no_name_'s Gotham City Sirens #20 - Hell Hath No Fury, Part One review

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Harley Goes Haywire!

Issue 20 of Gotham City Sirens is written by Peter Calloway, and the focus of the story is on Harley Quinn, and her sort of crazy self discovery.  SPOILERS BELOW. 

The Good  

Sometimes you get a cover that completely encompasses everything that happens in the issue. This is, in my opinion, an example of such cases. The cover to this issue of Gotham City Sirens showcases Harley Quinn suspended over the Joker's open mouth as if he is about to devour her. In his hand, he cups both Catwoman and Poison Ivy who are struggling to pull her down and away from him. Even though Selina and Ivy don't appear in the issue, the physical act of pulling them away from the Joker on this cover speaks to Harley's internal (and external struggle).  
The focus of this issue is Harley Quinn, so if you are a fan of Ms. Quinn then you definitely will want to pick up this issue. Ever since the start of Gotham City Sirens it seems that Harley has been a character that has acted as a cheerleader for both Poison Ivy and Catwoman, but that she herself has been left somewhat torn and confused about her own identity. This issue deals with that. Over the course of her character evolution, Harley has gone from being a character that is completely enamored by the Joker, to a girl that struggles desperately to run away from him and create her own impact. She strives to prove that her existence should be validated, and that she does not need him to prove her self worth- it is a culmination of all of these things that is the focus of this issue.  

The Bad  

We are first introduced to Mr. Adam Hendricks at the very start of the issue, and the reader is given a glimpse into his childhood as narrated by Harley herself, based on the information she acquired from her residency at Arkham Asylum. In fact, she does this with several characters. She introduces the characters to the reader, then she breaks down the things that make them tick, and the she  
kills them. The problem with this is that the reader becomes emotionally attached to the character, only to witness their demise. Why delve into a character's psyche only to have their only purpose be a casualty to advance Harley's character? I realize that it is a way the writer showcases Harley's intellect (in this case, trying to prove to the reader that she was a very good psychiatrist), but it feels like a cheap shot. Additionally, there was a page long dialogue between the head of Arkham security and the director of Arkham Asylum that felt both forced and out of place.  

The Verdict  

There were some really great concepts here. It was great to see a story about Harley Quinn that delved into the psychological aspects of her character. She does a lot of trying to prove herself (to herself) and to validate her self worth in the eyes of the man she used to love; but all at the expense of killing off a lot of characters after making the reader care about them first. 

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