Last we left off in Harley Quinn, our titular antiheroine had convinced an amnesia stricken Power Girl that they were a crime fighting duo and after a bit of shopping the two of them are about to face down their first villains together. How will their first outing go? Is it good?
Harley Quinn #12 (DC Comics)
Harley Quinn and Power Girl charge to takedown the Clock King and Sportsmaster, but a special trick from C.K. ends up sending the two ladies to a galaxy far far away. Literally, the two of them find themselves on a strange planet a couple of light years away in front of a very hostile race of aliens. The hell?
That’s our Harley.
If the last issue poked some fun at the tropes and themes that DC Comics used for their books (past or present), then this issue completely goes out of its way to rag on Marvel and its more galactic books and characters (alongside of sci-fi tropes as well). This issue goes full-on parody, ribbing on concepts like the Infinity Gauntlet and the Inhumans, resulting in some pretty amusing and unexpected funny moments. For fans of the book who also like a lot of Marvel stuff, you’ll get a kick out of this for sure.
That being said, the story and style of humor going on here does pose some slight problems. If you are not familiar with a lot of Marvel stories, a lot of these jokes and bits of comedy will go straight over your head or feel completely out of place. It won’t work as well unless you’re pretty well-versed in Marvel, though the humor can still work in how completely absurd and bonkers it can be (especially with some of the crazy imagery pulled out). The other problem is the lack of crime-fighting. Sure, the team up between Harley and Power Girl is great, but it can be a bit disappointing to not see them fight regular crime like you might expect. It’s not a huge issue, but I could see wacky space-faring adventures being disappointing to some hoping this issue would be more grounded in reality.
Oh, a double ass-shot. Don’t usually get those unless I’m reading a manga.
Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s writing is a lot of fun and works well overall. The characterization still remains great for both Harley and P.G., even if one of them suffers from amnesia. All of their scenes together and interactions are truly hilarious; Palmiotti and Conner bounce the two’s personalities off each other so well, leading to tons of great jokes and moments. The dialogue is well-handled, also contributing a lot to what makes this comic really enjoyable. The humor, like I said, is a bit dependent on your knowledge of Marvel, but still provides plenty of great material besides that. The pacing, story flow, and structure for the comic are fine as well. All in all, a solid issue.
Most of the artwork for the comic is provided by John Timms, a series regular, while the opening and closing page are both done by Chad Hardin. Timms’ work still really shines and looks great here, delivering some very enjoyable imagery. The characters look great and are still very expressive, the art style really brings out the humor with its cartoony style, the creativity with the designs of parody Marvel characters are very amusing, and the coloring is very bright and lovely to look at. All in all, a great looking issue and if you liked any of previous work on the book, you’ll like it here as well.
That’s a crazy plan, but it may be crazy enough to work!
Is It Good?
Harley Quinn #12, while going a different direction than what was expected, delivered a very fun and enjoyable outing. The Marvel parodying was clever, every single scene with Power Girl and Harley was hilarious, the writing was solid, and the artwork really brought the humor to life. Once again, this series proves to be one of the best comics DC has out. Stop missing out on all of the fun and jump aboard.