Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Harley Quinn/Power Girl #4 Review and *SPOILERS*
Written By: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art By: Stephanie Roux, Elliot Sinclair, Paul Mounts, Alex Sinclair and Marilyn Patrizio
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 23, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
After Jim reviewed the last issue, Jimmy Palmiotti knocked over his comic book review stand and gave him a titty-twister which, as anyone at the schoolyard will tell you, can cause cancer. So while Jim is getting a biopsy done, the task has fallen to me to review the latest issue of Harley Quinn/Power Girl. Thing is, I only read the first issue of this miniseries so three issues later I might be pretty lost. Still, every comic is someone’s first, as they say, and if the Harley team is doing its job right, I should be able to follow along okay. Are my qualms founded? Or am I too much of an idiot to follow this bizarre “Laverne & Shirley in space” yarn no matter how much back story I get? I wonder where one might find the answers to these questions…seems like they should be somewhere around here…oh yeah—read on!
Our story, titled “Purity,” opens with an awesome splash page of Power Girl being blasted by Vartox of Valeron’s eye electricity, or whatever it is. He was freed from a volcano by Harley and Power Girl, and abruptly turned evil, evidenced by his word balloons turning black with white lettering inside. He smacks Power Girl around for a while as a volcano erupts and threatens a mountainside town that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. P. Girl fairly well holds her own against Vartox, but Harley Quinn comes in to save the day anyway riding a Caticorn, which is like a green lion with a purple mane and ram horns. Just look at the picture below if you don’t believe me.
Vartox quickly grabs Harley by the neck and threatens to kill her, but the loudly purring Caticorn calms and snaps him out of a trance which caused him to be an evil killer. Harley and Vartox have a touching conversation where she details the pitfalls of love, and then Power Girl punches his goddamned lights out.
While Harley tells Power Girl the story of how she got the Caticorn, Vartox wakes up and plants a big ol’ smooch on Ms. Boob Window, so she throws him into a wall. Vartox then tells the story of how he originally knew Power Girl, she saved his planet by repopulating it using the Pregnoray. In my day, we just called it liquor. Then a parade of Vartox’s ex-lovers shows up for no particular reason and teleports away, Star Trek style, just as quickly. And the Caticorn has also fucked off to parts unknown. And that town threatened by the erupting volcano? I have no idea what happened to it.
Anyway, Vartox says he can warp Power Girl and Harley Quinn back to Earth, but on the way to get it the NRA shows up—that’s the Nuns Rampaging Around, naturally. They don’t like Vartox because he’s just too damned sexy and it turns out they were the one’s mindfucking him to make him a rage-fueled killer. There’s some fighting, then the head nun Oreth burns off Vartox’s clothes. Vartox then compares Oreth’s penis to his own disparagingly. No, really.
I’m not expecting narrative subtlety in a Harley Quinn book, but this is just asinine. Who is this book for, anyway? Big-dicked studs and size queens? Oreth gets embarrassed and angry and then Power Girl kicks the snot out of him. The end. There’s a cliffhanger, but you can buy the book if you want to know more.
I’ll say one thing: I was able to follow the story fairly well. There were a lot of little bits that seemed to have no consequence, like Vartox’s visiting ex-girlfriends and -boyfriends, and I assume these were somehow relevant to people who read issues #2 and #3 of the series. At least, I hope so, otherwise this book had even more superfluous padding than I initially thought. The art ranges from very to really good, but the story meanders along pointlessly and is peppered with jokes that fairly well fall flat. I liked the characterizations of Harley, Power Girl, and even Vartox in all his egotistic glory, but there was too much pointless stuff like the volcano and the dick comparison that kept me from getting immersed.
Bits and Pieces:
When I expose myself in public, I get arrested, meanwhile Vartox of Valeron can whip his junk out and it causes world peace. Is that justice? This meandering story of little consequence has its cute moments, but not enough to justify the time spent reading the majority of fluff. No complaints about the art or colors, but they don’t supersede the pointlessness of the story. Wait for the trade or avoid entirely is my advice.