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Joker Harley Criminal Sanity 4 Main

"Joker / Harley: Criminal Sanity #4" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Black Label


Written by Kami Garcia
Illustrated by Jason Badower and Mico Suayan
Colored by Annette Kwok
Lettered by Richard Starkings and Tyler Smith
2020, 34 Pages, $5.99
Comic released on May 6th, 2020


Harley Quinn is hot on the case of a serial killer leaving increasingly elaborate stagings of his victims. Although she's skilled as an investigator and a profiler, she may not be prepared for what she'll find in this madman's head. In case you couldn't figure it out, the killer is the Joker.

Joker / Harley: Criminal Sanity started off with a very interesting take on these two characters, presenting them in a new light. We're now four issues into the planned nine-issue series and we haven't really moved this forward all that much. Harley is still spinning circles around the Gotham City Police Department, showing anyone that will listen that she's smarter than them and that she has an impeccable knowledge of serial killer trivia. Meanwhile, the Joker is doing his best to be the goth angel of the city.

Click images to enlarge

While I'm all for new interpretations of characters, these versions have lost the essence of what makes them who they are. If you were to replace their names, you would have no idea they were Harley Quinn and the Joker. This makes this book come across as a generic serial killer thriller shoehorned into the DC Universe.

The artwork from Jason Badower and Mico Suayan is highly detailed and incredible to look at, however it lacks motion. All the characters appear to be posing, so the imagery doesn't lend itself well to sequential storytelling. The two artists swap between scenes, however there's no rhyme or reason to this. Badower takes over for a flashback and then for a present-day sequence. This creates a jarring handover.

Click images to enlarge

Additionally, Annette Kwok's color work, while solid, feels strange, as it seems to only coincide with Badower's pencils. It would be one thing if only the flashbacks were colored, but it just feels like the pages were selected at random.

As we approach the halfway point of Joker / Harley: Criminal Sanity, I have to wonder where this series is going as it feels like it's just meandering. It's a very dry thriller with no real heart or emotion to it. Even though we're familiar with these characters – or at least who they are loosely based on – it's hard to invest in their story here as there's nothing to really grab onto.


Story: twostars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 2 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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