Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Batgirl #18 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Help Me Harley

Writer: Hope Larson 
Art: Sami Basri 
Colors: Jessica Kholinne 
Letters: Deron Bennett 
Main Cover: Dan Mora 
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: December 27, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Whoa-oh who’s that girl that’s always late to the party? 
It’s Batgirl! 
Who’s that girl that’s not really a smarty? 
It’s Batgirl! 
But what she lacks in pure common sense 
She makes up for in angst and some sweet vio-lence 
And plus she’s good at acrobatics 
It’s Batgirl!


Explain It!

It’s not as if Harley Quinn shares no storytelling DNA with Batgirl. They are both from Gotham City, and they’ve tangled with each other in the past, often while Batman did battle with the Joker proper. So it’s not completely untoward that Harley Quinn would show up in the Batgirl comic book. What is weird is that this purports to be the Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad comic book—on leave because that’s how Belle Reve prison works, apparently—and she’s committing a crime for Barbara to solve. Amanda Waller would never allow Harley Quinn to commit a crime. It’s not like she wouldn’t be watching Quinn. She might just turn the brain bomb up to 80% or some bullshit like they pull over in Suicide Squad, but she’d definitely put a stop to it. In truth, the Harley from Palmiotti & Conner’s Harley Quinn would be a better fit here, all threatening to murder a room full of people over the sins of one idiot…but I am getting ahead of myself here.
Babs and Frankie head on over to the Gordon Clean Energy Christmas Party…which they are calling a “White Elephant” party because “Christmas” is trés uncool…which was set up by friend and employee Alysia. It just goes to prove that you should never hire your friends, because the space was double-booked with a start-up called Smellicule, some kind of perfume company for rich hipsters. It was begun by gorgeous yuppie Bradley Burr, who has a bevy of beauties crowded around, despite the fact that he gives money to anti-LGBTQ groups. He should have to wear a t-shirt signifying this fact! Harley Quinn shows up to the party and doses the place with a killer virus—one that can be reversed within twenty-four hours. But before Harley will give up the antidote, Bradley needs to figure out why Harley wants him dead in the first place…or figure out the true meaning of Christmas, I’m not sure which. Maybe both.
Harley Quinn exits the scene pretty handily, so it’s up to Batgirl to find out what Harley wants to know—and a good place to start is Burr’s birthplace, conveniently nearby to this convention center. Alysia and Frankie, having been promised some girl time, want to tag along too. This totally compromises Batgirl’s secret identity, as well as puts two untrained civilians in absolute danger, but…what the hey? It’s Christmas. After going on a wild goose chase that puts even more innocent people in danger, they all wind up right where they began, where Harley Quinn basically gives up the antidote and scrams. All’s well that ends well—especially when all the employees at Smellicule inform Brad Burr that they quit! Cue sad trumpet.
This was a really dumb issue that made no sense and which included Harley Quinn in a weird Riddler-esque role that didn’t fit the character at all. But the artwork is fantastic. It’s really fun and playful, and made reading another issue of Batgirl bumbling around like a complete dope bearable to read. Otherwise, this is total nonsense. I understand that it’s a little facetious to cry about Barbara Gordon’s post-Rebirth brain damage 18 issues into the series, but it’s just ridiculous the way she imperils innocent people and solves crimes by happenstance.


Bits and Pieces:

Batgirl finds herself in another fine mess and Oliver Hardy isn't even the cause of it. Some old names, including a certain clean energy business that hasn't been mentioned in months, make cameos. And hey, Harley Quinn makes a cameo too! Still not enough to make this tale of bumbling a worthwhile read.

4.5/10
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