Harley Quinn #2

Helter Shelter

Dr. Harleen Quinzel still has a price tag on her head, and while she gets to lay the smack down on some hired guns most of this issue is centered around Harley organizing a heist… to save animals from being euthanized. Adorbz. And while she’s getting her animal rights on, she calls eco-terrorist BFF Dr. Pamela Isley. Our favorite Gotham PhD’s liberate some animals and then snuggle up all the while Harley tries to figure out what’s going on here.

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All the while dealing with real world issues like waiting for a fridge to be delivered so that rotting corpse quis stinking up the place.

I loved that Harley got a visit from my favorite Gotham anti-hero Poison Ivy. But I dislike the way Chad Hardin and Stephane Roux went with her look;

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Tribal tattoos? argh… 

but the personalities are right, constantly playing off each other: pranking, flirting, teamwork and girl power! oh HELL yeah! I’m about to ask writer Amanda Conner to be my Valentine… hmm.. would co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti like that? Poison Ivy even comes up with a scheme to fake Harley’s death and let her collect on the reward, but Harley decides to go the direct route -you know, wrapping would be assassins in sausage and throwing him to the dogs.

While both Harleen and Pamela tend to be morally ambiguous villainesses and occasional good guys.. there’s an odd subtext.. Poison Ivy loves plants more than people, something that’s been proved many times before and Harley’s main storyline of this issue was rescuing pups and kitties (and in issue 1 she adopted a dog and slammed down an animal abuser). Point being: these characters are shown protecting animals or the environment and are portrayed as deviants. Of course no one wants ancient oaks or wide eyed beagles to bite the dust but often activists are presented as radicals or extremists in an effort to alarm other would be do-gooders. I find it endearing from HQ but the stereotype in general is detrimental when the “Green Scare” is a very real thing. To the point where people have been baited by the FBI and charged to decade long jail sentences for THINKING about planning a crime. 

Everyone loves Harley and Ivy but they are the Dark Knight’s adversaries, so what message are we sending about opposers of animal cruelty? By using the unstable Harley as an ALF avatar is the message being sent that environmental and animal rights activists are all nutjob wackos?

Or is this a way for the outrageous Quinn to seem more innocent and sweet?

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Harley Quinn #2

  1. Hi Pam! Well for me Ivy/Harley doesn’t work that well in New52. So far Ivy ahs shown to be more heroish and less murderous, especially in Detective Comics where she is a hero. And here, Conner and Palmiotti make her feed humans to plants… On the other hand Harle in Suicide Squad and he Villain’s Month has done some really atrocious things like murdering children and random people for fun. I like whee Ivy is heading in New52 and this felt like a throwback…Also we still ahve the stereotype of the murderous psychotic ecologist with a hint of lesbian subtext (which a very close friend and struggling lesbian found sexist and homophobic) just ot make sure the book sells. I dropped this series because of this issue.

    • I’m giving it one more issue to go somewhere… I just don’t see it happening. And I agree, Conner/Palmiotti wrote it in a way that animal rights/eco activist/LGBT characters look like fringe lunatics. That’s one insensitive stance.

      I didn’t read Harley’s villain’s month origin, I read Ivy’s though… I didn’t approve.

  2. Pingback: timewantsaskeleton | Harley Quinn #4

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