GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #3 is written by Colin Kelly & Jackson Lansing, with interiors by Aneke and Kelly Fitzpatrick, and focuses largely on how this version of Harley Quinn came to be. The origin of Harleen Quinzel is probably one of the most interesting in the Batman mythos, and with her current status as a major player in the DC Universe, the writers of GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #3 don’t miss their opportunity to retell this story in this new world. With GOTHAM CITY GARAGE being a topsy-turvy version of the DC Universe, it’s only right that this new Harley origin invert the motivations of the character. Instead of falling madly in love with The Joker as was the case in her original origin, this Harley did the opposite, saving a Joker-like patient whose mind was being poisoned by the totalitarian regime.

This portrayal puts Harley at odds with the book’s version of Barbara Gordon, who the issue reveals is experiencing false memories. This is in contrast with the Barbara Gordon readers know: keen and resourceful, with the ability to recall every experience down to the last detail. In a surprising twist, Kelly & Lansing use this idea of a noble Harley and an unstable Babs while still maintaining who the two have always been outside this new Universe. Babs tries to seek the rational in the irrational, while Harley is still as zany as ever, if not slightly less homicidal.

Conceptually and form a design standpoint Aneke and Kelly Fitzpatrick’s visuals are wonderful, though there could be more of a distinction between the wasteland and dystopian city vibes that are the book’s two main settings. The colorful, embellished looks of Batgirl and Harley Quinn seem out-of-place in their environment. The same can be said for their counterparts in the main DCU, but that’s a world of superheroes, not motorcycle-riding enforcers. With the exception of The Joker, the style is almost reminiscent of the Golden Age, though that’s to say that seeing  it might bring to mind wartime superheroes before the intended theme.

If you haven’t been following GOTHAM CITY GARAGE, you’re missing a book with some real heart. Fans of Batman, or alternate tales that put story before concept, . GOTHAM CITY GARAGE #3. Overall, the issue is solid, and like with DC’s BOMBSHELLS, takes the opportunity to form a world with real depth, not just a cash grab based on a series of collectibles.

(W) Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly (A) Aneke, Kelly Fitzpatrick, (CA) Rafael Grampa

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