Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Harley Quinn #10 Review and **SPOILERS**

Deck the Halls With Boughs of Harley

Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner 
Artists: Moritat, Joseph Michael Linsner, Bret Blevins, Inaki Miranda 
Colors: Hi-Fi 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: December 21, 2016


Hey! What’s the big idea of having Harley Quinn host the whole Rebirth Holiday Special and barely be in it herself? I mean, she was there, but there could have been a whole lot more! This is Harley Quinn, after all. Come on, DC, you know on what side your bread is buttered. It’s on the side of a sexy, psychopathic clown. I don’t make the rules here. Luckily, the fine folks at Team Harley saw fit to rectify DC Comics’ mistake with a holiday special—right in the regular series! And here’s my review of it!

Explain It!

I’m going to give to you straight: this is not really an “in continuity” issue. I mean, this is a Palmiotti and Conner book, so everything is ultimately in continuity. And we’ll surely hear some part of this issue referenced in issue #258, and then people will go scrambling to their holo-viewers or whatever to download this issue, Harley Quinn vol. 2, no. 10, to glean more about the reference. But in the here and now, after two issues that were essentially placeholders until this big showdown with the Joker that’s been teased for several issues, this issue doesn't mean much. So I’m not going to really bother with breaking down this issue page by page. Instead, I’m going to use this space to write about Christmas.
Specifically, the War on Christmas. I was raised a Unitarian Universalist, by an Episcopalian mother and a Jewish father, and we celebrated Christmas in the same facile, secular way that many Americans do. It’s just a little pick-me-up in the middle of a month that, for about half of the country, is really dark and cold. There are people out there that celebrate pure Christian Christmases, I assume—though I’m not even sure what that entails, really. Is there a birthday cake? But even devout Christians slap up the pagan pine tree and peddle Santa Claus and foment all manner of traditions that have exactly fuck all to do with our Lord and Savior being born in a horse barn on some moist hay.
So I really don’t understand this supposed “War on Christmas,” and if there was any kind of conflict, I’d say it was resolved some time ago and the consumers’ side won. I don’t see what the big deal is with “Happy Holidays,” or using “X-Mas” as shorthand for Christmas—really, the X drives the crucifix aspect home even more as far as I’m concerned. And if someone wants to wish me a Happy Hanukkah or a Joyful Kwanzaa or a Somber Solstice (I’m not sure what Wiccans say here), then you can go right ahead. This world is a piece of bilious excrement left on the gas station bathroom floor of the universe, I’ll take all the pleasant greetings I can get, no matter what form they take.
So this issue is a mixed bag of styles and some fairly lame stories about Harley saving Santa Claus by shrinking into his brain and ferretting out all the ethereal Jokers. Pretty lame, even by Harley Quinn standards. The artwork by Moritat and the rest of the crew is terrific, as expected, but I really felt like this issue went nowhere slowly. I’m also starting to feel like “a trip through Harley’s subconscious OR a hallucination” has been cropping up in every issue and feels a little formulaic. I think this series is about to kick into a multi-part story, and I have faith that some good issues are around the corner, but this one you can pass up entirely—even if you are a slavish Harley Quinn fan. (Though we know you won’t!)

Bits and Pieces:

Harley Quinn would like to wish you all a Happy Holidays! And she does that by going through several dreams-turned-nightmares and showing off her butt a lot. Eh. Could be worse, I suppose.


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