DCAU #105: Twelve Days of Madness

IN THIS ONE... Harley Quinn poses as a psychiatrist, sending politicians to Arkham for the Joker's amusement.

Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett.

REVIEW: Coming out the same month as the Holiday Special, this issue tells yet another story taking place in December, annnnnd it's hard to imagine it happened that same year because of the use of the Joker and Harley, also in the special. A minor point. This is nevertheless not my favorite use of Harley, who spends most of her time disguised as "Dr. Heimlich", who looks like Albert Einstein. Only when she lets the assumed identity slip, kissing Mr. J in full drag and leaving her fake mustache on his face, does the ploy become fun. Otherwise, she actually could be this Dr. Heimlich, a character that delivers a lot of exposition and causes others to do the same.

The Joker's scheme is properly mad, using "Heimlich" to make city councilmen psychotic - one irony is a gun control proponent shooting up a place, meh - so he can add them to his inmate Christmas show. Good and crazy, and they act as violent henchmen when needed, but I wish more had been done with Holiday flavor. A distorted version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" sung during a fight just isn't enough. Perhaps it's the lack of decorations.

The story is saved by its climax in which the Joker throws a test tube full of his psychosis formula and realizes he doesn't want to see Batman turn psycho so commands Harley to catch it. Cut to Harley foaming at the mouth in her cell dreaming of a perfect Christmas with her Mr. J. Nice. You know she's gone crazier because in that dream they have a dog, not a hyena.
REREADABILITY: Medium - In a series where silent sequences are the very best, an exposition-heavy story is going to be a little tedious. But mostly, it cuts itself off from its most charming elements by hiding them.



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