You better eat your vitamins and say your prayers because, brother, Harley’s latest adventure has led her to an underground wrestling organization. Naturally, Harley’s affinity for doling our punishment via the ol’ bootlace eye-rake makes her a perfect fit for the ring. Unfortunately, after Harleen the Queen discovers her latest opponent’s dead body, she fears her next match may be her last.
“…I realized you’ll do anythin’ fer yer daughter an’… well, it hit me right in my emotional nut basket.”
Harley Quinn is easily the title that I look forward to the most each month. Not only is this book fun, but its irreverence for continuity make it more easily accessible for readers. Humphries’ writing is always hilarious yet somehow finds a way to punch you right in your emotional nut basket. This balance is what brings me back month after month.
When Humphries’ decided to take this show on the road with Harley Quinn #70, I was interested to see how the book would evolve. Harley’s turn as a wrestler feels like a natural extension of her character. This new development provides ample opportunity for physical comedy and embraces her over-the-top behavior. Additionally, Humphries’ choice to ground this story with the death of another mother gives the story substance. It will be interesting to see how this murder impacts Harley. She initially fled to Los Angeles to escape coping with her mother’s death. Her friend’s death will inevitably force her to deal with her own emotions as she helps another daughter cope with her mother’s death.
Additionally, creating an air of mystery around the murderer’s identity has me anticipating the next issue. Although my intuition points to Baby Face as the murderer, I have been wrong more often than not. I don’t necessarily think that this murder mystery will be the complete focus for the next issue; however, I am curious to see how this all plays out.
My only complaint with this issue was Humphries’ use of narrative boxes. Typically, it is apparent that Harley is the narrator. With these new narrative boxes, it is not easy to get a sense of who is narrating the story. At times the narrator feels like a wrestling announcer. However, the use of purple boxes with white text appears to be like the boxes used for an online psychic that Harley has been using. Although I believe that this level of ambiguity is intentional, it does take me out of the moment.
“Wow, whadda fight!”
Sami Basri’s artwork and Hi-Fi’s colors are excellent in this issue. Their work perfectly conveys all of Harley’s emotions as well as the over-the-top violence of a wrestling match. The pages that stand out to me the most are the ones in which Harley is talking to Booster Gold. The comedic timing of the images where the two characters first meet is perfect and does an excellent job of selling the punchline.
With Harley Quinn #70, Humphries’ work is both hilarious and meaningful. By thematically tying this issue into her mother’s death, he gives this story weight. It also provides an opportunity for Harley to deal with her emotions by helping another person deal with a similar problem. Additionally, Basri’s artwork is perfect in this issue.