REVIEW: Gotham City Sirens #20

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Harley Quinn is pissed. She’s had it to the tips of her cap with the Joker. So now she’s going to use a few random items to break into Arkham Asylum and do what no one else seems to be able to, kill her puddin’. Can she pull it off, find out after the jump.

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #20
Writer: Peter Calloway
Artist: Andres Guinaldo and Ramon Bachs
Inker: Lorenzo Ruggiero and Ramon Bachs
Colorist: JD Smith
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover Artist: Guillem March
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously in Gotham City Sirens: After the mess with Talia trying to convince Zatanna to take away Selina’s memories of Bruce as Batman, the love gun was turned on Harley who has finally realized just how horrible the influence of the Joker is on her.

PUDDIN’S GOTTA PAY

We open with Harley discussing that there is a place within her head that, instead of being happy-go-lucky, rage lurks. We then follow her entrance into Arkham. Most of the writing for the issue is done as her internal dialogue, and it’s good. First she tells us how she’ll only need four meaningless items to get in. As she does this we get a to see marbles, a flower, a crowbar, and a rusty nail, all this lying next to the Joker’s Bag O’ Tricks and her oversized mallet.

 

First, she has to past guard tower three which is right next to her exit. This is where the marbles come in, Harley knows the guard and his marble collection is how he used to escape from the world of his drunken, abusive father. She distracts him with the marbles, wishing it were enough but knowing the rage says otherwise when the tower blows up. This of course alerts the guards and we are pointed to the current Asylum director, one Alice Sinner, the only person who can turn off the Inmate Debilitation System (I.D.S.) with a remote. This is where the flower comes in. You see, Miss Sinner was originally hired when Harley had her job. Miss Sinner was born into a cult and commits their greatest sin, falling in love. Before they were caught, her man gave her a flower. She ended up giving everyone the fun punch and leaving her flower their. Of course Harley’s flower has a mild version of the Joker venom. Harley ends up turning off the I.D.S. and moving to her next goal, the cell of one Basil Karlo, a.k.a. Clayface. She uses the crowbar, the tool used to kill him in his most famous role and an item he view as failure, to open his cage a bit he slips out and all the guards are called in to deal with his rampage. Now Harley comes to the last challenge, Aaron Cash, the Head of Security, and she has one item left, the nail.

BROKEN PANELS

The one thing that struck me while reading this was the splash pages of Harley explaining why the simple items would do the trick. Each one was paneled to look like said item, the guards back story was told within marbles, Sinner’s with flower petals, and Clayface’s was along a crowbar. This was a fantastic nod toward what Harley was doing. The other thing that stands out is Harley’s face. There are two separate times where it is half shadow, and the shadow half is a terrifying visage of a snarling grin and evil eye. The rest of the book was good, I actually have no complaints at all for a change.

BOTTOM LINE: TOTALLY

Harley is the definition of an unreliable narrator, and this comes up as she sees images of the Joker almost everywhere, one to the point where she actually threw the crowbar at, and thus through, him. The entire thing was well done and I am definitely looking forward to the conclusion. Final rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