Future State Harley Quinn #2
Words by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Simon DiMeo & Toni Infante
Color by Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by ALW’s Troy Peteri
Oh Harley, what new adventures did you get into now. After helping catch Professor Pyg, Quinn and Jonathan Crane have now set their sights on catching Black Mask. This will test how far Crane will go before succumbing to using fear.
This issue focuses on the inner turmoil Crane faces trying to adapt to the Magistrate rules and being himself. His self control is constantly being challenged by Quinn and her plan to apprehend Black Mask. As Harley is working as a profiler to capture villains, is she also working on driving Crane to his more brutal nature?
The story that Philips created isn’t new, as we have seen something similar in the DC Black Label series Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity. The characters and development are hindered with the limited issues to explore different psychology themes and showing some of the pain Crane is in with the lack of his Scarecrow persona. If there were more issues available to work with Philips’ story, it wouldn’t feel as rushed as it read.
The art is chaotic and not in a good way. The final conflict didn’t install a sense of madness or fear as the panels pieced together caused more confusion. The perspectives that were used were jarring and took you out of the setting as you try to figure out how it is supposed to fit the narrative. The characters are well drawn and executed which is a shame but this might be due to there only being two issues.
The concept for the series is rooted perfectly for the selected characters and their studied profession. Crane and Harley have a good rapport and it was criminal that it was rushed and limited to two issues. Given the complexity of the theme, it hindered showing the madness creep back into Crane and Harley.
Overall the series isn’t the worst from the Future State titles but it is the weakest. This could be the creative team trying to do too much with too little. It would be interesting to see what one or two extra issues would have changed the creative team’s approach or it would just be the same and rushed over the extra issues instead.