Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Harley Quinn #29 Review and **SPOILERS**

Awful for Public Office

Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti 
Artists: Miraka Andolfo, Michael Kaluta, Tom Derenick 
Color: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: October 4, 2017


Looks like Harley Quinn is really going all the way with this New York Mayor stuff! Frankly, I wish she really was running this year. We’ve got such a sleazy bunch of mooks on the docket, when you line ‘em up it looks like the Evolution of Man. Let’s fantasize of a world where the worst thing we have to worry about from our elected officials is getting walloped with an oversized mallet, in my review of Harley Quinn #29, right here!

Explain It!

There’s a buzzword coursing the pages of online journalism and armchair critique: “optics.” Everything is judged on the merits of its optics—meaning the way it is perceived, how it is “read” by the public and/or audience, if such a distinction is necessary. This fact has been true since the Kennedy/Nixon debates of 1959, if not earlier. We are a base people that judge things on the way they look rather than the way they are. Since the advent of photography, and especially television, our elected officials have skewed younger and more virile than the oafish gout-sufferers of the 19th century. With some notable exceptions, of course. But it is largely true that an ability to perform well in full view of the public will go farther than one’s actual policy or political acumen.
Which is what makes the candidacy of Harley Quinn for Mayor of New York City so interesting. On one hand, she’s a ghoulishly white-skinned firebrand with her colored hair in pigtails. On the other hand, she dresses with her boobs and butt hanging out a lot. So I could really see New Yorkers likening to Harley, especially her shrill voice that would likely remind more than one mamaluke of his dear ol’ mudder. She’s doing so well, in fact, that incumbent Mayor and known Harley Quinn-hater DePerto hires the Scarecrow to send Harley fleeing from the campaign trail. This leads to some interesting scenes of Professor Crane traveling into New York for his rendezvous, which is something you don’t get a lot. I appreciated it, and the idea that these Arkham Asylum crazies.
Seems its time for Harley Quinn to debate the other people running for office, and having been prepped by Poison Ivy (who seems to have become her campaign manager) and plus shtupped by her old boyfriend Mason from the wax museum. Poison Ivy sees this, as well, but doesn’t seem too upset by it. And the debate is too important, anyway! Harley is holding her own, but when Scarecrow releases his fear gas, Harley Quinn snaps out and starts attacking DePerto. She has all kinds of scary visions involving Joker, including that he steals Poison Ivy, so I’m sure that will be a thing. At the end, Harley Quinn is subdued by Ivy and her pals, but surely at the cost of her optics!
This was a pretty enjoyable issue that, once again, involved one complete story. The frequent art changes make sense in the narrative, and the fact that Tom Derenick is on psychedelic duty makes me forgive the return of the Harley Quinn Hallucination Scene that used all too common. Really, there’s enough here for me to be interested in: Poison Ivy’s thoughts on Harley and Marco, the election, dealing with Jonathan Crane being in town. But there’s not so much that I feel overwhelmed and don’t know what thread to follow. I could get used to this.

Bits and Pieces:

A nice issue that creates enough drama to keep me interested. What else do you want in a comic book? How about Tom Derenick drawing psychedelic tormentors and villains? Okay yes, I want that. I want Tom Derenick drawing psychedelic tormentors and villains.


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