Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Harley Quinn #9 Review and **SPOILERS**

A Day in the Life, Part Deux

Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti 
Artist: Brandon Peterson 
Dream Artist: Michael Kaluta 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: December 7, 2016


Boy, do I see a lot of Harley Quinn these days. Last week’s Suicide Squad and in the New Talent Showcase, and this book is bi-weekly…if that issue of Harley’s Black Book had come out in November as intended, I think I might have burst. Nah, you can never have enough Harley Quinn. Check out my review of the latest issue!

Explain It!

Harley is back from her vacation, but she’s still feeling anxious. She’s having Wizard of Oz-themed dreams that suggest she’s got Joker on the brain. So suggests her therapist Frank Tieri, proprietor of boardwalk stand Frank Frank, where he dispenses advice in exchange for goods. In Harley’s case, it’s four hot dogs. Frank says that Harley is afraid of the future, she’s got a lot on her mind and needs and outlet—luckily, Harley Quinn has just such an outlet, her roller derby crew that we haven’t really seen in a while! The gals at Skate Club are glad to meet her, and Quinn’s arrival is serendipitous because her nemesis from the very early days of Harley Quinn volume one, is in the arena: Bertha! Who looks, incidentally, like you’d expect a woman named Bertha to look. They tell her that the old “skate to the death” policy is done, now it’s strictly maiming and breaking of wills to determine the winner of each match. Harley is ready for action, but Bertha’s need for vengeance trumps Harley’s rage, and she starts crushing Harley Quinn’s skull until there is an audible cracking sound and blood comes from her nose. Harley is saved only by the bullet of a mysterious Joker-looking dude from the crowd, fired directly into the back of Bertha’s helmeted head. But there’s no time to find out who shot the gun, Harley needs medical help!
While unconscious, Harley Quinn has this crazy psychedelic dream drawn by Michael Kaluta, and it looks incredible. Harley wakes up in the apartment of one of her roller derby buddies, which probably isn’t better than taking her to the hospital. Even Harley knows this, and heads over to the hospital to get an X-ray of her melon. She isn’t too worried, as Quinn informs her host, because she’s got a titanium plate in her skull that makes it super tough. An X-ray shows nothing unusual, save for the usual thing in her neck…wait a minute. Does he mean the brain bomb from Suicide Squad? Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad is nothing like the Harley Quinn in her own comic book! I’ve been okay to pretend that they’re separate entities, different takes on the same them, but if you’re trying to create some synergy here, that’s going to get difficult. And if she’s got the brain bomb, why hasn’t Waller exploded it? Clearly she’s not on a covert mission for the team! Or is she…?
The issue wraps up pretty quickly, with Harley negotiating a lifetime of free pizza’s from Gino’s for thwarting a robbery, and then Harley giving a pizza from said establishment to a homeless guy that’s lost his family. She gets back home to find the Joker waiting for her, which has been a fairly long time coming. I enjoyed this issue at face value, but it’s just another day of Harley Quinn’s Wacky Adventures, and we had that just before the Undercover Punker arc. Heck, last issue was essentially a standalone Life of Harley issue, albeit one that happened in the Bahamas with Poison Ivy. I dunno. There’s nothing to complain about with this issue, but also nothing to get excited about. I really liked the dream sequence. I guess that makes it a little better than a dud.

Bits and Pieces:

This is a Harley Quinn comic book. You see some characters that haven't been around in a little while, and there's some fantastic artwork as always, but nothing of special consequence happens and there are no action-packed moments. Actually, knowing Palmiotti and Conner, the most innocuous thing in this issue will prove to be important later on. I have no great complaints nor any huge praise for this issue. If you've liked Harley Quinn up to this point, then I suspect you'll enjoy this one as well.


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