Saturday, September 21, 2013

Harley Quinn #1

Another cover with legless Batman! I'm starting to suspect he lost his legs below the knees in his battle against the Crime Syndicate.

Just for safety's sake, I'm going to hate this issue no matter what I think about it.

The stupid issue begins with Sex Kitten Harley (although I found the old costume way sexier and more kitteny) bailing on the Secret Society of Super-Villains meet and greet. Why would she want to work with another group after the shitty experience she had with Waller's Suicide Squad? And who wants to work for a bunch of Justice League wannabes anyway? So she heads back to Gotham, probably in the hopes of running into Mr. J. She hasn't had a really good berating in a long time now.

Her first order of business is to sit on the ledge of a building and contemplate her past. Her family was a disorganized bunch of screaming yahoos, so she decided to stay in college for as long as possible which meant getting her Doctorate in Criminal Psychology. She also must have realized that the best way to become a super villain was to go to college. Once in college, she had her choice of learning science or dating a professor until the professor broke her heart. She chose science! I think that's because comic book women in college only used to pick the professor back in the Silver Age when women only wanted to be wives and housekeepers.

Eventually, Harleen Quinzel accepted a job at the prestigious Arkham Asylum!

Didn't she take gymnastics in college or something? They just glossed over her entire academic career in one page!

Isn't about-to-go-crazy Harley simply the most adorable thing you've ever seen? No? I didn't think so either! Stupid bad artist that is getting everything wrong by making everybody so cute! The Joker doesn't look menacing at all! I just want to hug his face off!

While working undercover as a crazy time girl so that she could see the world through the crazy time peoples' eyes, Harleen discovers her love for The Joker. And when she gets yelled at by a superior, Harleen decides to fuck the entire place! How dare her manager point out how unprofessional she was being! It's time to get even!

Harleen may also have been a little bit crazy because of something the Joker did when he kissed her. There was a "clk"ing sound which could have been their teeth knocking together or it could have been the Joker biting her lip or it could have been the Joker's tongue working a hypodermic needle that injected Harleen Quinzel with crazy time juice. Or Harleen simply snapped because she was so good at compartmentalizing her ordered and her chaotic side. Maybe the "clk" was the Joker's crazy time charm locking away Harleen's ordered side for all time! It might be some kind of metaphor is what I mean. I don't mean he had a key on his tongue and he locked Harley's throat when he rammed it down the back.

Here we see the Joker turning Harley Quinn into an object that only he could love. Although I suppose it didn't really work since Floyd enjoys spending time in her clown car as well.

After the Joker gives her her permanent makeover, Harley hits the streets of Gotham to put together her outfit.

Oh crap. Women on women violence. I shouldn't be finding this so sexy! Dammit, Neil Googe! Why do you have to draw beat up women so hot!? I'm getting mixed messages that I'm too stupid to ignore! You're as bad as Jeff Johnson drawing nearly dead female Legionnaires in drop dead sexy positions!

Those stockings are pretty fucking cute though. But what game are they playing that uses a cane? Old person field hockey? Disabled in one leg cricket? Oh, who cares! Look at the stockings!

Harley manages to find enough other women with clothing that matches her new hair, so she beats them all up and builds her outfit. She also finds a novelty over-sized mallet in a pawn shop window that she just falls in love with. And that's how Harleen Quinzel became the Harley Quinn everybody fucking hates! Although I think she's totally adorable. She just needs better writers, is all.

Oh gee whiz!

This issue would be so much like the Lobo issue if they'd put Harley in her old costume on the cover and then have Harley hunting down the other Harley wearing her face and using her name and acting like Harley Quinn would ever join the Suicide Squad!

Harley begins to judge everybody for the way they choose to live their lives just because it's not the way she now chooses to live her life. She thinks that breaking free from the life she had been living makes her better than everybody else. As if everybody is living a shit life because they aren't making the choices she made. Everybody thinks they're on the road less traveled when they're really all just bunched together; everybody thinks they're the wolf among the sheep; everybody wants to think they're making the most out of life. Harley, you're just one of everybody.

Guess what, doll. Living outside of the box still puts you in a box of people living outside of the box.

Back in college, my creative writing teacher read aloud a story written by one of the students. The story was about how he had risen above the rest of the sheep by doing mushrooms. He was above the rules society had made and had ventured out further than most would dare to go! I believe he even used the phrase "a wolf amongst sheep." Yes, I sat there thinking that he was an idiot because it felt, to me, that the act of taking mushrooms was for him a way to step outside the box that everybody else lives in. And yet there I sat having only done mushrooms for the rip-roaring good times, the special effects, and the wonderful, exhilarating loss of ego that, if lucky, sometimes accompanied the trip. How could I have missed what a profound leap in the social hierarchy I was making? How could I not have documented such a grand step to rise above the other sheep in the world?! How could he think he was the only fucking jerk to ever do drugs? And to assume that the people who chose not to do drugs were meeker or worse at life than he was? At least his positive take on the experience was better than the negative cliche about people just using drugs to escape. I always described it like playing tennis. Some days I want to play tennis, some days I want to explore text adventure games on the computer, and some days I want to hallucinate. If taking drugs is an escape, so is every other fucking thing we do. But you can paint your activities in the light of avoidance or you can partake of them in the pure bliss of partaking in them. Or, like the creative writer, you can do them to be better than everybody else, I guess.

Harley seems to be reacting to all the pressure she felt while going through her college courses. Order comes from working and thinking, thinking and working. Those were two out of three of her main activities. The other was trying to ignore the chaos in her house.

Harley has done an awful lot of Narration Boxing in this thing.

After skipping out on the Super Secret Society of Super-Villains, Harley sets her free Gameboy plan in motion and blows the heads off a bunch of children in Gotham. She's still trying to win him back, isn't she?

Deadshot meets up with her because he's trying to keep an eye on her before she winds up back in the Joker's arms. Also, he's inviting her back to the Suicide Squad to help save Amanda Waller. He doesn't mention the ten million dollars she paid him though. He's probably just going to get her in on the action for free. Because getting paid is so in the fucking box.

Harley Quinn #1 Rating: I really did try to hate it but I actually kind of liked it. Even with all the Narration Boxing. I can't fault it for not revealing much of her relationship with the Joker because I'm sure that will be told somewhere at some time (like maybe in her comic book?). It was mostly the story of how she got her New 52 look. So the cover really should have read, "Harley Quinn's Uniform #1." Anyway, I'm sorry I couldn't hate it. The art style was just too adorable. Cutesy animation style is my kryptonite.

No comments:

Post a Comment