Review: Harley Quinn #4

Written by: Mark Henely

harley_4_3I don’t understand this comic.

And maybe that will interfere with my ability to review this comic properly. I feel like the characterization of Harley Quinn in all other media is different from the one that is portrayed in her solo series. She is typically portrayed as a woman who is an unrepentant criminal who is made sympathetic by the fact that she taken advantage of by her evil boyfriend, the Joker. BUu, in this comic, she is a wacky hero who sometimes kills bad guys that she might not have had to kill because she is soooooo random. How did she become like this? How did she escape the cycle of abuse and ditch the Joker? When did she decide to be a hero? Why aren’t we reading that story instead of this bland superhero story that they are shoehorning her into.

But, I should probably focus on the comic itself. The first five pages play out like an Archie comic. Harley has a wacky time at a Coney Island type place complete with a scene where she throws up from riding a kiddie ride. Then, they go to India and try to shut down a call center. I will give it to the writers, Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti, for taking a concept that is frequently used in racist comedies and genuinely not doing something racist with it. I will, however, take them to task for writing a story that makes no sense. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the context with which they fight the main villain makes no sense from a practical standpoint and the big reveal about who the main villain actually is is so absurd that  it defies words.

I think artist, Joseph Michael Linsner really does a great job with this comic. Harley’s hair and clothes always looks really interesting. Quinn is truly a icon in cosplay, so I like that her comic has a “What is she going to wear next?” aspect to it. I’m a big believer in “give fans what they want” and I think new Harley Quinn outfits that can be worn to the next convention is certainly giving fans what they want. The action sequences are also rendered very well and I think Linsner really does a lot with what he is given.