Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Harley Quinn #7 Review

A Tale Of Two Stories

Written By: Stephanie Phillips
Art By: Riley Rossmo
Colors By: Ivan Plascencia
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover Art By: Riley Rossmo
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 28, 2021

Harley Quinn #7 is another in a string of issues in this series that struggles with its own identity. The lowest common denominator for Phillips' depiction of Harley is as a wacky loon, and true to the lowest common denominator, this issue goes all out in its telling of Harley's support group field trip as a Looney Tunes cartoon.

That's not an exaggeration. Harley and Kevin traipse through the woods looking for a lost dog. Their search takes them to caves inhabited by very angry bears, thought bubbles where Harley imagines a bizarre hybrid of a dog and a waffle for a dog named Waffles, and a running-off-a-cliff scene that would make the Roadrunner and Coyote jealous.
"Wait a sec," you ask. "What does any of that have to do with Fear State since this is a tie-in." Absolutely nothing. Somewhere in all that WB cartoon nonsense, Harley comes to the conclusion that she needs to find Poison Ivy; a goal that just so happens to converge with...

The second and almost entirely disconnected thread of Keepsake striving to take over Gotham during the fear gas plague. Keepsake wants to take over Gotham with his newly assembled group of Grade D villains, but 9-foot-tall Hugo Strange reminds him he'll need to take control of Poison Ivy to do it. Why? Strange doesn't explain, but getting to Poison Ivy is now top of Keepsake's To-Do list.

There you have it. A tale of two stories with almost nothing in common except each protagonist suddenly deciding they both need to get to Poison Ivy for their own, selfish purposes.

Is this quality writing. No, not really. Does the story make sense? Sure, in a Looney Tunes nonsense sort of way. Does this make Fear State feel like a bigger, more expansive story? Not in the least little bit. If anything, it deflates any dramatic tension of Fear State. You'll actually enjoy the event more if you actively avoid this comic.

What about art? Well, we're back to Riley Rossmo. If you're a fan of this stylized art, you're going to get more of the same here. However, Rossmo appears to be phoning it in, or at least rushing, in this issue. Several of the panels during the camping scenes look sloppy or unfinished. I know, I know. It's tough to tell with Rossmo's style, but take a closer look and you'll see some of the figure work looks like hasty sketches and rough blobs in the woods.

Bits and Pieces

Much like most of this series, DC can't seem to figure out who or what Harley is trying to be. Consistent with that indecision, DC can't figure out what this story is supposed to be as a Fear State tie-in. The solution here seems to be simply telling the Fear State components as a second story that has nothing to do with Harley Quinn, and so the riddle you must answer is "Why bother?"


No comments:

Post a Comment