Harley Quinn #51
Harley broke most of DCU continuity last issue, and in this ish, she’s dealing with the fallout, namely the time-tossed hero of World War II called Captain Triumph! The golden boy of the Golden Age finds his black-and-white approach failing miserably in the gray areas of the modern world (although unfortunately, there are still plenty of fascists for him to punch). It’s up to Harley to return Captain Triumph to his own time, but she’ll have to put the kibosh on his do-gooding first—right after she figures out what “kibosh” means!
The impacts of Harley’s continuity crushing adventure in the landmark 50th issue make for an odd day with the Golden Age Captain Triumphant. Writer Sam Humphries seems to just be having fun exploring continuity as a plot device. The wackiness he brings in contributes to creating an overall story that is just about impossible to forget. The concept alone of this new arc is a testament to the quality of storytelling present in this series, as well as it’s potential to inspire new and original content.
The highlight of the issue is without a doubt Harley’s moment of recollection of her days as the Joker’s accomplice in spontaneous crimes. It’s a chance for the creative team to show off her iconic costume, while also exploring the more recent emotional growth Harley has experienced. She has her mother beside her and refuses to even say the Joker’s name really, showing that this is almost an entirely different character than the one we see robbing banks and terrorizing citizens.
The artistic direction is beautiful as always, with Captain Triumphant bringing a traditional superhero aesthetic to the series. There are a few good panels depicting Harley Quinn, but overall the pacing left some to be desired. It began to feel more concerned with telling a story about a golden age superhero out of his place rather than Harley dealing with the impacts of the continuity crisis. Although the two clash at the end after Harley reveals the true reasons behind his situation, it isn’t enough to make the issue feel more than just business as usual.
Harley Quinn’s solo series is coming off of what is arguably its best issue yet with issue #50. The continuity crushing concept worked perfectly to create a classic Harley story, so I can understand why the creative team would want to keep it going, even just for a bit longer. Unfortunately, the first issue in the new arc doesn’t generate quite as much excitement, hopefully, it picks up the pace in the coming issues.
Following the incredible landmark 50th issue, Harley Quinn stumbles in its pacing as it attempts to explore the lasting impacts of their continuity crushing adventure.
Harley Quinn #51: The Old Days Were So Fun!
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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