Harley Quinn #48
Being stuck on an alien planet for months has really messed with Harley’s finances—she’s gotta become a working stiff again just to pay off all the bills she racked up while on Apokolips! And not only is the city threatening to demolish her Coney Island apartment building if she doesn’t pay up, she’s helping failed Fury Petite Tina to adjust to life on Earth, which ain’t cheap. Sounds like it’s time for the ramen diet!
After Harley’s heartwarming tale of discovering her inner beauty by defeating the terrible Granny Goodness on Darkseid’s planet Apokolips, she finds herself facing an even worse crisis upon returning home, eviction. She’s apparently missed quite a few payments on her mortgage so a hotshot developer is planning to swoop in and remodel Harley’s sanctuary for misfits into “modern townhouses”. This results in a hilarious sequence of Harley completely failing at random jobs like being a chef and working at the Daily Planet. While it isn’t anything particularly meaningful, it’s a great example of the creative team having fun with the character and showing her versatility after literally just coming from Apokolips.
This narrative freedom has worked particularly well throughout the self-titled series following Rebirth and it contributes to the sometimes-wacky nature of each issue. It isn’t long before Harley is trying to pay the mortgage by killing a villain called Lord Death Man in hopes of winning an award promised on TV. Up to this point, the artistic execution was good but seemed business as usual. However, in Harley’s attempt to kill Lord Death Man, the artwork is simply beautiful and helps to give the fight both violence and humor that only Harley can deliver.
It wasn’t exactly a surprise that Harley’s first attempt at killing someone by the name of “Lord Death Man” would fail, but it was still a bit unsettling to see her tear his heart out then blend it into a bloody mary drink. There have been many different moments like this which push the idea of Harley being both a hero and a villain quite literally, but this one was one of the more twisted so far.
Tina’s continuation in the new arc doesn’t provide many extra thrills, but she seems like a fun addition to Harley’s sanctuary of misfits. One of the best parts in the issue had to be the appearance of Harley’s latest comics which showed a “DC Checklist” that spoofed recent major events in the DC Comics universe.
Harley’s antics continue in this issue and they are as crazy as ever. The light-heartedness of the series has always been a hit and miss aspect, but it works best when balanced with just a little gruesome whimsy. This issue manages to capture these qualities, but only by not taking itself too seriously overall.
Harley’s attempts to pay the mortgage are quite a drastic change from fighting on Apokolips in the issue prior, but the story manages to capture the versatility of the character in a fun and enjoyable way. While more whimsical than violent, the issue proves to be a great start to the new “Clown for Hire” arc.
Harley Quinn #48: Dang It!
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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