Comic Corner- Batman: White Knight Presents Harley Quinn #3

Previously: Harley Quinn #2 | Coming Soon: Harley Quinn #4

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #3 was written by Katana Collins with pencils and inks by Matteo Scalera and colours by Dave Stewart.

What do you need to have read?
This series is part of DC’s Black Label series which means that it takes place apart from continuity. However, it is a continuation of Sean Murphy’s White Knight universe, which started with Batman: White Knight, followed by Batman: Curse of the White Knight. As a result, those titles are must-reads before this series.

What do you need to know?
Harley has joined the GTO in the hunt for The Producer, a new serial killer who pays homage to both the golden age of cinema and the recently deceased Joker.

Cover of issue #3 shows Harley in her classic suit, minus the mask, with an over the shoulder bag, GTB badge, and mallet. Her hyenas stand at her feet, with the kids on top. In the background is Gotham City.

We begin where we left off with Simon Trent, who is not dead, at least not quite. However, he is being interviewed/ tortured by our fabulously dressed villain whom we later find out is named Ethel, and not the ringleader of this operation. She forces Trent to admit to an affair he had with another actress, Sofia Valentine. This information ends up shaping this whole issue.

This issue gives us our first look at the man who is presumably the ringleader of the whole operation. Although we see the man, we don’t learn very much about him, other than the fact that he is rich and is bankrolling the murders. I do appreciate the fact that he looks a lot like a circus ringmaster. This could imply a connection to the Joker, but it also suggests the fact that he is the ringleader of the murders because he is the one in control.

Harley is called to the Trent crime scene but ends up taking her kids along with her, much to the disapproval of some of the other GTO members. So far, the children haven’t had much development, so it is hard to enjoy them as characters. What they do offer is some limited commentary on the difficulty of being a single mother. This in turn develops Harley more as a character, so I can’t complain.

Comic panel showing Harley driving, Duke in the passenger seat, and her children (both human and hyenas) in the back sleeping. 
Dialogue reads as follows. 
Duke: Quimby could compromise this whole case.
Harley: It's not always that easy. Sometimes you just want to help when no one will give you a chance...
Harley: Not that I know anything about that…

As is on-trend for this series we see another flashback of Harley and Jack’s relationship where they seem to be living together. We also see the beginning of Harley’s relationship with Batman, who even suggests Harley look into a job at Arkham. Not only does this seem to be building up to the Mad Love storyline, but it also might suggest a degree of responsibility on Batman’s part. In White Knight, one of the big themes was how Batman made the Joker, but it seems he also had a hand in making Harley Quinn. I can’t claim that this doesn’t intrigue me. The Bruce/Harley relationship in the previous comics, both White Knight and Curse, has been present but lacked depth. This series seems intent on building that relationship into something we care about, and if they succeed then this could be something really exciting. As a fan I love seeing these flashbacks, but what makes them special is the fact that they are there to build character and build onto the story, not just because Joker sells books and this is the only way to see him.

As I predicted in the previous issue Hector is hiding something. We learn that he is Sofia Valentine’s son, but that they have a very strained relationship. This could prove to be an interesting foil for Harley’s relationship with her children. We have already seen her express fears that she may not be a good mother, and now she is being faced with the reality of a poor mother. However, that is not all. His mother claims that he hides darkness within him, which may be mirroring the early days of Jack and Harley’s relationship. It reminds me of that quote from the first issue:

“The sooner you learn to embrace [the darkness], the better. Anyone can glitter in the light. It takes a really special diamond to shine in the darkness.

Jack Napier, HQ #1

It is also notable that Hector expressed jealousy over Jason Todd because he wanted so badly to be Robin. One may imagine that he may not have been too cut up to learn of poor Jason’s demise. His bedroom is full of memorabilia which suggests that he has obsessive tendencies and is pretty creepy overall. The worst part is that since we’re learning about this now, he probably is not a big villain, so I was not right on that score. Still, I am glad that Hector is becoming even more interesting as a character and I hope he continues on this track.

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #3 is available from Comixology, or your local comic book store. Alternatively you can pre-order the collected edition from Forbidden Planet.

Coming Soon: Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #4

In the meantime, why not check out… White Knight #1, Curse of the White Knight #1, Criminal Sanity #1

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