Comic Corner- Batman: White Knight Presents Harley Quinn #6

Previously: Harley Quinn #5| Coming Soon: Criminal Sanity #8

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #6 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 must read before this series.

What do you need to know?
The Producer is collecting villains for his very own show. Ethel—or Starlet, as she calls herself—is out for blood and obsessed with Hector.

Cover of issue 8 shows a collage of Harley, Joker, Batman, Montoya, Duke, the kids, Bud, Lou, and an old fashioned film camera.

In the previous issue, we learned something pretty big about the mystery of Jason Todd. On a personal level, Jason is my favourite DC character. In terms of the White Knight universe, his fate has been left a mystery until this series. The first issue showed a flashback from Harley’s perspective, of Joker beating a tied-up Jason. This is standard cannon Jason fare. In the previous issue, we found out that Jason was now the prison warden. How? Who knows? And this is not elaborated on in this issue.

Jason, beaten and bloodied tied to a chair, while Harley berated Joker in the background.
And don’t call me puddin’– I mean, pumpkin.

The issue starts by picking up that flashback. This is a smart way to bring things full circle since, as I’ve already said, it brings the final issue together with the first issue. I will admit that I was excited to see this. What happened to Jason Todd?! Not much, if I am being honest. Harley has it out with Joker, which was great. She shows her strength of character as she argues with him and implies that she is not so hopelessly in love that she is blind to how horrible he is. For Harley and Joker, this was a fantastic scene and contrasts beautifully with the previous flashbacks between Harley and Jack. This series has done a fantastic job of showing the trajectory of their relationship.

Then, Harley goes for Batman’s help—as seen in Mad Love—and leaves Lou to defend Jason against Joker. That’s it. So, I guess Bruce arrives saves Jason hides him and then Jason grows up to become the Jail captain? That is very disappointing. It has been built up as a mystery when there was none because Bruce knew exactly what happened. And so did Harley, so why were they putting pressure on Joker to remember what he’d done with the body. I am very confused. And disappointed. And, yes, I will be bitter about this. The next series in this universe better be a Jason Todd/ Red Hood series which rectifies all of this.

While Jason’s time to shine was not realised, this did give us a nice segue from past Lou to present Lou. Lou died. I know I said he wouldn’t be dead, but I was wrong. What kind of writer kills off the pet character? A monster, that’s who. I liked how Lou was a defender till the very end, but I feel like Lou had a better arc than Jason at this point.
Despite her grief, she packs her children and Bud off to Leslie’s so that she can finish what she started. The GTO kick her off the case, but with some help from Batman and Duke, she puts herself back on it anyway. Batman gives her a new suit which is kind of cool, but I can’t help but think of Catwoman. She puts on Lou’s collar, perhaps as a reminder of what she’s lost and why she’s doing this.

Cue the big finale fight. The Producer is still pulling the strings, but we never learn more about him. This makes me wonder could be Jason Todd. I know what you’re thinking: Victoria, you’re just obsessed with Jason. Yes, I am. But he deserves a storyline. Do I want to see him dressed as a ringmaster? 100% not. But could he be recruiting criminals to bring them down…. You know what, the more that I think about this the more holes appear in this theory. Now it’s looking like a slice of Edam, so let’s just move past it quickly. (whispers Justice for Jason 2021)

Three panels showing Harley fighting with Ethel.
Any chance to shoehorn the Joker in

Ethel tries to kill Sofia but ends up killing Hector. I didn’t see it coming, but after the reveal of his mother, there wasn’t much more done to further his character. Que sera sera. It was nice to see a tiny reconciliation with his mother before this, but we never get to see her reaction to his death, so it feels incomplete. I think seeing that could have been valuable to the emotional heart of the story. Harley takes down Ethel in a fun fight sequence, and the latter is arrested by the GTO.

The series ends with Bruce, who I presume has returned to prison, gifting Harley a house and a new Hyena puppy. I can’t dislike a puppy. I’m not a monster. The final shot shows her sitting in front of what looks to be the Batcomputer, and I guess she will take up the role of Batman now. BatHarley?

I didn’t hate the ending but, so much is left unresolved. Harley has been struggling with motherhood for the last five issues, so it would have been nice for her to have had more than just a cute image with her kids. Maybe a bit of dialogue, whether with them or with Leslie. Even something along the lines of “I’ve got this” or “I can do this”. It just needed a little something to finish it off.

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #6 is available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet, or your local comic book store. Or you can purchase the bind up from Forbidden Planet.

Coming Soon… Criminal Sanity #8

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

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