Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SPOILERS: Harley Quinn #9

Come one, come all, Harley Quinn #9 has got what you're looking for, everything from burlesque, to stalkers, to internet trolls! In other words, another typical issue of this series!

The Spoilers:

Feeling bad for ruining one of the burlesque shows a couple issues back, Harley fills in as a favor to Tony who runs the show. Tonight Harley and Queenie will be acting out a story poking fun at sleazy 1950s sci-fi "Astronaut meets sexy alien" movies, and of course, Harley is the alien. After stripping down a bit and giving the crowd something to cheer about, the big kiss scene comes up, but Harley asks for a bit of direction. Tony whispers to her to act as if she was kissing her ex-boyfriend, and sure enough, that doesn't go well. After giving Queenie a big kiss, Harley goes into "you threw me into a vat of chemicals and ruined my life" mode, throws Queenie into the audience, which starts a fight, she comes back to reality, and decides to join the fight too, because why not?

Harley eventually gets "arrested," but it's by that guy who we see in the last few pages of #8. Turns out his name is Edwin, and he's Harley's biggest fan stalker, evident by his Norman Bates looking house, which looks like a Harley museum on the inside. Harley takes her abduction and lock up in stride, seemingly genuinely interested in someone who has that much interest in her. She eventually gets herself out of the cage and goes into all psychiatrist on Edwin, eventually getting him committed, but promising a real date if he gets treatment for a year.

The rest of Harley's night is nothing too special, she goes to a bridge to deal with some internet trolls Edwin had locked up in his basement, but before she can get too carried away, she realizes what time it is, and gets ready for "Skate Club." Under Summer's advice, Harley has to bring a "manager" to the underground event, so she chooses her elderly chaos partner Syborg, and enters the underground skate-battle-royale. 

...Oh yeah, there's that scene at the beginning with Madame Macabre slipping her son some lock picks so he can get out of jail, forgot about that one!


The Review:

HEY, GUESS WHAT?! Harley is still a crazy fun book to read. This is one of those books where critiquing the story in any real way is sort of a waste of time, given how light-hearted everything is, and the one and done structure. I mean, the book is crazy, Harley does a burlesque act, gets kidnapped, but is pretty okay with that, has a heart to heart with her stalker (which is honestly the most interesting part given the Joker obsessed Harley is interacting with someone just as obsessed with her), trolls some trolls, and then sets up a violent underground derby. It's ridiculous, enjoyable, and sells itself. 

Outside of the story, there are elements that are different from your usual issue of Harley, mainly the art. Due to the double shipping this month, John Timms illustrated this issue, and did quite a good job  fitting the overall tone of the series, depicting all the humor, madness, and burlesque fueled sexiness this issue required. I had a few nitpicks here and there, like one panel where Harley's arms are so long, her hands are pacifically at her knees, and during the later parts of the issues, the whites of Harley's eyes are colored yellow, which just makes her look sick. Other than that, I loved the visuals, despite the script getting a bit too wordy at times to the point where the speech bubbles aren't fitting in with the art, they're just covering things up.

The Bottom Line:

We get double the Harley this month, and I can't say I have any problem with that, because who's going to complain about twice the craziness in a month? Not me! That's for sure. The first of two Harley Quinn issues this month was just as crazy as you might expect, and even though it wasn't illustrated by series artist Chad Hardin, the visuals were right up there thanks to a great job by John Timms, who we'll next see on the Harley Quinn Annual. See you in two weeks for more Harley!

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