After a shorter than usual break, Harley Quinn is back already! Let’s take a look…is it good?
Harley Quinn #9 (DC Comics)
After a brief opening with Missus Macabre (you saw her back in issue #2), we return to Harley Quinn as she is getting dressed up to perform in a stage show that the residents of the apartment have setup. Basically, it’s a little sketch and comedy parody of a 50’s sci-fi movie. Hopefully this one goes a bit better than the last show, which Quinn kind of ruined.
Hmm… I don’t remember these particular Sci-Fi movies. I need to watch more.
Having read all of this series, I think I’ve finally figured out what this comic is going for. It’s not just a simple, black comedy starring a crazy but loveable villain; it’s a sort of slice-of-life story. It’s just about Harley Quinn in her new life, how she lives it, and the adventures and craziness she runs into. While it’s certainly an unusual depiction of slice-of-life, that’s the best way to describe and understand what this comic is and why there doesn’t seem to be a regular storyline or much focus a lot of the time outside of the previous assassin arc.
This issue continues that mindset to a certain extent with the lack of a clear story and direction. Certainly, this issue also feels like it is setting the stage for a few new subplots and ideas that will be going on in the background of the series. However, the issue itself feels a tad directionless and feels more like a series of events rather than a story with a strong narrative. While I feel like this may be the intent and fits in with my theory of what the series is going for, it may not work for folks who want a stronger story.
Holy crap, her legs are gigantic!
The writing here is solid otherwise, though with some hiccups along the way. The pacing is good and always keeps the action/humor going without any moments to slow down, the dialogue has a lot of character and charm to it most of the time, characterization is fine and works here (I did really like Harley using some of her intelligence to solve a problem instead of violence), and the humor is decent. On the flipside, the ending feels a tad rushed, trying to introduce one more storyline to be followed up on in the next issue. It felt a bit awkward. Also, while the humor is decent, there some groaners and ones that fall flat (like Harley in the back of a car talking to the driver for instance).
The artwork for this issue is provided this time by John Timms, who drew some of the pages for the Harley Quinn Comic-Con special last month. His characters are well drawn for the most part and everyone’s easily identifiable, but some of the anatomy is questionable. Not in the usual way, but more in the fact that some characters’ legs are longer than torso and head combined. The layouts are relatively decent, the artwork does help bring out the humor, and the colors by Paul Monts really shine here. I really like Timm’s work here and I hope he continues being there for more fill-ins in the future.
Jeez Mom, do you really have to wear that when you visit me?
Is It Good?
Harley Quinn #9 is a lot of fun with some good humor, fun writing and solid storytelling, though with a lack of a strong narrative this time around. Best part of it all is that we don’t have to wait long for the next issue of the series, since it’ll be back in two weeks instead of a month! Yay.