Thursday, December 3, 2015

Harley's Little Black Book #1

Am I allowed to open this without ruining my comic book collector cred?

That question was completely facetious because I already know the answer. Of course I'm going to open it! When I got the Death of Superman, I tore right into that sucker! And of course it's going to ruin my cred! When I tore into the Death of Superman, people fainted around me and I was almost banned from my comic book store!

Some of the previous story may have been an exaggeration of the truth. I wasn't even reading any Superman titles at the time when the Death of Superman was published. But my local comic book store held a copy for me anyway. That's how awesome I am! It's also the reason why, no matter how introverted and shy you are, it's smart to get in good with the clerks at your comic book store. That was back in Santa Clara, California, at Brian's Books (their second location! I'd been going there since before they moved!). The clerk's name was the same as mine (Jeff. Not Tess. I only constantly refer to myself as "Tess" because I figure, by the name of my site, people will understand that I'm talking about myself. If I suddenly mentioned the mysterious "Jeff", it might confuse some readers) and I think he might have had a crush on me. I'm also certain that years later, long after I stopped going to Brian's Books because I moved, he became a huge Mythbusters' fan. That's just speculation on my part. But he seemed like that kind of guy. We also talked Magic the Gathering a lot, so that might be why he wanted to see me naked so much.

Okay! I'm about to tear open my Black Bagged Harley book! I hope I get something exciting in it! What are the possibilities? A sketched cover, an inked cover, and a color cover?! Which one is the best? Probably the cover color, right? Is that the Rare one? Because I really only want the rare one. They obviously have different rarities, right? Everything inside sealed bags has rarities!

Oh. I got the color one. That must mean the other ones are rarer! I would have been disappointed with whatever one I got. Probably.

Do we really need a new Harley Quinn comic book? I'm fairly certain I'm up to my synapses in enough Harley Quinn. Hopefully this series will explain how she's in so many places at once: prison, California, Brooklyn, space. It's probably because she's a clone. I mean clown. No, wait. I was right the first time.

Harley Quinn has just defeated some thugs (comic book thugs and not the thugs that the Fox News guys want you to picture when you think of the word thugs. You know? Like the people Heroclix chose to use for their Thug Heroclix figure? Hmm. What is wrong with you, Heroclix?) and found evidence that Wonder Woman might be in trouble in London. That means Harley Quinn needs to team up with Wonder Woman! I already knew that because Wonder Woman is on the cover about eighteen times. I'm a pretty thorough reader.

Harley Quinn is super excited to team up with Wonder Woman because she has a shrine devoted to her.

I have a closet like this but it's for Aubrey Plaza.

This comic book is really thick and I don't want to wind up writing six pages of commentary on it, so I'm going to have to keep my thoughts brief. Although that's really nothing. I'm only forty-six pages into Genesis and I've managed to write 288 pages of commentary on that alone! If I ever fucking finish my commentary on the last eighteen pages of Genesis, I'll finally get around to publishing Lyle’s Study Guide for the Literal Interpretation of The Bible for Dumb Dumbs by Grunion Guy! And then it'll be on to Exodus where I think a baby topples a civilization or something. It might sound ridiculous but remember that he gets help from frogs and insects.

Harley usually goes into hallucinations to pad the pages on her special comic books but this time she just has a flashback to when she was a little kid and was beaten on by bullies. Boy, those bullies sure are cool! I wish this comic book was about them! They're all like, "We don't give no fucks! We'll kick little girls in the stomach no problem! We probably do other cool things too like smoke cigarettes and talk back to our single parents working two jobs and probably even play doctor with stray cats." Being a bully is awesome!

Harley is forced to do the bullies' homework which is another cool reason to be a bully! You never have to do any homework! It is kind of weird that the star of the comic book is being kicked around by cool characters. It would almost seem like the bullies are actually the...oh. Um. What I meant to say is bullying is awful and nobody should ever do bullying of any kind and I hope Harley Quinn defeats them!

Whoa. That was close. I wish I understood social dynamics better! I almost rooted for the bad guys! Except isn't Harley Quinn also a bad guy? Fuck. I'm so confused!

