Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Harley Quinn #52 Review and **SPOILERS**

Triumph of the Swill

Writer: Sam Humphries 
Artist: Sam Basri 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Julian Totino Tedesco 
Variant Cover: Frank Cho 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: October 17, 2018


How much do you wanna bet that there’s a reference to the Golden Age character Red Bee in this? I’m betting there is. Find out if I’m right in Harley Quinn #52, which I’ve reviewed right here!

Explain It!

The nice thing about Golden Age superhero stories is that they are largely uncomplicated by continuity or logic. Some hoods in suits rob a bank, they get chucked into a live volcano by some guy in a blousy shirt and everyone applauds. No one asks why he’s become a judicial authority, no concerns about his power set or from whence it derives—“magic” is all the explanation we get and need. These crudely-churned four-color novels are big on action and usually low on story, and they can be a great joy to read with this in mind. 
When these simplistic characters are dragged into the drawn-out dramas seen in comic books today, the result can be interesting. Sometimes humorous, sometimes illuminating; often, such displaced characters can be used to highlight inequities or disparities of modern times. Perhaps they bring with them a more rigid sense of morality, or perhaps the trappings of today corrupt them and turn a would-be hero into a villain. Or, as is the case of Captain Triumph landing in the present due to Harley Quinn’s meddling with continuity, it can happen for absolutely no fucking reason at all. 
In this issue, we learn Captain Triumph’s origin, which can be looked up on Wikipedia. The new wrinkle here is that the witch triumvirate of the DC Universe gave him his vengeful super powers and made it so he could talk to his brother’s ghost. Then, Triumph beats Harley all over the city for a while, then they stop and hang out for a while. Eventually, they go to Androlia Airfield, where Triumph’s brother Michael was killed in the first place, and his ghost shows up to take Triumph back home. The fucking end. This is a comic book? It’s a goddamned anecdote. 
This used to be a fun book, before it became such an awful rip-off. Here’s a chance to do something interesting, foregone so half the issue can be given over to an unlikely slobber knocker. There’s nothing more to be said about this issue. It sucks, and if you’re a habitual collector of Harley Quinn, you should consider stopping.

Bits and Pieces:

Even if you're a big Captain Triumph fan for some reason, you can pass this issue up. Heck, if you're a big Captain Triumph fan, this issue just might piss you off. Overpriced, even if it were one dollar.



  1. Harsh but on point. I'm not a regular Harley Quinn reader. I barely like the character in a supporting role, let alone trying to carry the lead. I bought this issue because I liked the cover (I'm a sucka for the foil. It's a weakness. Don't judge). There's NOTHING inside that makes me want to pick up another issue.

    1. There was a time you'd expect this concept to result in some really wacky, madcap stuff. You might still not have loved it, but you'd have come away feeling like you'd gotten your money's worth at least. This issue was as boring as dry toast