Tho?Harley Quinn #26 is a book brimming with emotion. Spending so much time with these characters and with such a fantastic writer of dialogue at the helm means that every brutal jab Harley and Kevin make at each other hurts.
411ManiaHarleen is in her old costume. She’s got a gun in one hand and a very large hammer in the other. She pulls a trigger, and a little flag rolls out of the barrel of the pistol. “Bang.” The security guard on the other end of the gun is a bit confused. Writer Stephanie Phillips continues a remarkably satisfying run with Harley in Harley Quinn #26. Aiding Phillips is a bewildering number of artists, including David Baldeón, Matteo Lolli, and Pasquale Qualano. Surprisingly, Phillips’s writing holds together quite well in spite of a patchwork visual reality pieced together by a whole bunch of different artists. Harley’s upset about the lack of laughter from her visual gag. It’s not something that she has a lot of time to dwell on, though. Batwoman promptly shows up in an attempt to end the fun. The crime-fighter is in for a surprise when she encounters Harley’s accomplices, who are all...Harley. Of course...none of the Harleys in question are the indigenous Harley Quinn. SHE is having an argument with a friend on a nearby rooftop while an older version of herself looks on a bit awkwardly. If things get any more awkward, Harley’s going to have a lot of difficulty saving the day. Phillips is having fun with the idea of a young Harley working with an older Harley while Batwoman and a host of villains look on. The action comedy feels well-rendered in its own way, but there are a million different possibilities for a Gotham full of Harleys that Phillips simply is NOT taking advantage of. Phillips has a great premise, but she’s only crawling around on the surface of it when there’s SO much that could be done with it. And any attempt at a couple of Harleys getting the better of a growing army of them? There’s no way that will come across as being even vaguely plausible. She’s just too chaotic to be captured as an army. The premise of the story actually works to the advantage of the format. With so many different artists bouncing around page and panel, there isn’t a terribly cohesive visual feel to the issue. The format actually fits an issue with so many disparate Harleys, though. Each moment seems to bring with it its own style and form. That being said...the patchwork nature strains the rhythm of the action in a way that feels too jagged to be totally satisfying on a visual level. Things seem to be coming together on the overall rhythm of the post-mortem-Harley-back-from-the-dead thing. The Harley Who Laughs might be more of an interesting character if Phillips were to spend a little more time fleshing out the villain. She comes across as an abstract evil, which doesn’t do her a whole lot of justice. There’s still time, though. Tensions certainly HAVE developed since the beginning of the storyline, and Phillips IS moving the conflict ahead by issue’s end.
Weird Science DC ComicsHarley Quinn #26 ranges from serviceable to mediocre as Harley and her team hatch a plan to get all the multiversal Harleys together in one place for a showdown against the Harley Who Laughs. The art is strong, but the story could be more varied and active.
ComicBook.comEverything at this point feels like a string of things that has been put together simply for the purpose of trying to force a story but it's nothing that feels very satisfying – especially the weird twist at the end. The only thing that's really done well here is the pacing in that it's clear that Phillips is setting up for a tidy end, both to the story and her run on the title, but this issue feels like a reminder that both can't come soon enough.