Penciled By: Andres Guinaldo
Inked By: Lorenzo Ruggiero
Coloring By: JD Smith
Lettering By: Carlos M. Mangual
Edited By: Katie Kubert
Associate Editor: Harvey Richards
Cover By: Guillem March
Harley helps the love of her life escape from prison…but not before they cause a little mayhem within the Arkham Asylum walls. Elsewhere, Catwoman and Batman come together once again as a nocturnal duo and Ivy tries to convince Harley that the Joker is bad news. It’s a lover’s quarrel in the middle of a prison break, how will it end? Let’s see how true love’s keen sting dictates the outcome.
My Awe Inspiring Opinion
Is it just me, or do these “Super 8” inserts make these 20 paged issues seem like I should be paying a price of $3.99?
Calloway has been doing a great job at filling Paul Dini’s shoes; his handle on all three Sirens is spot on as well as his story telling abilities. I love how, despite the numerous times Harley’s been burned by Mr. J, she can’t help but continually crawl back to the Joker due to the emotional manipulation he’s put on her. We all know that this plot device has been used on numerous occasions, but I have a feeling this could be the penultimate moment before next month’s issue where Harley makes the ultimate decision to choose her friends over her lover.
Catwoman and Batman getting back together in a heroistic fashion was a nice touch as well, and with Ivy and Harley being best friends for the longest time, love is certainly a central theme within this issue. All three Sirens have decisions to make…where will their loyalties lie? Ivy does fine on her own, but is it enough to sacrifice the friendship she’s built with Harley? And can Harley break her tie with the Joker and remain in the female-villain trifecta? And of course, will Catwoman be reminded of how much she loves life as a burglar or will she stay true to her new friends? No news has been announced of the Sirens cancelation so I’m assuming everything will turn out for the best, but this is definitely an arc which will boost the character development of the Sirens and bring them even closer as a team.
The subplots tangled throughout this chaos filled issue are implemented quite nicely. Not too long ago the Black Mask was causing Batman more pain and strife than most of the villains in the Dark Knights repertoire have done in the last few years. #23 presents a Jeremiah Arkham who seems unscathed by the events of R.I.P. and during Dick’s transition phase as Batman. It’ll be interesting to see how Black Mask is brought back into the fold.
I’ll be honest, this is not a comic for those with weak constitutions; the Joker is cutting off the arms of guards, Black Mask makes threats of hanging people by their intestines while alive, inmates drive rusty and dirty nails into the guard’s bodies, and bullets fly every causing people to hang from above with blood dripping downward…This is not a pleasant issue. But it’s certainly well done, thanks to Mr. Guinaldo, Ruggiero, and Smith. I do miss having Guillem March sketching this book, but I won’t complain with the current artist line up.
My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
This is a solid issue; very few flaws (if any) with stellar storytelling and artistic techniques. I’m glad Harley finally got her spot light!
10 out of 10 Stars