Archive for Harley Quinn

Duck Amuck


Howard the Duck #1

Yet another new #1 issue of a series that debuted less than a year ago. Get a grip on yourself, Marvel.

Howard is back in the detective biz, with his shapeshifting friend Tara Tam, with Aunt May Parker as his office manager. But he’s got a bad case of existential blues, and he’s decided he’d like to return to his home — his original home, the world full of ducks. Dr. Strange reveals that the previously discovered Abundant Glove has the power to transport him back to his home. So Howard takes Tara on a trip to the Florida swamps, looking for the Nexus of All Realities. Unfortunately, it’s not being guarded by the Man-Thing, which has given the Wizard and Titania the opportunity to turn it into a weapon. Can Howard and Tara stop a couple of supervillains all by themselves? And what happens when Howard passes through the Nexus? On top of that, we get a short segment at the end introducing a character called Gwenpool. She’s like a cross between Deadpool and some other recently popular character…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s very much like the Howard the Duck of the previous series — funny and clever and sarcastic. There are lots of fun details to enjoy here, from Tara’s shapeshifted hat to the glimpse we get of alternate realities inside the Nexus. I really don’t know what to think of Gwenpool. Let’s hope the character doesn’t end up being terrible.


Harley Quinn and Power Girl #5

Our heroes have defeated the evil Oreth Odeox — but not before he summoned the fantastically immense Harvester of Sorrow! He’s a giant floating head who specializes in creating sorrow and hate everywhere he goes and then sucking away all the psychic energies left behind — and he’s far too powerful for anyone to stop. Harley manages to get inside his massive brain, planning on blowing it up, but she gets captured instead, and the Harvester prepares to drain her brain dry of all negative emotions. Unfortunately, accessing her memories of the Joker ends up infecting the Harvester with a virus and transforms the entire head into a giant Joker — which is probably worse than the regular Harvester of Sorrow. And Harley’s now gone full-on crazy. Can anyone survive? Even more importantly, can Vartox’s mustache survive?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a whole lot of crazy, and a decent amount of low-class funny. Always a nice bonus to go along with the action.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments (2)

Chibi World


Astro City #27

Strange monsters are attacking all over the world, and while Honor Guard beats them, they always vanish into thin air, only to return later. But at last, American Chibi reveals that she knows what’s happening. She takes the heroes to an apartment where a woman is collapsed unconscious on the floor and then merges into her. It turns out the woman is Marguerite Li, a computer game designer, and the epic fantasy game she’s been working on for years has been co-opted by an eldritch interdimensional force that intends to use her monsters to over-run the world. But American Chibi was created as the game’s hero, uniquely qualified to destroying the villain’s plans. So Chibi leads the charge into the game’s fantasy world, followed by Honor Guard — who are all turned into adorable chibi versions of themselves. But can a bunch of big-eyed kawaii superheroes save the world from ultimate evil?

Verdict: Thumbs up. American Chibi has been a seriously weird character, so even though she’s appeared only rarely, there’s been a lot of mystery about what her big secret was. The story really hits its high points when everyone is cute and cartoonish — guest artist Joe Infurnari is extremely good with cartoonish art, though his depictions of the real world are disappointingly scratchy and ill-formed.


Harley Quinn and Power Girl #4

Vartox is still evil, and when he gets the upper hand, temporarily, over Power Girl, Harley and her newly discovered Caticorn — like a green-furred lolcat Capricorn — ride to the rescue. The combination of Harley’s puppy-dog eyes and the Caticorn’s purring breaks the spell over Vartox. Meanwhile, it’s revealed that the Ex-Girlfriend Force survived their various traumas — but then Oreth Odeox himself attacks! Can anyone save our heroes?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s cute, it’s funny — it doesn’t really aspire to much more than that, but I still enjoyed it.

Comments off

The Choke’s on You


Harley Quinn and Power Girl #3

Harley, PeeGee, and Groovicus Mellow are trying to find the captured Vartox. After beating up a bunch of spaceships, Groovicus gets everyone high with space-weed, which leads to a short Hunter S. Thompson-inspired mushroom samba sequence. When that’s over, they finally meet up with Vartox — but a Vartox who’s been turned evil! With a loincloth and nipple rings! Is he going to kill everyone?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I enjoyed the hallucination sequence the most, but the entire issue is really incredibly weird. I do consider this a good thing, obviously.


Sensation Comics #13

Wonder Woman intrudes on a footrace by a trio of girls, then spends a certain amount of time gloating about it and telling the star runner of the girls that she should try to be better. And then Superwoman, the evil superpowered Lois Lane from Earth-3, shows up and starts a fight. They also preach at each other a lot and endanger the girls.

