Review – Harley Quinn #17, The Verdict Is Read

Review - Harley Quinn #17: The Verdict Is Read

Harley Quinn #17 variant Cover, via DC Comics

Harley Quinn #17 – Stephanie Phillips, Writer; Riley Rossmo, Artist; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: It’s the final issue of this phase of Stephanie Phillips’ take on Harley Quinn, before the story gets much bigger and heads to space for a crossover with Suicide Squad. The “final boss” of this run is Verdict, the ruthless vigilante leaving a trail of bodies across Gotham. And under the mask is Samantha Payne, deranged ex-cop and girlfriend of Harley’s best friend Kevin. Last issue revealed that Samantha was a police officer who barely survived Harley’s breakout from custody—aided by corrupt officers—years back. She’s been on a one-woman crusade for vengeance against criminals and corrupt politicians ever since—no matter how many bodies she has to rack up. Harley is recovering from her injuries, after a bizarre prelude where she visualizes herself in a boxing match against Verdict—but when she wakes up, Verdict has taken all of city hall hostage in one final desperate gambit for revenge.

Fight night. DC Comics.

Verdict is a type of villain that’s been done quite a few times, so she could have easily become stale, but Phillips does a good job of making her come off as genuinely unstable, particularly in this final issue. She’s a good example of what happens when a villain with a genuine point winds up losing sight of their goal and becoming obsessed with revenge by any means necessary—even if it means claiming the lives of people they love. The final standoff with her and Kevin is tense, although the ending leaves a lot of things open—and it seems Verdict’s story may not be quite over yet. I am excited by the tease for the upcoming Task Force XX storyline, because it seems like the concept might be getting back to its roots of genuine wild cards like Bronze Tiger on the team instead of a-list villains we know won’t be killed off. It’s a solid arc, but I’m ready for this book to get a little more wild and wacky in the coming arc.

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GeekDad received the comic for review.

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