Violent retaliation against bullies is not the fault of the victim; it's the fault of society and the grown-ups who continue to believe in a kids will be kids attitude.

When I was in fifth grade, I was in a bowling league. I was also extremely...unsociable? Maybe more a-sociable? I've never cared about any kind of diagnosis for how I've never quite fit in and I never really thought much about it until Ray Romano's character appeared on Parenthood. When people claim nobody in television or books or movies seems to represent them, realize that I'm a white male who never thought of any "white males" as being representative of who I was. Not until Parenthood and then not even until he begins to realize that maybe he's on the spectrum. But my life has paralleled that characters in ways all the way up to and including having my own business in which I only interact with people when I absolutely have to. I'm just trying to paint the picture that I didn't really fit in in many odd and quirky ways and sometimes people smelled that and didn't like it.

So this bully at the bowling alley told me one Friday night at league that if I showed up the next week, he was going to kick my ass. I don't remember why. I don't know what I did. It boggles me to this day. It's quite possible I said something awful about him out loud when I thought I was thinking it because he was a huge dick to everybody. But the next week, I didn't know what else to do except to bring a knife to protect myself. If he had bothered me, I would have stabbed him. That's it. That's all there was. Try to fuck with me and I will end it. But I brought the knife to school that day, some kid ratted on me, and I wound up crying in the Principal's Office. The principal could not have been cooler or more understanding, trying to find the root of what was going on and why I had the knife and what he could do to help. He even called my cousin, who was a year younger than me, in to ask him questions. But I wouldn't say anything. In the end, he took the knife away and had my grandmother pick me up. She, as always, was sweet and kind and understanding. But I was also stubborn and unable to truly articulate my frustrations with how the world works. And I also didn't want to miss bowling. So I went. Without my knife. And Brian (the stereotypical red-headed bully asshole with the short sidekick named Maurice) picked a fight with me. I flew into my usual tantrum when at my wits end and just flailed my arms like crazy while crying and screaming. I think I scared the shit out of him because he just kind of backed off and left me alone. I'm pretty sure he got in trouble and was kicked off the league after other people came forth to relate how horrible he was to everybody. But if I had had that knife, I have no doubt I would have pulled it out and one of us would have been wounded by it.

Bullied kids will find their power wherever they can. And bullied kids that already don't fucking understand how and why everything around them works the way it does? They're just powder kegs waiting for society to fail them. Because everybody thinks everybody else should just buck up and fit in. But some of us truly don't fucking know how.

So no matter how terrible Columbine was, there was always a piece of me that couldn't help but empathize with the monsters who perpetrated it. I know violence is no answer to violence. But you back people up to the wall long enough--and I'm not saying the Columbine kids were that. I'm saying they could have been and I would have understood it--and they'll find their power any way they know how. You treat people like shit long enough and they'll forget they're human. And then they won't care that you're human. And then you'll have the monsters you expect them all to be. You'll reap what you sow.

I'm not saying murderous action should be taken against our white cis-het male overlords! What I'm saying is that the white cis-het male overlords should realize that they wouldn't have to fear everybody else becoming murderous monsters if they just fucking stopped treating them like they already were!

Hmm. I feel like I went too deeply into the defense of mass shootings! I totally don't mean it that way at all! I'm a fucking conscientious object-or (thanks, e.e. cummings!) and a pacifist and mostly a huge pussy to boot! Also I'm fucking terrified of having conversations on the phone so I can't even organize a protest of anything! All I can do is write shit on the internet and cry about my cat who died a year ago. Actually I don't cry that often about Judas anymore although if I think too deeply about my last moments with him, it's all fucking over. Like now! Stupid brain! Stop sandbagging me!

Oh shit. Speaking of Judas! The universe is an awesome place sometimes and we owe it all to coincidence. Not everything has meaning outside of what you bring to it or is a sign teaching you how to save your son from aliens invading your farm.

Here's one easy way that I know I will not like a person! If they use the phrase "It is what it is" or "Everything happens for a reason." And if they say them both, I have to murder them. No, seriously. I know I mentioned I was a pacifist not two paragraphs ago but sometimes you have to forgo your ethics and just save the world from serious douchebaggery.

