Harley Quinn #4

This series has been less than thrilling. Let’s recap:

#0– was hilarious and stunning. A who’s who of comic book artists paying homage to Harleen Quinzel. It was awesome.

#1– didn’t live up. It was a slow start with inconsistent art. Still, I was hopeful that once Harley got settled into her new Brooklyn home things would ramp up.

#2– Poison Ivy comes to visit in a plot that (inadvertantly- I hope) paints animal/environmental activists as nut bags. With a little Gotham star-power courtesy of Dr. Pam Isley, I liked it… but it didn’t do much in terms of overall plot. 

#3– A lovepotion/date rape drug gets HQ in some trouble with some ex-cons. Nothing happened. And it wasn’t funny enough to make up for it.

But I said I would give this series 5 issues to go somewhere. Because I have faith in Amanda Conner and I want Harley to do well… But I only have so much time and money. And I don’t have it in me to hate read this the way I’ve been hate reading Forever Evil. 

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And #4 made some headway in convincing me to stick around. This issue was funnier, zanier and we made some (slight) headway in finding where all these Hitmen are coming from. Harley puts on her regular people disguise and heads to her therapist job at the nursing home which leads her to taking a patient’s family hostage. She misses a roller derby match which leads her to an impulsive decision to take the other team out of contention. When she makes it back to her office she meets up with Sy Borgman, formerly Syborg, a retired supe who recruits her to finish a job that he started in the sixties against Russian Mafia. 

Now that sounds promising!

The art: Stephane Roux kills it in this issue. Hey Paul Mounts does colors! While not as bright and Shiny as the back pages of the X-Men, our colorful Harley Quinn stands out against dingy urban backgrounds and her sparse office. 

Dammit. I’m going to keep having to buy this, aren’t I? Check out the variant cover: Awesome.

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X-Men #12

So after my MANY COMPLAINTS about last issue… my hangs ups have almost all seemed to be addressed this time around.

Selene Gallio’s name was spelled right, Monet and Karima looked like two separate people, they addressed who was where (with a role call, which seemed like a response to complaints that I -and seemingly others- had last time).

The “Meanwhile” was still a “Before” (Quentin Quire was on the plane telepathically combating the Sentinels..

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at no point “Meanwhile” could QQ have been at the school with John Sublime last issue ..anyway…

In Japan, Ana Cortes bites the dust (at the close of #11 she stabbed herself through the gut with a sword). And there’s a slightly baffling scene of Madelyne Pryor’s resurrection. And then they introduce who’s on the inbound X-Jet.. which Rachel groans at. And it comes off as BWood being annoyed at readers being annoyed last issue -but I’m so vain, I think this issue is in direct response to me. Anyway; Storm, Rachel, Psylocke, Money, Karima got a tip about Lady Deathstrike’s whereabouts …from Ana. 

Arkea’s the queen bee of the hive mind so they decide to shut her down. They know she’s still recruiting and know it is likely that both the Black Queen and Red Queen have joined up.Monet crashes through the building (again) but instead of heading right for Arkea she goes to get some revenge on Amora while Psylocke has a rematch against Typhoid Mary. Rachel doesn’t get a rematch against Selene (long ago, Rachel faced off with her but Wolverine injured Rachel to take her out of the fight so that she wouldn’t be a murderer) but instead gets attacked by her mother’s genetic clone. 

But Storm negotiates. She tells Madelyne and Selene to just walk away and go elsewhere, just let the X-Men take care of Arkea. 

You don’t span decades with X-Men wanting you dead- or in Selene’s case; centuries- and survive without being a little self serving. They just got their lives back… so they walk away. 

Monet grabs Arkea’s host Reiko (after Arkea goes batshit and makes a run at Storm) and Karima shoots her with a weapon specially engineered by John Sublime. Then Karima says she’s taking a gig with Sabra and Gabriel. 

Okay… This time I liked Anka’s art fine. Maybe the last issue was just rushed, I don’t know. It looked better. The characters were distinct, the lines were clean. The backgrounds were stylishly sparse. 

Then we get to this dubious “Meanwhile”

Cessily and Roxy finally get their issues worked through…

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Mann’s art is so good! Paul Mounts colors are so good! This picture that I took with my smartphone in my crappily lit den does it o service. It’s really just gorgeous. This little side mission was certainly fun albeit somewhat convoluted. Look at the ripples! Look at the facial expressions. It’s so good!

Jubilee makes some comments to Julian that aren’t quite suitable for work. Anyway, Sentinels handled. 

I actually kinda dig Quentin Quire, he reminds me of my high school friends. He can come around if he wants.

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Is Jubilee actually gonna do vampire-y stuff. I feel like they’ve been teasing me with this for 8 months. 

This is one of my fave series, I’m glad to see it was back on track this month. I did think it was weird that Selene and Madelyne just walked off, now there are two big bads on the loose, I’m sure they will be popping up somewhere soon. This was a much better issue, I’m still a little baffled about the way the story is being split up.. but I’m okay with it as long as there is consistency and cohesion between the two plots.