In September, DC’s Black Label released Harleen #1, in a 3 part mini series, written and drawn by Stjepan Sejic.
In the series, Sejic went further into detail about the events leading up to Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s plunge into madness; becoming Harley Quinn. This mini series adds onto the ground work that Paul Dini left in the original creation of her character. By giving us a more mature telling of the tale, we are given a lot more context and backstory leading to her creation, rather than the current adaptations of the character in DC’s flagship comics.
As a mini series where the author both writes and draws, Sejic is phenomenal at making each issue stand out and entertain those who enjoy delving into the deep lore of characters in fictitious works.
Diving into Harleen’s drinking and sleepless nights after interviewing Joker, or showcasing her trying to interview other inmates to get his influence out of her head; All of those moments were showcased within the animated series, but Sejic gives a lot more context and expands upon the characters lore.
Sejic’s greatest moment was the art and metaphor when Harleen likens herself to Red Riding Hood and Joker; the wolf. This comparison and the art showcasing it was a great use in the series.
Another great instance of art by Sejic, was the panel when interviewing Poison Ivy, as Harleen tries to forget about Joker. Seeing Ivy in the center with four panels around her, and drawing the flower banner around Ivy…all of it was gorgeous to look at.
Both the writing and drawing by Sejic is well worth the $7.99 price tag on this series. Getting a larger book, with more pages and more content is already a plus, but when you have someone that can draw and write as good as Sejic too…This series is worth more than $7.99.
DC’s line of mature audience oriented content has not disappointed yet, and seeing this series at only three issues is the only downside. While it is being given enough time to add onto the lore, I want more Black Label content from Sejic going forward. He has done a great job with Harley, and seeing him take on some more characters either in the Batman rogues gallery or another part of the DC Universe, would be a good time.
While I’ve never been a fan of modern retellings of Harley Quinn and how most authors choose to write her, Sejic has done an amazing job at keeping her true to her origin. Sejic also succeeds at adding more content to it without it feeling out of place; instead, he gives us everything we want in the story and development, and includes details that we didn’t get in the animated series. Giving more information and backstory into the character, helps me to appreciate her more and the tragedy that is her creation.