Review- Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #2

Previosuly- Criminal Sanity #1|Coming soon- Criminal Sanity #3

Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity was written by Kami Garcia, with art by Mico Suayan and Mike Mayhew, and letters by Richard Starkings of Comicraft. 

What do you need to know?

Harley Quinn, criminal profiler, is working with the Gotham City PD to hunt down a serial killer, after her own wife was murdered by a serial killer known as the Joker. While that trail has gone cold, she’s helping out with a particularly creative, but gruesome killer, who is modelling the corpses of his victims on famous works of art. 

What do you need to have read?

We’re only on #2 so you can definitely catch up with #1

Cover for issue #2 shows Harless, with her back to the reader, looking at the inside of a warehouse. The art blends so that the edge of the image makes up Joker's face.

Something I neglected to mention in my previous review was just how graphic and gruesome these killings are. It’s effective in terms of the art, and setting the tone, but I am squeamish, and not a fan. My eagerness to turn the page so I don’t have to look at the corpses it probably the best compliment I can give the artist though, right? 

The Joker walks through a bar. He's young, attractive and seems to be wearing a lot of leather. The image is in black and white apart from his green hair and a slash of red across his mouth.

In my previous review I mentioned a theory, and it’s definitely holding water. In fact, looking at it now I think it’s the connection we were all supposed to make anyway regarding the character of John and his connection to the Joker. However, I now believe that there are two killers at play. The “Artist Killer”, as I am dubbing him, is not the Joker. Judging by the previous issue’s depiction of Edie it seems that their MO’s are very different. 

In this issue we get our first proper look at Criminal Sanity’s Joker, and… well, I’m just going to say it. I’m not usually into serial killer, but he is kind of hot. Don’t judge me, we’re all thinking the same thing. He’d also very young which I like because it makes him seem the same age as Harley, an interesting way to parallel the characters, a concept which I will return to in a moment. 

First, let’s talk about the clown make-up. Not only do we have a back story to why he does this to his face, but it’s also a really fascinating use of colour. In my last review I mentioned that the past was in full colour while the present was in black and white. By using colour for the Joker’s make up it not only startles the reader with its vibrancy but also blends the past with the present. This could be implying a Freudian-like connection on behalf of the Joker between his past and present or relate back to the concept of sanity as discussed in the previous issue. Only time will tell! 

Images shows gruesomely displayed corpse.

I said that I would return to the parallels between Joker and Harley, so here we are. Already it seems pretty evident that the book is drawing parallels between the two of them, which I suspect will continue as the series progresses. Here it’s done through an exploration of their childhood, something which could trigger a discussion regarding nature vs nurture later on. This is also a brilliant way of setting up the relationship between the two of them, whatever that relationship may be. 

Criminal Sanity #2 is available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet, or your local comic book store. 

Coming Soon… Criminal Sanity #3

In the meantime, why not check out… Criminal Sanity #1, Mad Love by Pat Cardigan, or Mad Love by Paul Dini and Bruce Tim.

Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Please note that all Forbidden Planet links are affiliate links.

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