Saturday, July 25, 2015

Harley Quinn #18

Aww! Violence is so cute! I'm going to put on roller blades and go stab somebody!

The worst thing about the internet is not that it allows everybody to have a voice but that it causes people to think that their voice is somehow too important not to be expressed. I mean other people! Obviously I'm above that criticism because I made the criticism! But even if I have to wade through endless pictures of bullshit from people who have dropped writing in complete sentences in favor of only speaking in hashtags in the wild chance that somebody on Instagram will look up "#kickinitcalistyle" and find their picture of them doing the most mundane bullshit, the internet is worth it. Because many voices that are worth hearing would never before have had a chance at such a wide circulation if they had to rely on traditional media and old fashioned outlets. The internet is simply millions of zines with the potential of a much wider audience than the customers at Tower Records or the local comic book shop. Mainstream culture often looked down on zines as people self-publishing because what they had to say wasn't worth being said in a professional magazine. But the best part about zines is that they are filled with passionate voices that needed a means to express those voices. Instead of a bunch of faceless managers and accountants trying to figure out what kinds of articles will make them the most money and then have a dispassionate writer work on that idea, zines simply exist because the writer had an idea or a humorous thought or a raging hate-boner which couldn't be contained anymore. The writer was enough in love with what was in their head to go through the trouble of printing and stapling and copying and graphic design, not to mention the torture of asking businesses if they'd carry their zine. The internet makes this process much easier (which is why so much of the web is shit) and expands the potential audience for voices that have something important or interesting or funny to say (which is why so much of the web is glorious).

If I had to honestly assess my little part of the internet, I'd say it's just slightly above "shit" because--I mean, I just have to face the facts--I don't really have anything important to say. And even if I did, it's about comic books! And nobody should care about comic books when we have out of control police officers believing they're all goddamned Judge Dredd, and old white men believing woman's bodies should be legislated, and an increasing number of bigoted assholes hiding behind their religion to treat other people like shit. How poorly Scott Lobdell is writing Jason Todd should be the least of our worries.

I think that's as close to a compliment as I'll ever give Scott Lobdell!

At the end of the last issue of Harley Quinn, Popeye was beating up a couple of the Harleys. Now Harley and the rest of the Gang need to swoop in and beat the living shit out of Popeye the way Bluto never could.

You know who was to blame for all of that violence between Bluto and Popeye (and maybe Brutus if he was a third person and not just an alternate name for Bluto)? Olive Oil. I know that wasn't much of a revelation which is why I chose to end it in a period instead of an exclamation point. If she didn't just keep leading them both on and just chose one (since Popeye and Bluto obviously weren't into anything more vanilla than monogamy), they wouldn't have had to beat the shit out of each other for decades. Although I suppose either one of them could have just been an adult about it and moved on with their lives. I suppose it wasn't fair to Olive that she had feelings for both of them and she couldn't decide on which of the violent bastards she wanted to spend her life with. It's also possible that Olive Oil didn't love Bluto at all and he was just a creepy rapist that wouldn't leave her alone. I can't remember the last time I saw a Popeye cartoon. One thing I know for sure! It was bullshit the way everybody decided to call the pacifist "Wimpy." You can always count on the majority to come together on any issue by attacking the pacifists and atheists!

The first few pages are spent on catch up Narration Boxes, some first act Law and Order procedural bullshit, a long comment on gentrification, and then a mugging. I'm sure Popeye will be coming up soon!

I know I shouldn't be judging Harley by her intelligent schemes so I probably shouldn't mention how putting a bomb in a cell phone that explodes when it's out of your vicinity is a bad idea, considering how often people misplace their phones.

Harley and Bolly find Popeye in a tattoo parlor just up the street. They confront him and...wait a second. Is this Popeye fanfic? Did I just pay $3.99 for fan fiction of Popeye the Sailor Man?! I am such an idiot.

Harley steals Popeye's spinach (which is actually irradiated seaweed) and eats it herself so that she can get huge forearms. But instead she just gets a hallucination in which she plays the part of a pirate. Her pirate ship is named Bernie. So I guess she set out to sea in her vagina.

Before the year is out, this hallucination will have its own mini-series.

Harley wakes up in the hospital with Ivy. When did this comic book become an anti-drug pamphlet?! Taking illicit substances that cause you to hallucinate is fun, kids! Don't believe this crap about winding up in a hospital! I've been rereading my X-Statix comics from the early 2000s and they're full of anti-marijuana and anti-smoking ads. I was actually surprised that those ads lasted into the new millennium. The smoking ads proclaim "Tobacco is whacko!" in huge letters with crazy images to go along with them. And then in smaller writing hidden somewhere else on the page, "If you're a teen." Ha ha! Stupid anti-smoking ads put out by cigarette companies! Please tell us why smoking is "whacko" if you're a teen but not if you're an adult? Are you saying it's only wrong to smoke before the law has accepted that you can make rational decisions on your own? I love how they want to make it seem like they're doing a good thing but they don't want to risk alienating the adults who smoke so they add the "if you're a teen" bullshit. And the anti-marijuana ads are no better. They generally end with something like "TRUTH" or "FACT" as being the reason not to do drugs. But the entire ad relies on hyperbolic hypothetical situations. It really would be nice if an ad just pointed out actual dangers to different drugs. But then I guess they really wouldn't have many reasons to tell kids not to smoke pot. They could bring up lung cancer but pot doesn't have to be smoked so their ad would really just be an anti-smoking ad while extolling the virtue of brownie mixes.

While Harley was out of it, the rest of the gang confronted Popeye and were defeated.

Hee hee. Behind! Don't you pervs fap to this image scan! Go out and pay $3.99 to fap to it like the rest of us!

Popeye has taken the Gang of Harleys out to sea and now he's planning on killing them all. It's up to Ivy and Harley to rescue them! But hopefully not all of them because, let's face it, there are way too many characters to care about in this comic book!

Harley Quinn #18 Rating: No change. I'm not entirely sure if this is an anti-drug comic book, an anti-spinach comic book, or an anti-fisherman comic book. I suppose it could be all of them as well as a slight anti-gentrification screed and a bit of a rant against the modern materialist culture. It's also possible it's just a story about a bunch of women kicking ass, taking drugs, and fucking. The fucking part isn't blatant though. It's things like Harley in the hospital with an "IV inside of her" and The Joker's Blunderbuss going "BANG" and how Harley never minded Ivy's "seafood buffet" smell before. It's all really classy!

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