Harley Quin #49
Harley’s straight-up clowning around on her latest mission, and she’s faced with a real laughter of a puzzle: How does she kill and collect the bounty on Lord Death Man, an immortal murder machine who seemingly can’t be killed? Nevertheless, she will persist with a host of attempted assassinations, all doomed to fail. Time is running out, and Harley’s running out of material, too!
Every now and then a comic is able to capture the essence of what makes a character not just great but timeless. In a wacky and demented story about something as simple as paying the bills, writer Sam Humphries manages to do just that. Harley’s final attempt at killing Lord Death Man proves to be a hilariously violent sequence that hits all the right notes for the character. What could have been a story about an easily forgettable villain turned into what could be an instant classic.
Although the inclusion of Tina’s narrative impacted the pacing of the story, it wasn’t enough to distract from Harley’s brilliant scheming. While Lord Death Man and Harley’s feud is certainly the highlight of the arc, the twist is really the explanation of why he continues to fall for her traps. Lord Death Man’s love (or obsession) for Harley has driven him to extreme measures simply to be together, and despite Harley’s best efforts to dismember and maim him, he will seemingly always return. Can Harley ever actually settle this and actually kill Lord Death Man? I personally hope not, because their “Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner” dynamic is too funny!
The artistic direction Alisson Borges and Gabe Eltaeb compliments the whimsical nature of the story perfectly and provides just the right amount of violence when called for. Even the lettering from Dave Sharpe adds to the story uniquely well. This very well could be some of the best work in the series so far.
As the series nears its landmark 50th issue, readers are left with a small teaser on what’s to come in a brief epilogue. DC has apparently brought back Jonni DC, Continuity Cop who mentions dealing with the effects of The New 52: Futures End series before vowing to stop Harley Quinn from destroying the DC Comics continuity. This will set the stage for series’ upcoming giant-sized issue #50, and surely make for another classic Harley story!
Harley Quinn #49 is a hilariously twisted story that captures a classic vision of the character uniquely well. Plus, the epilogue is one that you definitely won’t forget!
Harley Quinn #49: Kill Harder
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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