Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Harley Quinn #46 Review and **SPOILERS**

Gimme Back My Hammah, Gramma

Writer: Sam Humphries 
Artist: John Timms 
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Guillem March and Tomeu Morey 
Variant Cover: Frank Cho 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: July 18, 2018


Harley Quinn on Apokolips! Who’da thunk it? Besides Dan Didio, I mean. I imagine Dan has pictured every possible combination between characters in the DCU and the whole Fourth World oeuvre. Sugar and Spike working for Desaad; Captain Carrot facing off against Steppenwolf. The mind reels! You don’t have to reel when it comes to Harley Quinn #46, however—my review is right here!

Explain It!

Now that Harley has this Apokoliptan hammer, she’ll do anything to hang on to it—and that means she’s got to take down renegade Female Fury Petite Tina for Granny Goodness. Unfortunately, “Petite” Tina clearly has an ironic name, because she’s fucking tremendous. I mean like twenty feet tall tremendous, this isn’t some kind of slight against her body mass index. She clobbers the crap out of Harley, who isn’t reduced to paste by the graces of her magic hammer and accompanying armor. When Harley reveals her reluctance to smash Tina in the first place, Tina thinks they’re kindred spirits and offers an alliance…to which Harley responds by knocking Tina senseless. She may not like having to do this, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to do it.
Much of the time Harley Quinn spends on Apokolips is like being the new kid in a big school: she’s taunted by the other Furies, demeaned by Granny Goodness, and generally doesn’t like anything about this Hellworld, aside from the hammer. It’s got a Granny Box in it that might prove to be helpful, if it weren’t essentially controlled by Granny Goodness. At some point, Granny reveals her Subjugator, a gigantic statue of Darkseid on wheels, within which take place the most horrible tortures and other crimes against humanity. Harley is ordered to load a bunch of citizens into the subjugator, but she just can’t—not when there are poor, widdle kids involved! So she sends ‘em to Miami via Boom Tube—and busts the nose of Darkseid’s face in the process!
Back on Earth, Coach is tending to Harley Quinn’s latent business: feeding her many rescued pets, maintaining a large and growing pile of unopened bills, that sort of thing. Harley receives one piece of mail that is unfamiliar, so Coah opens it: turns out to be a comic book, Harley Quinn in the Nightmare Scenario, buy M. Clatterbuck. It seems self-published, too! Despite there being several DC Comics characters on the cover of the book. Before she can register this, however, and presumably line someone up to read it for her, a wrecking ball pierces the outside of Harley’s apartment building and pokes into the living room! Harley won’t be saving the day, though. As punishment for busting Darkseid’s shnozz, Harley is send to Dessad’s place for torture and re-education—which will include a total mind-wipe! And there’s also another guy there, in a horned helmet, getting the same treatment. So that’s pretty efficient.
I had a good time with this issue! I didn’t expect Harley Quinn on Apokolips to be as engrossing as it has turned out to be. I was glad to see Harley’s conscience activate, since Palmiotti and Conner spent a long time establishing Harley’s need to be a hero. But moreso, I’m enjoying the gags and gimmicks and all the silly trappings of the Fourth World, taken a lot less seriously than normal. My biggest misgiving with this issue is that a lot of the panels are really small, and it takes a little longer than I feel it should to figure out what’s going on. I do consider John Timms “the” Harley Quinn artist, though, so everything looks terrific. It’s the storytelling that is a little bit lacking.

Bits and Pieces:

Harley's struggling with her first day at Female Fury school, and the results are hilarious. Giving Harley this Fourth World hammer is the best thing to happen to the character since she got that taxidermied beaver that she talks to all the time. Granny Goodness may have met her match.


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