Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SPOILERS: Harley Quinn #11

Given this book's M.O., and the inclusion of Power Girl, you'd expect there to be a TON of boob jokes in here... Surprisingly, there weren't that many... Well, I mean... there were a lot... But I was expecting that much more.

The Spoilers:

Max Mason Macabre has broken out of jail and returned to his mother's home in the bottom floor of Harley's apartment complex. After a brief reunion with his mother and Big Tony, he accompanies Tony out to the beach when called by Harley, who he'd met the night before outside the diner. Turns out Harley's got a new unconscious Kryptonian friend, and needs some help getting her back into the apartment.

Power Girl slips in an out of consciousness but it becomes clear that she doesn't know where she is or even who she is, so Harley shoos both Tony and Mason away (making a date for later with the latter) while she comes up with a plan to make sure Power Girl is one of "the good guys" by convincing her they're a crime fighting duo.

When Kara finally wakes up, Harley goes in deep with lie after lie about who she is, their friendship and what they do together. Kara is a little suspicious but some of it sees legit so she goes along with Harley as they hit the town to do some clothes shopping and get something to eat. While Harley and Kara are eating, discussing their crime fighting duties, the food court is attacked by Sportsmaster and the Clock King, so it's time for the new duo to fight crime together for the first time.


The Review:

Blah, blah, blah. Boob jokes. Yeah, you'd expect those from this book, especially when its creative team consists of 2/3 the original Power Girl team from pre-New 52. That book was great, by the way. But I digress! What I really enjoyed in this issue was the sort of meta commentary on all things superheroes, and sometimes specifically Power Girl, like her questioning the boob window. But then we also got the "Wait, how do glasses hide my secret identity, that's stupid" sort of meta joke type stuff. Basically, a good deal of this book just pokes fun at super hero comics in general, which was pretty fun. 

If there's one thing I didn't really dig about the issue, it was the art. Now, I've said before, I love Chad Hardin's work on this book, and I still do... That said, it has subtlety changed a bit over the last few months. Just take a look at issue #3, or any early issue illustrated by Hardin, and then take a look at this issue. Something looks different and I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's the shading or how it's colored, maybe it's the inking, but something is currently rubbing me the wrong way, as is the increased focus on cheek bones this issue. It's still a great looking book, and I love the style, but something has just been bugging me recently and this issue really hammered it home.

One last thing to note, this book's continuity has always sort of been in question given how drastically different it is from what we get with Harley in all her other New 52 appearances. It's always operated like Power Girl did, with it in its own little corner of the universe, technically in continuity, but not really reflecting anything about it; so that's why Clock King's appearance was sort of weird. William Tockman has been in Green Arrow, so to see the same character (referred to as Bill) here in his more cartoony look, was just sort of weird and just sort of makes a statement about this book's place in the universe which really didn't need to be addressed.

WHATEVER! Criticisms. Psh. This book is still super fun/dumb, and I still love it.

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