Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Harley Quinn #55 Review and **SPOILERS**


Merry Shrugmas

Writer: Sam Humphries 
Artist: John Timms 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Guillem March & Arif Prianto 
Variant Cover: Frank Cho 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: December 5, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for boobs and time for beer. That’s not the song? What are people celebrating, then? The birth of what? I don’t wanna hear any of that noise. Just move on to reading my review of Harley Quinn #55, and we’ll forget the conversation ever happened.


Explain It!

The Holiday Season is upon us, and you know what that means: you’ve got to rub elbows with your stinking family. Unless, that is, you are the excommunicated member of a cult, and the rest of your family is still munching lentils and fabricating bootleg cell phone charging cords inside the compound. But then, within the cult, there’s probably not a lot of traditional holiday celebration anyway. Harley Quinn is preparing for Christmas—despite having been canonically Jewish to my memory—where she hopes to assemble her acquired, and therefore better family. But guess who crashes the festivities? Her crummy biological family. This really cheeses Harley off, despite having hung out with her mother over the last six or eight issues. 
They mean well, but Harley’s family winds up making a goof of everything like a bunch of Jerry Lewises. Her one brother, who’s become a goth metalhead or something, shreds some guitar that ruins Harley’s ice sculpture. Her other brother, now a tech nerd, ruins dinner when he tries to deliver all of the food by remote-controlled drone. You know, writing these scenarios out really highlights how supremely dumb they are. Dad dresses as Santa Claus and breaks a flimsy prop chair from the movie Santa Saves the Multiverse. How lazy is this shit? The youngest brother, an arsonist, sets the Christmas tree on fire. 
Harley blows her stack, then the li’l firebug is like “Mom’s got cancer,” and things have to get real deep all of a sudden. This used to be a pretty funny comic book, you know that? It wasn’t like some crazy sequel to Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, produced on an even smaller budget. Harley and her mom have a heart-to-heart that lasts for about fifty-six pages, then she returns to the apartment to announce the commencement of a food fight. She’s also wielding her brother’s awesome-looking electric guitar, which my brother never allowed. In the end, there’s a full dinner for everyone, despite an entire one having been flung around the room, and both of Harley’s families are blended at the table, a Christmas miracle except for the part where her mom still has cancer. 
And If you were curious about whether or not we’ll be seeing Big Tony, Goatboy, Eggy, Sy Borgman, the Gang of Harleys, or any of the other characters established prior to Sam Humphries’ entrance on the series, the answer is: nope. They were nowhere to be seen at this soiree, and I suspect they’ve been dispensed with until another writer takes over and decides to make use of ‘em. This was an incredibly flat story, a bunch of lame gags about the bumbling Quinzell family, then a forced tear-jerker moment that doesn’t even land. It is great, however, to see John Timms back on Harley Quinn, even if temporarily, and he did some great work here, particularly on backgrounds. The story is like some forgettable shit my grandma would tell, but the art is worth a look if you can find a secure corner of the comic shop.

Bits and Pieces:

Humor-wise, it's about on the level of an episode of Family Matters from season one. Stakes-wise, it has the ramifications of an episode of Family Matters from season six. You know: where Urkel would become a Bruce Lee robot or whatever. The art in this issue is great, though.

4/10
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