'Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red' #1 Review: A quick appetizer of great art and vivid red moments
The series is a collection of brilliantly illustrated Harley Quinn moments loosely tied together by a minimal plot and is a great showcase of Sejic's art
Spoilers for 'Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red' #1
DC's latest Digital First comic stars none other than Harley Quinn. Spinning out of Stjepan Sejic's seminal run on 'Harleen', the series will feature 14 stories from the industry's best, each telling different one-shot stories from Harley Quinn's madcap life. Told only in black, white and red, the series will have a distinctive feel, and the first issue starts off quick and quiet with a story written and drawn by Stjepan Sejic himself.
Sejic excels at individual moments. Longtime fans of his work will recall several pieces of fanart that perfectly capture the heart of what makes those characters so great. He is an artiste that does a lot with very little — but unfortunately can feel a little meandering when handling longer stories. Even in the shortened format of the Digital First comics, the opening issue more of a collection of truly great moments strung loosely together by a plot.
Harley Quinn is being talked to by another therapist, talks about the significance of the color red in her life, and then is saved by her favorite redhead — Poison Ivy. It's an appetizer of a story, and while it may leave some unsatisfied, it still leaves a memorable impression.
When Sejic's moment's work, they're iconic and unforgettable. He has a lot of respect for the character and manages to illustrate that her psychoanalytical side just as much as her wilder, crazier one. One especially memorable panel splits her through time, with one half of her face horrified at reliving a memory, and the other side of it completely there in the shock of the moment. Both her eyes are feeling the same thing, but Sejic is one of the few artists who can effectively convey the subtle difference between the two so clearly.
The issue is a great showcase of Sejic's talents and a pleasant read for anyone who is a fan of the character. The first issue of this series feels like 'Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red' would have been better suited as one, large anthology special, instead of a weekly series. It's not a full meal of an issue — but it's definitely a vividly flavored one that will linger for a while after you put it down.
'Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red' #1 is on sale now, wherever comics are sold.