Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Harley Quinn #32 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Harley Scorned

Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner 
Layouts: Bret Blevins 
Finishes: John Timms 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts 
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: November 22, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Okay, here’s the end of the “Vote for Harley” story arc! Last we left it, she had pulled herself from the race, so I don’t know if people could vote for her if they wanted to. Maybe the write-in voters will have logged their ballots before Harley stepped down, and possibly other locations with paper ballots will have trouble making this change on the fly. But she can still win the write-in vote, can’t she? I’m going to look that up in my electorate encyclopedia, you can read my review of Harley Quinn #32 in the meantime!


Explain It!

Having observed plenty of fights in my lifetime, I can say without hesistation that women generally fight more viciously than men. It makes sense, particularly in fights I have seen between genders, because women don’t generally develop the upper body strength required to land a solid knockout punch. Many men haven’t, either, but they can throw them more convincingly—and to be honest, most “fights” I have seen between men are more about posturing and inviting the other to begin swinging, and rarely result in anyone being seriously hurt (at least physically.) Fights between women might require three or more people to pull apart, and if all attempts to stop it fail then they result in certain death. Men will often make rules before squaring off, and engage in the best approximation of boxing that they’ve gleaned from obsessively watching Rocky movies. Women fly into each other without any preamble, and the immediate result is blood, hair, and shredded clothing.
So take that tendency and ratchet it up to eleven when it comes to Harley Quinn, someone that has always been bent on revenge where her honor has been impugned. Since breaking up with Mistah J, she’s been slower to rile, but having watched her boyfriend Mason get shot in the head by Mayor DePerto, well she’s pretty ticked off. So she’s going to exact horrible, grody revenge—on DePerto, on his assistant Madison Berkowitz, and on any of their lackeys that get in her way. She’s able to escape her immediate captors by convincing one to shoot her in a specific place that makes the bullet bounce off her brain bomb. This is an interesting development, to me at least, that connects this Harley Quinn to the one seen regularly in Suicide Squad—and furthermore, it’s implied that the events of this series happen after her inclusion in Task Force X. So if Suicide Squad is happening in contemporary continuity, are the events of Harley Quinn happening in the future? Where is the Continuity Kid when you need him?
Most of this issue is given over to Harley Quinn getting her gory revenge, but also includes the redemption of Harley Sinn, the informing of his death to Mason’s mom, and the beheading of Madison Berkowitz. Ultimately, Madame Macabre is given the final authority on vengeance against Mayor DePerto, which is…justice? In Harley Quinn’s screwed-up world it is!
So we ditched that “Vote 4 Harley” business pretty well, huh? I guess that third guy, whatsizname is going to be mayor by default, which is where we thought this would end up, so that’s all well and good. Still, it seemed almost pasted-on as a device to force a confrontation between DePerto and Harley. I also never got a bead on Mason and Harley’s undying love, since he only came back on the scene recently and their perpetual humping highlighted in the last four or five issues. But I did get the idea, and I can’t expect a tortured relationship for the ages in my Harley Quinn comic book. That kind of stuff you find in the Amazing Spider-Man or The Hellblazer.

Bits and Pieces:

A contrived but exceedingly violent final act is good enough for this lovable psychotic jester comic book. Despite the story line running a bit off the rails, readers should be satisfied with the conclusion. And it looks spectacular, as is nearly always true for this book.

8/10
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