Verdict: Thumbs down. No, I really didn’t enjoy this a smidge. I entirely agreed with the girls at the beginning, when they pointed out that a god-powered super-being doesn’t get to brag about being able to run faster than normal teenagers. And the Wondy-Superwoman battle also cheesed me off. It wasn’t particularly exciting, and I was bugged that Diana didn’t try to get the fight farther away from the girls, especially after Superwoman showed a willingness to put them in danger. It just seemed like a story that wasn’t working as hard to be great as the other tales in the series…

Comments off

Bullseye Girls


Harley Quinn and Power Girl #2

While Power Girl takes the thankless job of tanking a bunch of alien ships, Harley has to figure out how to stop a killbot when she has no weapons. Later, they all run into an alien supergroup called the XGF — the Ex-Girlfriend Force — all former lovers of Vartox. There’s an extended period of bickering — there’s only one man in the XGF, and he wants the team to pick a new name, and some of them are fairly jealous of Power Girl, whose alternate-reality counterpart was Vartox’s fave gal — and Harley shows up and hits everyone with hammers. So where the heck is Vartox anyway?

Verdict: Ehh, not a complete thumbs down, but I wasn’t wildly impressed. The character work is fine, the art is fine, the jokes went on a bit long and got a smidge repetitive.


Sensation Comics #12

In our first story, Wonder Woman discovers that Poison Ivy is attacking Themyscira — only to learn that Ivy is here only because she felt a warning from Gaia telling her to come here. The Amazons realize that a warning from Gaia means the monster Typhon is awakening from his ancient slumber and preparing to attack. Do Diana and Ivy have a chance against a monster vastly more powerful than they are? And in Story #2, after a particularly heinous crime by Dr. Destiny leaves Diana unsettled, Batman prescribes a vacation to a small mountain town with a Solomon Grundy problem…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Both stories are excellently written and illustrated. Poison Ivy’s massive tree-trunk armor is something that should be seen in comics more often.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments off

Apocalypse How


Ms. Marvel #16

Kamala Khan is still heartbroken that her crush, Kamran, turned out to be a supervillain — she’s busy drowning her sorrows with pushcart hot dogs — when she learns that the world is about to end. She responds to reports of panic in NYC and discovers a whole ‘nother Earth about to crash into ours. She starts working on getting her friends and family to safety — and meets up with Kamran again, who informs her that the renegade Inhumans have abducted her brother Aamir. They’re going to expose him to the Terrigen Mists, too, to awaken his Inhuman powers and see if he’ll serve them. And on top of all that, Kamala finally gets to meet her idol…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Tons of great moments, great writing, great art. It actually feels like a crisis situation — everyone is pulling together and helping each other out. And hey, Adrian Alphona is doing the art, which means you need to start paying attention to all the little details to find the secret gags and in-jokes.


Harley Quinn and Power Girl #1

So this entire miniseries takes place between a few panels in the regular Harley Quinn comic. Harley and Power Girl end up going through an interdimensional/time portal and then reappearing moments later with new costume changes. So what happened while they were in another dimension? Let’s find out!

Once Harley and PeeGee find themselves teleported to another galaxy, they run into a quasi-Yoda pervert who has his pet hydra attack them. Once they’ve got that settled, with a combination of superstrength and conveniently-placed high-caliber weaponry, they find an abandoned but oddly familiar robot head. Hey, it’s the giant head spaceship of Vartox of Valeron! But where is Vartox? He’s being held captive by the Darkseidesque supervillain Oreth Odeox, and when the big giant head takes our heroines to the now-conquered Valeron, they’re attacked by Odeox’s forces, but they meet up with a new ally — Groovicus Mellow, Chief Science Cat to Lord Vartox.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I never really thought I’d read a comic with the New 52’s uncool version of Harley — but when it also stars Power Girl, and it’s written by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner, the creators behind the very best version of Power Girl, well, I allow myself to be convinced. Conner doesn’t provide the art — that’s by Stephane Roux. The art isn’t as gloriously expressive as Conner’s, but it ain’t at all bad. All in all, it looks like this is going to be something I’ll keep reading.


Sensation Comics #11

Just a single story in this issue. Josh Elder and Jamal Igle bring us the tale of Wonder Woman traveling to the nation of Itari, which has been locked in years of war. She hopes her status as an ambassador will help the intractible enemies in the small nation learn to embrace peace. But Ares definitely doesn’t want to let peace break out, so he raises an army of the lizard-like Praetorians. Can Diana defeat the God of War and help end the hostilities in Itari?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice story, along with some excellent art by Jamal Igle. I do wish we could’ve seen Etta Candy, though — she gets namedropped early on, but it seems like the kind of story where she would’ve been a lot of fun.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments (2)