Harley Quinn #58: A Team-up For the Ages!
Harley Quinn #58 is the issue we have been waiting for and it does not disappoint! Batman has had many sidekicks, partners and teammates over the years. With the exception of a few Justice League Members, all have been well matured past their ages. I’m sure Bats prescribes to the Master Yoda school of thought: A crime fighter must have the most serious mind, the deepest commitment. Now, for the first time Batman must deal with his worst fear in a sidekick – bouncy, bubbly, and spontaneous.
For one thing, the covers are great once more. Cover A is just a great shot of a disgruntled Batman flying through the Gotham skies hauling Harley by his hammer. Cover B may not have anything to do with their issue, but it’s our bubbly, all fun, all the time Harley! The cover is rich, colorful an full of detail.
Now, back up to the very first page of Harley Quinn #58. If Harley riding Batman’s dinosaur trophy yelling Yeeehaaaww, and screaming with excitement that she is in THE actual Batcave, doesn’t set the tone for this issue, I dont know what will.
I love how the next couple of pages stand out. One simply features Batman driving a blindfolded Harley to the Batcave. Of course she tries to peak and he jumps all over her about not peeking. What is really cool about this page though, is the art style. The art kicks it back a couple decades to the old school feel and drawing of Batman. It’s nostalgic way to make an otherwise boring page stand out a bit.
On the next page of Harley Quinn #58 we catch Harley doing something I didn’t think anyone did, save Deadpool. Harley breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to us, the readers. She asks us to be quiet despite the fact she is the one bouncing off the walls.
With the doctor’s body now gone, Batman is having a hard time pinning down whether or not Harley is the killer. Batman wants to turn her in, but Harley picks Batman’s pockets and pulls out his Bat-shackles. Harley cuffs the two of them together and asks for 24 hours to prove her innocence.
Off To Find the Truth
They venture to Doctor’s home to find “stoner bro” chillin’ on the couch. I love Harley’s intro. “Have ya accepted the glory of cosplay into your life?” Of course Batman barges in, grabs “Mr Flipflops” by the rag he wears as a shirt, and yells at him. When the Caped Crusader renders him a bumbling mess, Harley tactfully steps in and speaks in the “common tongue”. The Doctor is at his winter home.
After Batgirl confirms this for them, they travel to his office for clues. Harley finds something small on the floor. Batman growls at her for contaminating evidence, so what does Harley do? She pops it in her mouth and eats it! Her Har-buds tell her instantly that it is a limited edition chocos – “Bagel and Lox” flavor. Because she is a member of this club she knows they were imported illegally.
Harley Quinn #58 then takes a trip down to the docks. Their investigation seems to stall a bit until the GCPD shows up with lights glaring and guns drawn. The big thing here, as Harley points out, is that Batman is unwilling to turn her over just yet. Not until he clearly knows what is going on.
They hightail it out of there, thanks to Batman’s cables. I love this next page. As they run for their freedom, Harley can’t help but push Batman’s buttons by making fun of his Bat-jet. The name I like the most is “I can’t fly like Superman” machine.
What Do You Believe?
As dawn approaches and Harley’s time runs thin, she goads Batman. Either he has to admit she committed a crime that he cannot solve, or acknowledge that she didn’t it. Of course Batman thinks she did it even though he can’t prove it.
Then we get to the heart breaking panel of Harley Quinn #58. Harley talks about never wanting to be a bad guy in the first place. The look artist John Timms gives Harley shows the pain she feels. Still, Batman has difficulty believing in her.
This is where perhaps the true heart of this issue lies. Harley and Batsy hear a shout from the alley down below. A man is threatening his girlfriend and child with physical abuse. Harley leaps off the building, still handcuffed to Batman, dragging him over the edge as well. Batman isn’t ready, and Harley gasps “Isn’t this yer thing?!” Batman manages a last minute grapple throw to keep them from going splat. Harley uses the momentum of the drop to smash the abuser with her mallet into the ground.
Batman ties up the abuser and tells Harley they have to get out of here. The cops are almost upon them. Harley insists on comforting both the child and the woman. After a short story, Harley has them both smiling. If this doesn’t show the direction Harley is going with her life i don’t know what does. Where the great Batman would smash and leave, if he intervened at all, Harley had the emotions of the mom and child on her mind.
Two Become One
Of course in comforting the two, Harley remembers the missing piece of the puzzle. She knows who framed her! With an assist form the GCPD, they trap the culprit known as Lord Death Man! Harley and Batman charge into the fray, still handcuffed mind you, with Harley yelling “Here comes the dynamic duo!”, which of course Batman has to deny later.
The next page is a brilliant lay out of Batman and Harley taking on the Death gang, handcuffed, and moving in near perfect synchronicity. They easily take out the gang and then with one powerful overhead strike, Harley crushes Lord Death Man’s skull into the pavement with her mallet.
I absolutely love the last panel at the bottom of this page. Batman thinks she just murdered the guy, but Harley responds “Ah relax Bats. I mean is it really murder if he’s always comin’ back from th’ dead?” Lord Death Man groans and Harley asks “Mind if kill him one more time fer good measure?” You gotta love Harley and her sensibilities.
Back on the rooftops, Harley makes fun of Batman for making a joke. She must be wearing off on him. Batman goes to remove the cuffs, but Harley beats him to it and slips out of them. Batman is shocked that Harley could have left at any time and didn’t.
This is also where Harley confesses what Batman said earlier actually hurt her feelings. For some dumb reason she actually cares what Batman thinks of her. Batman then makes her day and admits MAYBE he was wrong about her.
The Jury Returns
Finally we are reminded what this whole series is about. Mirand’r reappears from the belt and congratulates Harley on passing her first trial. Only five more to go!
I really loved Harley Quinn #58. It was pure Harley and pure Batsy. Together their personalities are pure gold. I would love to see more of them together, but I doubt we see them like this again.