Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Harley Quinn #43 Review and **SPOILERS**

Hunted Harley

Writer: Christopher Sebela 
Artist: Mirka Andolfo 
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: John Timms
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: June 6, 2018


For the last two issues, we had some kind of a prequel, stemming from a bunch of back-ups in the series last year, that seems to portend the current state of Harley Quinn today. So I don’t know what to expect here! Hopefully by the end of my review of Harley Quinn #43, I’ll have it figured out!

Explain It!

The character Harley Quinn gained a lot during the time she was handled by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner: a backstory and biological family, a rich cast of supporting characters, and a desire to be a do-gooder, even if she can rack up a body count in the process. But Harley Quinn also lost something, her insanity. Harley went from an unhinged, unpredictable appendage of the murderous Joker to a silly-but-rational woman who could actually switch between personalities to be psychiatrist to the elderly Dr. Harleen Quinzell. In a sense, this was bound to happen, since someone not in control of their faculties can’t exactly perform good deeds on purpose. But this also removed one of Harley Quinn’s core characteristics, which were exacerbated in how the character was portrayed in the Suicide Squad movie.
This story serves to remind us that Harley Quinn is cuckoo. And not just a little wacky, but bat-shit insane, prone to believing in conspiracies being waged against her and who has a propensity towards chatting with inanimate objects. It seems that having divested herself from her friends several issues ago, Harley has gone off the deep end, which makes some sense. The ability to unburden yourself to friends is important to one’s mental health, even if you’re unburdening yourself to a goat-person. Stringing together unrelated clues eventually puts her on the trail of Professor Pyg, who is (still) creating his Dollotron army of weird-looking, puffy-faced minions. Harley thinks this is somehow directly related to her, which it isn’t, but it sure will be now that she and a Dollotron refugee have fallen in on the Reaper, who has assembled a bunch of hooded weirdos—yet another New York City happening that has little to do with Harley Quinn!
There’s nothing really wrong with this story, and I do appreciate that it’s returning to the yarn spun by Frank Tieri during his all-too-short time on the book. But the story is also pretty dull. It’s Harley running from place to place, doing an “I’m not crazy, you’re crazy!” routine with her stuffed beaver, who laughably gives Harley some pretty salient mental health advice. It’s a great-looking comic, and I like how the story unfolds, but the story itself is really nothing special. If you, like me, feel burnt by the previous two issues being out of continuity (maybe), then this issue should scratch that Quinn itch. But if you’re waiting for this series to wake up and do something, well that doesn’t happen in this issue.

Bits and Pieces:

Modern Harley Quinn is back in the saddle, and she's out of her gourd. Just the way we like it. Unfortunately, that alone doesn't make for a very compelling story, and this feels like a paceholder for the actual story that commences next issue. Ah well, that's what you get when you double-ship a comic book.


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