Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Harley Quinn #74 Review

Dead Mom Jokes are the Best

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Sami Basri, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 7, 2020

I have not liked much of Sam Humphries run on Harley Quinn.  He is obsessed with making Harley a sad sack, and while Harley's mother's death was the best moment in this series, Humphries has hung his hat on it ever since.  Each story goes back to it and twists everything around Harley to reference it as well.  This latest (and thankfully last!) story is no exception, and I still can't get over the fact that Humphries used Suicide and death as a prop and a tool to try to squeeze some feels out of fans.  So, how does it all end (next issue is a "roast," oh goodie!), and am I at least left smiling a little?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Harley talking to her friend, George, about Granny Goodness and Alicia and knockoff wrestling merch and ... who cares?  Maybe you do, but I sure as hell do not!  Since Harley got to Los Angeles, this book has been surface-level nonsense that Humphries barely set up, coupled with false leads and red herrings that he somehow thinks makes a mystery, but I don't think that anyone is racking their brains over the whodunnit here.

I think Sam Humphries knows that his story is less than paper-thin here, and instead of trying to tie things up properly, he goes with the feels instead.  It has served him well in this series, so I can't blame him, but it plays out like a bunch of horseshit!

Granny Goodness teamed up with Wittleson to make LA and then the world into Fire Pits, but Alicia's death (now confirmed as murder by Wittleson) is mentioned as an aside.  The Jade Feather?  Barely mentioned!  Harley defeats Granny by making her remember the death of her dog, and while there is a nice scene between Harley and Becca near the end, it would have been cool to see a discussion about Alicia's murder/non-suicide.  Also, Did Wittleson get away with murder?!?!?  After he says his lines, he exits stage left and runs off into the night.

After a near-death dream sequence with Alica and Harley's mom telling her it's all going to be okay, we get dead mom jokes with Harley and Becca and a kiss with karaoke Booster Gold.  Listen, I am all for writers getting to write their own take on characters, but Harley and Booster?  Really?!?  DC wouldn't even let Harley and Ivy have a proper kiss at the end of their recent mini-series, so this seems so out of place and a slap in Harley and Ivy fans' faces.  Way to go, Sam Humphries!

This issue looks fantastic, thanks to Sami Basri's art, but the story is garbage.  After all this time, Sam Humphries barely even ties up his story, which is hardly a surprise because he barely set it up in the first place.  Did we get a proper ending for Harley's "best friend," Alicia?  Did we ever learn anything about her, to begin with?  Oh, yea, she had the Jade Feather, and that was sooooo important, right?  Fuck me!!!

Bits and Pieces:

This series got caught in a rut the minute Sam Humphries got praised for Harley's mother's death.  This issue kind of ends the murder "mystery" of Alicia's death, but Humphries seems more interested in grabbing feels than tying up loose ends, and in the end, this all mattered about as much as the Jade Feather - not at all!  Oh well, at least he didn't mess up the character for longtime fans... oh crap, he did that too!  (I did love the art, by the way!)


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