Friday, October 21, 2016
Mini-Review: Harley Quinn, Vol. 4: A Call to Arms
The tricky thing about reading Harley Quinn comics right now is that she is starring in two completely different series with very different versions of herself: her Suicide Squad iteration, which is far more bloodthirsty, and the Conner/Palmiotti version, which is a bit more ... cuddly. Okay, wrong word. Likeable? Witty? Winkingly self-aware? Anyway, as I started volume four of Harley Quinn, I felt like the art was a bit off. And then I realized that I had gotten so used to the gritty wildness of Suicide Squad Harley that Harley-Harley felt a bit too clean.
Confused? Yeah, me too.
Volume Four wasn't my favorite in the Harleyverse, mostly because there aren't a ton of opportunities for humor with the "gang of Harleys" storyline (but we do see a lot of diversity, so mad props there). Harley on a plane is delightful(ly awful). Plus, this volume includes some one-offs that disrupt the flow of the storyline, especially because one issue comes chronologically after another, but is printed before it. ???
The last issue with Harley, Catwoman, and Ivy all together on a road trip is loads of fun. The artwork wasn't my favorite--it felt a teensy bit juvenile?--but this was altogether silly and a nice antidote to Suicide Squad Harley.
Additionally, Harley meets up with Deadshot, which makes for a fun inter-Harleyverse crossover, and has her conversations with her beaver. No, really. It's a stuffed beaver. Ahem. Yes.
I would say volumes 1 and 2 are the strongest that DC has put out so far, but I can't wait for more Harley shenanigans as volumes are released. Yes, I am that cheap person who waits for the bound volumes to come out instead of buying single issues. I barely remember who I am most of the time, much less when I should go in and grab things at the local comic book store (holla, Rockheads!).
Overall, this is a comic you should definitely be reading if you want a more tongue-in-cheek take on the Clown Prince of Crime's ex-squeeze. She's doing just fine on her own, thanks. I mean, still murderous and completely unhinged, but in a better-ish mental space. Love ya, puddin'!