By Hunter T. Patrick
For a comic that is meant to be cartoony, this hits hard. Some themes lightly touched upon in the past installments are at full play here. This is a wonderful celebration of Harley in the time she was dating Joker. Her past, present (at the time) and future (current Harley) all appear and helps make this a must-read for Harley fans. This finishes off very strongly which is a delight after the last issue focus too much on The Grison, a weird Cheetah rip off. If she was not so physically resembling Cheetah and if her somewhat interesting origin did not weigh down the last issue, then maybe she could live on, but I struggle to see this character return, except in maybe a cameo or a one-off return then disappearance.
The artwork continues the trend of cartoony. Even a wonderful shot of a dark Batman is redone for this style of artwork. That shot of Batman is the best-looking panel in the issue and seeing the darkness merge with the artwork is a sight to behold. The modern-day Harley is shown in this art style and that perfectly shows a great difference in the two eras of Harley. It is wonderful seeing how she would look in this style. As said, this is a wonderful story to get if a Harley fan, especially classic Harley, with modern day Harley getting her chance in the spotlight as well.
If you have collected all the issues with the backups and the first issue then get this issue to finish it off, if not get the hardcover. This is the strongest installment and technically despite this being a buildup, this could work as a standalone (with easily figuring out the missing pieces for the payoff). The issue excels in portraying Harley and her mindset for her relationship with the Joker, and that is the part that hits hard. This issue shows hints at the abuse Joker puts her through and has Harley debating whether or not to finally leave him. Harley feels safe with him and afraid to leave for what is to come. Her inner mind has her past and future begging, her to leave him and she debated and ignores them. Her mindset could be too real for some readers, and so very relatable. Her choice, in the end, might seem so very tragic but seeing her future self-shows as a perfect reminder that the reader knows Harley will win in the end, and Joker will always lose, even if not right now. Harley is loved for her insanity, but also her strength. To everyone on the internet ignorant enough to want a love like Harley and the Joker then know many share a love like that… a love that is poison and toxic. Harley loves Joker, right as the title says. Nothing changes in this grand story, it begins and ends the same. This issue highlights how Harley does love the Joker, and the title itself is one of the most relatable, and so very tragic thing about Harley Quinn.
Harley Loves Joker #2