Harley Quinn Black + White + Red Review (2020)
“Red is the color of Art. Red is the color we painted this town.”
- Story & Art: Stjepan Šejić
- Lettering: Gabriela Downie
- Editor Andy Khouri
‘Resolutely defiant in the face of all of Arkham’s attempts to psychoanalyze her, Harley Quinn is suddenly compelled to reveal some of her most vulnerable thoughts – and hints of her future — when confronted with the simplest of prompts: “What does the color red mean to you?” Another stunningly beautiful story from the world of Stjepan Šejić’s bestselling HARLEEN!’ – Dc Comics
Stjepan Šejić has been killing it with the character of Harley Quinn. From the stories and his art, let me just say, it is mesmerizing! In ‘Harley Quinn Black + White + Red’ we start with Harley Quinn in Arkham Asylum at therapy talking to Dr. Leah. On the first page of ‘Harley Quinn Black + White + Red,’ we are inside of Harley’s mind (We know this because of the red coloring in the text box, which was a brilliant idea). It shows us how smart Harley truly is; it indicates that Harley will never forget her past, and this is how you know Stjepan Šejić understands the character of Harleen Quinzel.
In addition to seeing Harley’s intelligence, we are introduced to her vulnerabilities as well. At this moment, we see Dr. Leah pull out a card that is colored red, and she asks Harley, “what does red mean to you?” and asks Harley to tell her a story, this is where Stjepan Šejić’s story and art mix together in a beautiful way.
“Red is the color of our first night together.”
Before Harley starts her story, she pauses for a moment, with sadness, that is the moment you realize that she is thinking about the Joker. Harley starts her story by saying, “Red is the color of our first night together,” this is when we get a flashback of the first time Harley and Joker were together, the time she was in love, the time she was happy with her life.
Stjepan Šejić truly understands how to use art to enhance his storytelling and the reason why I say this is because when Harley describes her meaning of the color red, each panel is black in white except for a particular object she explains, which is red.
“It’s the color of my blouse.”
“It’s the color of my lipstick on his lips.”
“And the blood underneath my fingernails.”
And it goes on for five more pages; this is an excellent example of a motif. “Harley continues. It’s the color of his grin.” “The Color of my sin.” I’m not sure if this was on purpose, but the rhythm of this quote is brilliant.
Furthermore, this page just lets the audience know that Harley has come into terms that being in a relationship with the Joker was a huge mistake on her part and that alone shows so much growth with her character. But the quote (“The Color of my sin.”) does not only mean regret, but it also represents addiction. That where we get into the next page, where we see both Harleen Quinzel and Harley Quinn is having a good time.
“Red is the color of our Art!”
“Red is the color we painted this town.”
But, with all great addictions, it can be hard to break, and with Harley Quinn, it was a painful experience; Mentally, physically, and emotionally to break up with the Joker. Like I said before, it just shows how strong a character Harley Quinn is.
“Red is the color of our break up.”
When Harley says,
‘Because a broken heart is a wounded heart and a wound bleeds and in the moment of rage even he is red and –“
you can just feel the pain, anger, resentment she has towards the Joker, and it is sickening, but that is what makes the Joker a great villain because of how shitty he is towards Harley or anyone for that matter.
But sometimes with pain comes a second chance of happiness. “And red is the color of a rose,” This might be the best line in this issue because of how simple and powerful of how this line was delivered. The way Harley Quinn reacts, you can tell she feels comfort, love, warmth, and that’s how Harley finishes her story with Dr. Leah. After Harley’s story, we soon figure out that Dr. Leah had alternative motives, which was to figure out who could be red.
‘Harley Quinn Black + White + Red’ is one-hundred percent a must-buy, and it is out right now!