Anyway, enough about not Harley Quinn! Didn't I say something about keeping this shit short?! Fuck. Maybe that Brian asshole was right. Even I'm starting to hate myself.

Harley Quinn is stowing away with the chemical goodies so that she'll arrive in London to warn Wonder Woman about Barmy Bugger's plot to kill her. And while Harley's visiting, maybe she'll get to meet the London Legion, London's premier super hero group!

These guys totally won't get in the way at all and won't almost get Wonder Woman and Harley killed!

The London Legion never get a chance to work with Harley or to screw up her plans because they're knocked unconscious by some of Barmy Bugger's special knock-out gas. You know the kind? It knocks people out in gas form. They're taken hostage and Harley stows away in the van back to Barmy's hideout.

I'm at the halfway point in this comic book and Harley and Wonder Woman haven't even engaged in any finger banging. That's British for shaking hands, right?

Eventually Harley winds up with the knock out gas meant for Wonder Woman and heads on over to give Wonder Woman a dose because Harley comes up with strange plans that almost certainly don't involve removing Wonder Woman's underwear once she's unconscious. That would be unconscionable! Although a little bit sexy because it's fictional, right? That makes it okay? Maybe?

See! I knew it was okay! And it is a little bit sexy! It's like my pants suddenly don't fit right!

Harley Quinn puts on Wonder Woman's costume and throws on a wig so she can pretend to be Wonder Woman and capture Barmy Bugger!

She looks exactly like her!

Okay, I admit it. That's not really Harley Quinn as Wonder Woman. If you squint just right, you'll see it's my friend Doom Bunny who none of you know.

Barmy Bugger ambushes Wonder Woman's apartment and while Harley tries to battle his minions, Wonder Woman wakes up naked in the tub. I hope all of her towels are dirty! Her hair isn't long enough to hide her ass so I hope there's a panel where our perspective is from behind her! And maybe her legs are slightly parted. And maybe she's bending over! And maybe I should have been editor on this comic book!

Wonder Woman decides not to show me any of her mystical goodies. She'd rather risk whatever weird viruses and microbes Harley Quinn has in her underwear and wear Harley's costume to stay modest.

This comic is really getting good!

After a few more pages of what I think was the conclusion to the Barmy Bugger caper but might just have been a bunch of pages I masturbated to, Harley informs Wonder Woman that the London Legion have been taken captive and need to be rescued! So they totally didn't get in the way at all! They were completely useless throughout the entire fight! I wonder what they talked about while waiting to be rescued? No wait! I don't wonder that! I don't need to know that! It would be just like DC to believe that comic book fans were clamoring for a six issue mini-series about their time manacled to the wall of a dungeon.

The London Legion is rescued and everybody goes out to celebrate at the pub! I bet they have a few pints and skitter some chipwhiskers until they're conklin' on the shrub-tumpers!

At the pub, Harley eagerly ties herself up with Wonder Woman's lasso and asks everybody to ask her any question at all! Any question?! Oh boy! Or not oh boy since the scene cuts away before she can answer any kinky questions. But at least when they're done drinking and they're all on the way out of the pub, Harley gets a little tiny bit of Wonder Woman action.

Oi that hand!

Harley's Little Black Book #1 Rating: I enjoyed this comic book but I have some serious misgivings about it. It costs five dollars and also costs five dollars. At first I thought it was going to come out twice a month because DC loves inundating fans with tons and tons of Harley Quinn. But I can't see how a book this size and with a character already headlining her own title can feasibly be published that often. It would really help if the term "bimonthly" wasn't so fucking ambiguous! Can somebody get to work on fixing that bullshit? Also, about that clone thing! This series (along with Harley's regular title) obviously take place sometime after Harley finishes her contract with the Suicide Squad and is released from Belle Reve. That's why none of the superheroes she encounters try to arrest her for being a huge criminal. She's already served her time and as long as none of them look too closely at her cartoon violence that occasionally ends with corpses being thrown into shallow graves by Harley's employees, she's free to commit all of the chaos. So I think it works that Harley is currently in the Suicide Squad setting up these stories which take place at some future date. But don't get too wrapped up in what happens when. These are comic books and being too much of a stickler for continuity will only drive you mad.

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