Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Harley Quinn Vol. 2: Power Surge

Harley Quinn is BACK, peaches, and holy macarolli!  Puddin', you're gonna love this.




Morally ambiguous characters are the best kind.  The flawed, complex, funny, and nasty characters.  You know, the human ones.  It's funny that often the most human and realistic of all characters show up in comics, which have popularly been regarded as a lesser form of writing (not true!) or merely a T&A show (okay, Liefeld and pretty much any 90s comics is guilty of this).  I mean, think about Batman.  He's not my favorite superhero, but he's exceedingly complex.  Benevolent yet ruthless.  Commanding yet caring.  He's all pointy angles and stern jawlines and yet he'd do anything to save a corrupt city that's drowning in its own filth.

Pulling from the Bat-universe, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti give miss Harleen Quinzel, AKA Harley Quinn, her very own series.  I've noticed a lot of the anti-New 52 purists totally hate this, but as a librarian and as a reader, I'm compelled to defend Harley and her writers.

People say she's too funny.  Too goofy.  Too sexy.  Too weak.  Too ... Harley?  Right?

Let me address the "OMG HER OUTFITS" thing first of all.  Yep, Harley is a well-endowed lady.  And yep, she uses her body to get what she wants.  But she knows exactly what she's doing, and it's generally nefarious.  She is, after all, not really on the right side of the law.  She may have thrown a guy off a bridge for dissing the size of her booty.  *flutters lashes innocently*  It's an interesting twist on the sexy costume issue that most, if not all, female comic characters have.  Conner & Palmiotti play off of this unfortunate phenomenon by making it one of the weapons in Harley's decidedly bizarre arsenal, which also involves a very large hammer and her stuffed beaver (and yes, I still giggled at those middle-school jokes.  So sue me).

A goodly chunk of this volume involves Harley's teaming up with Power Girl (full confession: I had no idea who she was.  Thanks, Wikipedia!  Harley knew, though), who's fallen to Earth and lost her memory.  She and Harley fight intergalactic crime ... and not-so-intergalactic goons, like the one riding around a mall on a Segway saying, "You're no match for my short-range nuclear ballistic missile!"  At this, I collapsed in giggles.  Of course this is a Harley Quinn comment.  Shades of Adam West's Batman, even.

Other highlights include: Harley's encounter with a mugger in Central Park ("Are you an actual mugger?"), Harley going to Comic Con and meeting all the writers and artists, and the epic roller derby brawl.

This is great fun and I'll definitely continue reading!


I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.

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