The beauty of Harley Quinn is just how nonsensical and silly it can become. In a world where the news is serious 24 hours a day, comics like this help us relax and unwind. In the 50th extra-sized issue things are sure to get bonkers, and Sam Humphries is writing one heck of a continuity-breaking issue. It’s crazy, guys.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
In a special anniversary story, “Harley Saves the Universe!”–no kidding! While reading a mysterious Harley Quinn comic book, H.Q. accidentally breaks all of reality. And you know the saying: if you break it, you bought it! Now it’s up to Harley to travel through both time and space to fix all the continuity errors she created. Luckily, she’ll have a little help, ‘cuz riding shotgun is none other than special guest star Jonni DC, Continuity Cop! Good thing, too, because if Harley fails, it means her own mom will be lost forever. Gulp! That doesn’t sound very funny!
Why does this matter?
This issue delivers 10 extra pages and blows your mind as it breaks the fourth wall over and over. It’s also drawn by an extensive list of artists who bring their flavor and style to the wacky elseworld-style story here.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a fun issue all the way through as Harley attempts to have a nice day out with her mom only to have her literally retconned in front of her eyes. Humphries has done a great job not only breaking the fourth wall with lots of references to creators and continuity, but also writing a story that is constantly changing and wild. The use of different artists is inspired, helping to convey the fact that Harley jumps into different dimensions (or are they continuities?) and keeps things moving at a great pace. Longtime comic book readers are going to appreciate the fact that this story starts and finishes its story too and by the end, there’s a resolution, but also a new element to explore next issue.
The amount of artists involved with this issue is actually kind of overwhelming. Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Dan Jurgens, Babs Tarr, Mirka Andolfo, Kelley Jones, Jon David-Hunt, John Timms, Agnes Garbowska, John McCrea, Cam Smith, Guillem March…this is just a portion of artists who contribute to this work. With the art style changing quite dramatically from page to page (and the plot calling for it), there isn’t a bad panel throughout.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As a quick cutting narrative, there isn’t a lot of meat on the bones of this issue. Essentially it’s a quick scene with a few jokes and then another to follow it. This is a delightfully fun issue that doesn’t have a lot of weight to it, essentially. I liked it — it’s hard not to, but upon reflection, it’s more bubblegum than steak dinner. Then again, isn’t that what Harley is all about? I will say this though, the jokes don’t quite stack up throughout. It’s more of a low chuckle as you read rather than any big laughs.
Is it good?
A fun 50th issue that breaks the fourth wall in a lot of creative ways. Humphries is doing an excellent job delivering on the nonsensical and always endearing Harley Quinn.