Harley Issue 62 continues the Dungeons & Dragons theme from the last issue.  Everyone has transformed into some sort of D&D arch-type but only Harley realizes it is false.  The RPG references are everywhere, and the battles stay typical Harley in nature.

Harley Issue 62: COVER TO COVER

I love the feel of both covers for this issue.  The first shows Enchantress staring at a Tarot cards.  The one show is of course Harley.  She doesn’t complain about being a playing card or a part of a tarot card.  No, Harley’s complaing is that she was placed on the Fool’s card.  I love how she’s pointing at the title.  The second cover is straight D&D goodness.  They are sneaking away with the dragon’s hoard (small hoard) with the dragon right behind them.  I love the +2 hammer Harley is holding.

Harley Issue 62: Out of the Fire…

Harley Issue 62

One thing I really liked about Harley Issue 62 is how several key moments rely on someone trusting a bat-shit crazy lunatic saying the world around them isn’t real.  One of the characters has to find the strength to believe in Harley despite what they ‘think’ they know.  The first is Tina.  Tina’s been struck by a spell and serves Enchantress, but Harley reaches through the cover and enables Tina to break the spell, rescuing Harley and Queen Catwoman. 

Catwoman not believing Harley just risked her life to save her plays right into the theme of Harley’s belief in friendship, thus giving people the ability to trust in her later.  I really like when the Riddler character tells the Queen, “I am Maester (reference not missed) of riddles, and this Harlequin is a riddle unlike any I have encountered.  Nothing she says makes sense, and yet…like all mysteries there is truth at her core.”  I thought this spoke volumes into who Harley is becoming and that others are seeing it.

Face the Truth

There was another scene I really loved in Harley Issue 62.  A fight ensues.  Tina kicks a lot of butts, and Harley smashes the hourglass, defeating Enchantress.  The thing is no one changes back to normal.  Everyone remains stuck in the D&D world.  The scene where Harley pleads with Selina to remember what is real and what is not.

Selina does remember.  She slips back in time and remembers the events of the past several months as they happened in the other Bat titles.  Selina remembers Bruce’s proposal, and her accepting the ring.  Then she remembers dropping the engagement and leaving Bruce, despite her wanting to marry him.

The scene effectively shows the story in a few moving panels but look at the background.  In the frame where they kiss, stands Alfred.  Where she admires her ring stands Joker, but it is the final frame as Batman stands heartbroken, stands Bane!  In the Batman comics he has been the architect behind all of Batman’s misfortunes and the series is getting ready to start “City of Bane” story arc.

I really love on the next page where Catwoman asks “But why would I want to return to such sadness?”  Why would anyone want to leave fantasy and fun for a world of darkness and pain?  In this simple little panel lies the truth to so much of the world.  It is a question people ask themselves when they wrap themselves in anything too completely.  Harley gives a beautiful response of “Because it’s real.  And in that reality, in every reality, ya girl Harley will always have yer back.  With wine.”  Again, Harley’s undying friendship and devotion is what breaks through the lies.

That Which Lies Ahead

One or two more things in Harley Issue 62 and everything is back to normal.  The task itself seemed trivial and easily handled by Harley and Co.  Harley receives her next shining stone on her belt.  This honestly seemed one of the easier tasks so far, but Mirand’r cautions “The toughest trials are yet to come.”

We change scenes to a Spinning Harley exposing herself to her mom as she twirls around the room in a hospital gown.  Her mom laughs, which is Harley’s point to begin with, but then the nurse enters.  The next test seems obvious, but I wonder how the writers will play this out.  Will they go the safe and easy route?  Or will this trial be one that cannot be undone and scars Harley deeper than any wound to date?  This next issue could be quite powerful.