THIS WEEK: Harley takes a holiday in the Harley Quinn 2024 Annual.

Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

Harley Quinn 2024 Annual

Writer, Artist, & Colorist: Erica Henderson
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Artist: Erica Henderson

DC has a trio of 2024 annuals in stores this week. The Flash annual continues the ongoing story of the speedster’s trouble with the Speed Force, while the Nightwing annual expands on the backstory of a recently-returned supporting character. The third 2024 annual, for the Harley Quinn series, sees Erica Henderson make her solo writing debut for a one-and-done team-up with Zatanna. 

As the Eisner-winning former artist of Marvel’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Henderson is no stranger to superhero comedy, and those skills are on full display here. Her sensibilities fit Harley exceptionally well, and placing Harl in the middle of an apparent murder mystery is a brilliant move. Henderson’s artistic comic timing is as sharp as ever, with well-paced pages that give jokes room to breath, and characters’ expressions and overall physicality selling every reaction shot and visual gag beautifully. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering pairs nicely with Henderson’s artwork, and goes a long way towards helping to land many of the dialogue-based jokes as well.

The main comedy of the issues comes from the characters, though, and putting Harley and Zatanna together is always a good time. Zee is the perfect foil for Harley, a straightwoman with her own sense of humor, and Henderson captures her personality and their dynamic nicely. Henderson also throws in the comically large ego of Vandal Savage for good measure, placing him at the center of the mystery and playing him off of Harley and Zatanna exquisitely.

The Harley Quinn 2024 Annual is a masterclass in humor comics from one of the best in the business at the genre. It’s also a solid single-issue story, and a great use of the annual format for a creator-driven, non-Black Label story. Here’s hoping there’s more Harley work from Erica Henderson in the future, as they’re truly a perfect match.

Final Verdict: BUY.


  • The Flash 2024 Annual is a nice continuation of writer Si Spurrier‘s ongoing storyline, a catch-up with what Wally West has been up to since disappearing a few months ago. Things are starting to become clearer about what exactly is happening, and the way Spurrier has teased out the information has been a pleasure to read. Having multiple artists on this oversized annual occasionally creates some visual dissonance, but nothing that can’t be overcome.
  • The Nightwing 2024 Annual reveals the secret origin of Bea Bennett, aka Captain Blüd, aka lots of other things as of this issue. Travis Moore writes and illustrates the story, which spans decades and includes the sorts of twists and turns you’d expect from a spy thriller. For readers who skipped the Ric Grayson years it’s a nice recap, and for those who were there it adds a new layer of complexity to the run.
  • The Superman: House of Brainiac Special serves a number of purposes, as writer Joshua Williamson provides backstory for the bottled Czarnians currently running amok in the DCU, and also sets up a bridge between this event and the forthcoming Absolute Power storyline. Mark Russell and Steve Pugh‘s Perry White & Bibbo story stands out, though, a sharp real-world commentary through the lens of a look at the current political climate in Metropolis.

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