Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Harley Quinn #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

Stand By Your Psychopath

Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner 
Artists: John Timms, Chad Hardin 
Colors: Hi-Fi 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: January 18, 2017


The things you remember from childhood are often ridiculous: I can recall my eighth grade Social Studies teacher telling the class that jealousy was nothing to feel flattered by, that it is corrosive to relationships. Thing is, I can’t remember in what context he gave that advice, or really anything else he said in that class. I wonder if he was going through a painful divorce or something at the time. In any case, I adopted this point of view for some arbitrary reason, and have applied it as much as possible in my relationships. To wit: seeing someone gleefully spectate a brawl for her affections gives me the heebie-jeebies, and while I understand it’s just a goofy cover and not actually indicative of the exact contents of the comic book, I can’t help but cringe a little within. But what about those contents, how do they muster? Only one way to find out! Read my review of Harley Quinn #12, right here!

Explain It!

I’ll just get this out of the way now: the book’s got a prologue where the Mayor’s assistant Madison Berkowitz is importing a freight container of vampires to New York City. Doubtless this will play out in a future issue, though it doesn’t have any further impact in this one.

Back at Coney Island, Harley Quinn is still snoozing past her arranged date with the Joker outside of the Aquarium, but Red Tool’s shown up and he’d like the Joker to buzz off. Get it? Buzz. Like a buzz saw. Maybe it’s more of a visual joke. The Joker says he’s turned the other cheek and will not fight Red Tool, instead he goads the Toolster into beating the living shit out of him. This sends Joker into a dream sequence that is, more or less, a nice collection of images by Chad Hardin.
In the real world, Harley is woken from her nappies by a lunch whistle, and that’s when she realizes her alarm clock has been tampered with! After a quick shower (that isn’t even that book gratuitous, honest) Harley hot-foots it down to the Aquarium to find Red Tool pounding Joker’s face into the sand. Here is where I would have liked to see Joker go home, kick a foot stool over, and insist on buying a mail-order body building course to get his revenge. Instead, Harley stops Red Tool from pummeling her ex, then shleps his battered form back to her apartment for a little resuscitation. And probably a blood transfusion.
At her crib, Joker insists he’s changed. He has realized the error of his ways, and apologizes for the abuse he heaped on Harley over the years. Harley isn’t trying to hear any of it, however, and she reminds Joker that last time they parted ways, she promised to finish him off for good if he darkened her doorstep. And he’s just happened to have done just that! Since Harley keeps her word, she pulls a Die Hard 3 on him and shoves him into the middle of Brooklyn traffic (probably right on Surf Avenue, I’m assuming) blindfolded with a “Brooklyn sucks!” sign hung around his neck. Joker gets bounced around in traffic like a pinball and his crumpled form eventually lands at the feet of Tony and Harley…who isn’t finished with him yet!
Though it was pretty satisfying to see Joker get the piss beaten out of him—twice—I have to say it got a little gratuitous towards the end. There were lots of funny character moments in this issue, and Harley’s little speech to Joker before she shoves him into traffic is pretty touching, but realistically there’s not a lot of substance to this issue. The dream sequence here seemed more tacked-on that usual, as well. Still a quality comic, still should satisfy most Harley Quinn fans, but this issue was pretty much middle-of-the-road to me.

Bits and Pieces:

Harley finally tells the Joker what-for! And it's surprisingly gory. The issue lacks in story, but it's got some pretty good character moments and the usual peppering of gags that make it worthwhile. And hey, art by John Timms and Chad Hardin! Could be worse.


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