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Suicide Squad #15 – Review: Harley’s Final Issue?

So, we left off with Suicide Squad #14. Harley was about to fight her puddin’, possibly to her dying breath. Was this confrontation satisfying? Does Harley die? I won’t spoil the latter, but I can say the battle between Joker and Harley would have made for a worthy end for Harley.  Joker brings Harley back to where he made her what she is: the A.C.E. chemical plant. Unless Harley shapes up, he’s planning on shipping her out in a pine box. Harley takes it relatively well. A fight ensues which features the appearance of Harley’s previously-loving and now rabies-induced hyenas Bob and Lou (I finally learned their names!). The majority of this issue is a fight scene between Harley and Joker, making it very easy for this issue to be boring because it’s just one big fight scene. But there are other small events going on in the story. Namely, one. The scene between Yo-Yo and Waller was an excuse to remind readers this is a Suicide Squad book and not the Harley and Joker Show.  It was also an excuse to establish how Waller would know Harley’s location. The dialogue between Yo-Yo and Waller would be somewhat enjoyable in a different situation. For instance, Yo-Yo makes a funny quip about Angelina Jolie. But then Waller points out that Yo-Yo is insecure and wants respect,  I feel like I’m watching an episode of Dr. Phil. The main fight between Harley and Joker is center stage and takes away from any development Glass was trying to give to Yo-Yo’s character. Barley anything is learned about him and nothing is cared about. Suicide Squad #15 Harley vs. Joker panel Waller does point out something interesting involving the dynamic between Harley and Joker, mentioning how Joker needs Harley and that it isn’t the other way around. At first I didn’t really think about this, but after pondering it, Waller’s statement makes total sense and adds to the “abusive husband” relationship Harley has always had with the Joker. That is what makes this issue so satisfying to me. Harley finally stands up to her “abusive husband” figure, the Joker. But just because her actions are commendable, that doesn’t mean the fight wasn’t boring at times. It was long, and even though I was happy to see the hyenas I remembered so fondly from the Batman TV show, they exited almost as quickly as they entered. Another  moment in the fight had me getting Catwoman #6 flashbacks, except it was executed here much better than in the Catwoman book – not artistically, but this… biting moment had meaning. Followed by a satisfying vengeance. The ending of the story (with the exception of the last panel, which made me smile more than the Joker) was as pointless as the opening. There is a slight jump in time and we’re told it’s after Batman #14, pushing once again that you should also be reading Batman.      A big letdown in this issue is the artwork from Fernando Dagnino. He has some good moments, like when Joker fades into Harley’s vision. That would have been a great opening, rather than the pointless one we get with Harley quickly passing out just to fade right back in again, and after giving her only a tiny morsel of narration that could have been strewn throughout the fight. Suicide Squad #15 panel The backgrounds are constantly neglected with only a single color and speed lines for every fight scene. But the major problem is Harley’s over-expressive face. Her gaping expression in some panels make her look weird and take away from the danger of the situation. One of her worst expressions is towards the end, where the artist makes her look hysterical. She is going through a great ideal, but her dialogue would have been better accompanied by a look of determination. Her tears also caused her make-up to splatter across her face, which inevitably makes her look similar to a $2 hooker, but I appreciate the artist’s decision to focus on the battle rather than focus on Harley’s breasts or butt. Her new costume already gives readers enough of her skin and we don’t need to focus on more in this issue since the main point is Harley’s development as a character… and surviving the Joker, of course. Again, this issue wasn’t as exciting as it could have been. Joker’s welcome has warn off and he fails to make me chuckle or shudder much in this issue. But Harley stands tall and finally getting out of the Joker’s thumb, showing herself more than her shallow exterior seemed to allow (and not in the dirty way). Her strength makes her character have much more depth than she previously showed in Suicide Squad. For fans of Harley Quinn, this is a monumental issue worth a read. For people who think she’s become a sex toy of the New 52, this might just improve her image for you.  


Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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