Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Harley Quinn #35 Review and **SPOILERS**

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On Leathery Quinn

Writer: Frank Tieri 
Art: Inaki Miranda 
Colors: Jeremiah Skipper 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner and Hi-Fi 
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: January 17, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

New Harley Quinn creative team, who dis? The last time I remember Frank Tieri on this title was during that Gang of Harleys mini-series he wrote with Palmiotti…and it had some storytelling problems. I remember it sorta wrapping up okay, though. A mini-series I only dimly recall notwithstanding, I know Tieri is no slouch in the comic book game, and Inaki Miranda has been steadily blowing my mind and on covers and the interiors to Ragman most recently. So let’s take a look at this book now that the series has a fresh coat of paint in my review for Harley Quinn #35, just below!


Explain It!

I’m not going to lie: reviewing comics is pretty sweet. You get to read them a little bit early and you’re forced to think about them in terms broader than “meh” or “nah.” The downside is that I end up being more involved in the publicity and solicitations for comics than I probably would as a casual reader. Indeed, I read comic books for thirty years before it occurred to me that there might be like-minded people on the Internet with whom I could discuss these paneled wonders. And there was my downfall. But specific to this issue of Harley Quinn, I simply read too much about what this new creative run would include, and came to it with too many expectations.
For instance, I heard she would be moving to Florida. And she may yet do so, but not in this issue. I also got the impression that this was going to become a Harley & Ivy book, for all intents and purposes. Again, from this issue, that’s not the case. What is evident is a pretty fast-paced, funny story about Harley Quinn trying to solve the mystery of a flying monster plaguing Coney Island, and in doing so we meet all of our faves: Big Tony, the Gang of Harleys, Red Tood, Eggy—they’re all still hanging around, which was nice to see. Indeed, this issue read more like the Harley Quinn I remember from 2013 than the most recently-offered fare.
A tip about this monster being Man-Bat leads Harley and her friends to posse up, Scooby-Doo style—literally, they all pile into a van and everything—and visit Arkham Asylum to see if Kirk Langstrom is still incarcerated. He is, but later that very evening Man-Bat attacks again! Well if it ain’t Kirk, it must be Francine, and when Harley goes to visit her abode, she gets stuck with the serum—and now we’re tasked to come up with a name that’s a pun on Harley’s name and Man-Bat! Quinn-Bat? Man-Harley? It’s a toughie!
Surprisingly, the downside to this issue was the artwork, which looked really rough and distorted, like Inaki Miranda might still be getting a handle on this world. For a series known for it’s high-quality art, the change was pretty jarring, but Frank Tieri served up a cool, easy-to-follow funny (enough) Harley Quinn story that made me feel really nostalgic for simpler times—you know, three and four years ago. Folding Harley Quinn into actual DCU presents its own problems, but I’ll let Eric Shea the Continuity Kid worry about that. Me, I’m just interested in the well-timed fart jokes.

Bits and Pieces:

Unusual for this series, the worst part of this issue is the artwork. It seems unfinished and out of proportion at times. The story is some good fun, with genuinely funny moments that might make you smirk. Laughing out loud would be too much for current times. Folks these days can barely muster an "lol."

7/10
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