Note: This article contains spoilers for Harley Quinn #12.
Two weeks ago, we discussed how a gentle, "reformed" Joker made his way into Harley's life. He tried to reconcile with her, but she adamantly refused and the latest issue of the Gotham City siren's solo series gave us an answer to their future relationship status.
Harley Quinn #12, began with an excellent recap of where we left off in the previous comic.
A "Toolish" Interruption
Since the end of the New 52, Red Tool has had an obsessive crush on Harley and he doesn't want anything to get in the way. Knowing her extensive, tumultuous history with the #Joker, Red Tool decides to deal with him on his own. But, the new Clown Prince of Crime provokes him even further.
Well, isn't it ironic for Joker to accuse someone of abusing women?
This infuriates Red Tool and he decides to start a long-awaited brawl. However, this time around the Joker refuses to fight back.
The fight leads to a trip inside the Joker's mind, which we rarely get a glimpse of.
An Intense Dream Sequence
This impressive three-page spread was an overview of #HarleyQuinn and Joker's relationship. We briefly went back to the past with the events of Mad Love — a story that displayed her toxic devotion to him, despite suffering abuse. Included in this sequence are his visions of their life as a regular, married couple with children. But most of all, we saw the true Joker. He knows and accepts that he is violent and selfish, especially to a person that he apparently loves.
This perpetuates the endlessly debatable question: Does the Joker really love Harley? It's no secret that he is unfamiliar with affection and is clueless on the ways of expressing it. He may love her, but abuse is not a way to show love. His existence as a fictional, notorious super-villain will never justify such treatment.
Harley Can Fight Her Own Battles
Harley realizes that she's late for her meeting with Joker. She arrives at the boardwalk to find an angry Red Tool thrashing him, but Harley is strong and can handle the situation entirely on her own.
Red Tool is the obsessive one, and this time it's Harley who is in control.
Another Chance At Revenge
Is Harley through with the Joker now? Not even close. Even though she had words (and punches) with him at Arkham in her last series, she sees another opportunity at hand:
But as Harley stated before, killing the Joker would be too easy and would give him exactly what he wants. So instead of annihilating him right then and there, she decides to let the civilians of Brooklyn take her place.
Even after being injured, she realized that Joker was still alive and breathing. (Gosh, can he just die for once already?) The issue ended with Harley giving us a menacing look, saying that it's time to "end this charade for good."
Even though I despise the #Joker and prefer him not to be in in her world, I enjoyed this issue overall. It's clear that Harley hasn't lost her villainous methods. But honestly, I would rather her seek revenge in an alternate way. She already beat him up at Arkham, which was well-deserved. But at this rate, I want Harley to come out as a heroine; the bigger person I see within her. As Big Tony suggested, she should have just called Arkham to take him away, but we all know that's way too simple.
The reason behind the "reformed" Joker (who will undoubtedly show his true colors soon) will be revealed in the next issue. This series continues to prove that Harley is a warrior, and will not return to the demons of her former flame.
Harley Quinn #12 is available now. Issue #13, the last of the "Joker Loves Harley" arc will be released on February 1.
What did you think of today's issue? Was this the right way for Harley to handle this situation?