Friday, September 21, 2018

Harley Quinn #50 Review and **SPOILERS**



Harley Misses Every Opportunity

Writer: Sam Humphries 
Artists: John Timms, Whilce Portacio, Agnes Garbowska, John McCrea, Kelley Jones, Jon Davis-Hunt, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Scott Kolins, Dan Jurgens, Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo, Babs Tarr, Tom Grummett, Cam Smith 
Colorists: Alex Sinclair, Gabe Eltaeb, John Kalisz, Michelle Madsen, Andrew Dalhouse, Romulo Fajardo Jr. 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts 
Variant Cover: Frank Cho 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $4.99 
On Sale Date: September 19, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

It’s an oversized, anniversary issue, and only the second #50 issue in three years! That’s pretty good, but let’s see if we can get the next volume’s #50 issue inside of one year, huh? Just make it a weekly. Then after that, I want the series to reach #50 within four weeks. Eventually, a volume will come out where the first issue and the fiftieth are in stores on the same day. For now, have a look at my review of Harley Quinn #50, why not?


Explain It!

Young Reggie’s favorite DC Comics characters were all green: Swamp Thing, Green Lantern, and Ambush Bug. I think the first time I saw him was in Stocking Stuffer #1, but I would eventually collect every appearance of Ambush Bug and read his stupid exploits and ludicrous satire again and again. I didn’t understand all of the jokes to their full extent, but I still laughed myself silly at what I did get. And the issues proved to have some staying power, as I learned more about comic book history over time, and thus could comprehend more of the context. What Ambush Bug did, primarily, was rip through comic book convention and continuity, poking fun at dour Batman or cheerful Superman, all while failing to succeed at his own version of heroism. Jonni DC, the very Continuity Cop that you see in this issue of Harley Quinn, is from an Ambush Bug comic. So this right here, Harley destroying DC Comics’ continuity, I looked to be my kind of scene.
About the Archie comic strip that ran nationally in the 1990s, my father noted that it had the uncanny ability to never be funny. You could tell a joke had happened, but it was humanly impossible to elicit laughter or even a smirk. And that’s sort of what happens in this issue of Harley Quinn. She and Jonni DC romp through…like three Elseworlds Worlds Finest pirate dimensions or something? And like, a take on the four Supermen thing from after Doomsday killed him back in 1993. A take on the old Bronze Age horror comics like The House of Mystery and The Witching Hour, except all the characters are Harley? I don’t even know what the fuck is happening here. It makes not one bit of sense, and worst of all, not one bit of it is funny. There are all these openings for potential jokes that never happen. The entire book focuses on Harley looking to bond with her mother, which is about as interesting a story as…well, my actual life.
Behind the chaos is Meredith Clutterbuck, young Harley Quinn fan who’s been making her own comics, and these have somehow found their way into Harley’s world…which is not even the real DC Universe, like 88% of the time, so what’s the damned difference? And through these comics, Harley’s mom is retconned out of the picture, but by the end she’s Back to the Futured in again. That’s all nice enough. But the unfunny shit we have to wade through to get to these plot points left me absolutely stone-faced. Some great artists worked on this issue, too. That’s the grimmest part of all.


Bits and Pieces:

Comedy opportunities abound, yet nary a laugh to be had. This comic book is a waste of time and resources with a few semi-precious moments.

4/10
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