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Harley Quinn #52 Review

A strong conclusion to the Captain Triumph arc.

The fallout of Harley messing with continuity continues this week as Captain Triumph, a Golden Age hero, attempts to beat Harley senseless. But wait, Harley is a hero, right? Well, it’s her fault for dragging him into this modern and messed up world.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Trapped in a future he doesn’t understand, Captain Triumph can’t battle his way out of our modern world, as all his efforts lead to disaster. That causes him to butt heads and trade punches with his would-be protector, Harley Quinn. Can Harley talk her way out of this clash? And more importantly, where’s she getting a time machine so she can send Captain Triumph home?

Why does this matter?

Sam Humphries is playing around with superheroes and how they’ve changed quite nicely here. This issue offers up Captain Triumph’s origin, which is strange and a bit silly in retrospect. That suits this comic well.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

When things are going great it never ends well. Credit: DC Comics

There is a lot going on this issue and by the end you’ll feel full and satisfied. It opens with Captain Triumph’s origin, spins into a long fight sequence, takes a pitstop with the DC Continuity Cop and then wraps things up and ends with a cliffhanger revealing a villain that should be a lot of fun. In a way, this issue is celebrating the old school heroes by opening with Captain Triumph’s origin. This origin directly connects to the resolution, but its appearance here seems more like a celebration of the old. There is a political connection to the old days and now that’s not too overt, but a reminder of how little we’ve changed that adds a bit of meaning to the entire proceedings.

The main meat to this issue is Captain Triumph vs. Harley Quinn. Triumph is basically Superman in strength vs. Harley who is all wits. Sami Basri draws a great issue and renders Captain Triumph in a Tom Strong wide-shouldered sort of way. The fight is fun to follow and it’s interesting to see how Harley keeps an edge against a superhero. Basri renders Harley similarly to how she’s portrayed in the recent Suicide Squad film and she always looks great no matter the angle.

A shoutout must be given to Dave Sharpe, who brings very creative lettering skills to the issue. Well timed colored shouts of words, an outline stroke to others to emphasize a bit of dialogue, as well as well-placed bolding with good comedic timing. Harley is a chaotic sort of character and the lettering matches that style.

Yo, don’t trust those witches, dawg. Credit: DC Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

The story seems to wrap up way too conveniently. There’s some focus done with how Captain Triumph was turned into a hero, and it’s questionable anybody should trust these witches, yet things sort of correct themselves with little to no effort. You could argue Harley wins the day simply by being empathetic and listening, but given the powers of this hero–and how he got here–it resolves in a flat sort of way.

Is it good?

A good issue that shines a light on the Golden Age of heroes with plenty of fighting and even a clever political message in there, too. At its base though it’s a fun fight comic through and through.

Harley Quinn #52
Is it good?
A strong conclusion to the Captain Triumph arc.
A fun fight comic with an interesting origin and a political element too
Clean art that's pleasing to the eye
Given all the mystical/magic going around the ending is too easy

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