Harley Quinn #9

by Tori B. on August 14, 2014

Harley’s biggest fan is about to give her a date she won’t forget, she just doesn’t know it yet. But at least they’ve got one thing in common their loving obsession with someone who’s probably a little too crazy.
Writer: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: John Timms & Paul Mounts
Cover: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
Publisher: DC
I never thought I’d compare Harley Quinn to Deadpool (aside from their propinquity for a black and red colour scheme) but Conner and Palmiotti seem very interested in doing a lot more to make Harley a character that takes crazy into slapstick funny. Which Harley can be, I get that, but she’s more than that too, so I keep crossing my fingers for more each time I pick up the latest Harley Quinn issue.
This issue is funny, I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. It’s entertaining at the very least, and absolutely gorgeous to look at. There’s obviously some underlying plot that plays a bigger role in Harley’s big adventure out east but it’s kept to the first two pages that after all the shenanigans of the rest of the issue, the beginning has totally been forgotten. The very first splash page we see of Harley is her getting dolled up for a show, a show that will involve her and another girl waxing not-quite-Shakespearian while scantily dressed and of course they’ll have to make out right away. It doesn’t help that the show’s audience is filled with lame hipsters. It’s like this was written to please lonely nerd boys—get a sexy Harley Quinn to make out with an equally sexy girl and don’t forget to remind everyone that hipsters are lame while you’re at it. Story wise, it’s pretty juvenile but visually it’s kind of dreamy, Harley’s outfits are actually kind of beautiful and cool, and of course Harley has to muck up a little at the expense of an ‘ex-boyfriend’ crack, but the slapstick comedy that ensues is kind of funny in a vaudevillian way—you know the accidentally punch the wrong person and start a brawl kind of violent humour. I can appreciate that.
The riot that happens segues into the actual core of the story, where a lonely nerd (surprise!) kidnaps Harley for himself. Harley cracks a joke about knowing a blind lawyer in Hell’s Kitchen, which caught me off guard and did get a good laugh from me. Again, it’s the visuals that really keep me going with this issue, Harley’s kidnapper has a shrine/enclosure that I’m a little jealous of with all its Harley paraphernalia, it’s pretty cool looking as far as shrines go, nice colours, nice collection, good assortment, well organized. The work that Timms put out in the issue is stunning.
Surprisingly for how cheesy the entire issue has been, Harley gets out of it in a surprising manner, and is definitely a highlight moment for her character so far and a great reflection of who Harley truly is, all the way back to her origins. So it almost makes up for the asinine way she was handled at the beginning of the issue.
Both Conner and Palmiotti make it clear they understand Harley, yet there’s also a constant serving of utterly ridiculous fanservice for an incredibly specific audience that it’s hard to forgive all the wonky parts for the pertinent parts. There’s good talent being used (especially in the art aspects) and there’s certainly a bigger picture being laid out, we just need to see more of that, to get a better series. 

Our Score:


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