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Comic Review: Suicide Squad #15

Harleen Quinzel Harley Quinn Joker New 52 Suicide Squad #15
Suicide Squad #15 is exactly the lovers spat you’d expect out of psycho exes Harley Quinn and the Joker. There are broken dreams, old wounds and accusations aplenty, and only the Joker seems interested in a reunion.

The trouble is, the Joker’s idea of reunion requires a lot of pain and a few adjustments to Harley’s face.

Given that a lot of people will pick up this comic just for the Death of the Famiy tie-in, writer Adam Glass wisely keeps the larger Suicide Squad issues to the edges of this story and focuses on Harley and Joker. There’s a nice wink at the past in the return of Harley’s pet hyenas, but it’s clear Harley and the Joker have both become different people.

These two get right into fighting and never really pause to think about why they should get back together. The Joker seems more interested in torture than in reunion, and he doesn’t try to win her back. Harley is not at all tempted to rejoin him, and her flat out denial of him gives up a lot of potential story tension that Glass might have capitalized on. Instead, he suggests that the Joker has had plenty of Harleys, and he’s not worried about disposing of his latest one.

The Joker characterization gets a bit too verbose at times as he waxes philosophic on losing humanity and becoming something stronger. It’s a broad strokes concept that we’ve heard out of plenty of monstrous villains in the past, and it doesn’t bring anything new to the character or the story.

Fernando Dagnino’s art is competent but unspectacular. You can tell he likes putting mascara tears on Harley, and she’s busty as always in her two-color corset, but Dagnino never really draws attention to himself by trying something new.

Beyond the Harley conflict, Deadshot remains a hot topic for everyone, and he comes up repeatedly toward the end of the story.

Speaking of the end, Glass seems to suddenly bore of Harley, as he puts her in a bind and gets her out of it one page later without bothering to cover how she manages her escape. It’s lazy, rushes writing that really detract from the story.

This is a decent Death of the Family tie-in but it fails to challenge the status quo in any way.

6 out of 10.

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