Review: Batman: Prelude To The Wedding – Harley Quinn Vs. The Joker

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Sami Basri
Colors: Jessica Kholinne
Review by Steve J. Ray

Summary

The Joker’s not happy. His best frenemy’s getting hitched, but he hasn’t been invited?!? The situation’s no laughing matter. Then things get even more complicated when Harley Quinn turns up mallet in hand.
Uh-oh… here comes the hammer!

Positives

OK, I’m gonna gush now… you have been warned.
I loved this story!
Whenever The Joker and Harley Quinn are reunited I usually get scared. The number of people who root for these two as a couple truly terrifies me. Their relationship was never one to aspire to, people! Their tale was a cautionary one about abusive relationships and how they’re meant to be escaped from, not nurtured or admired.
As with every prelude Tim Seeley has written, he understands these characters. The relationship between the Clown couple in this story was word perfect for me, and far better than in the recent two-part Harley Loves Joker mini-series.
Now, please let me wax lyrical about the gorgeous art. I want to go out and track down everything that Sami Basri has ever drawn. This book is gorgeous! The Joker’s been around for nigh-on 80 years, so seeing fresh versions of the character always impresses me. Sami’s version is terrific! This Joker is sharp, well coiffed and more than a little terrifying. As for Harley? Yes she’s she’s sweet, sassy, and sexy but most importantly she’s that all elusive fourth “S” This Ms. Quinn is smart. Sami Basri gives us not one, but two all-new looks for an all-too familiar character. She’s as beautifully drawn as she is written in this issue, and that makes me smile… but thankfully not in a way that makes everyone run away in terror.
This Harley Quinn is nobody’s victim.
Jessica Kholinne’s colors fit Sami’s line art beautifully. The Joker’s subtle blue/purple suit and the use of more pastel-like shades in the issue work with this style of art far better than the garish cartoon purples, reds and yellows we’re used to seeing with these characters. Beautiful work.

Negatives

I was expecting a few based around the Joker/Harley dynamic, but received none. Tim Seeley has given us an intelligent, yet still lovable Harley, and a despicable, yet impressively wiley Joker. This is a clown on a mission, bats and cats beware!

Verdict
I have really enjoyed these preludes, but the end of the road is in sight. If you’ve been reading the parallel arcs in the main Batman book, then these stories provide fantastic companion pieces. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Pick up Batman 48 and 49 right now! Once you’ve read ’em make sure you pick up issue #50 and the all-new Catwoman #1 both available on July 4th.
Go… do it! I’m not joking.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
(This review was originally published on the DC Comics News website on June 29th 2018)

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