Harley Quinn #44 – Christopher Sebela, Writer; Mirka Andolfo, Max Raynor, Artists; Gabe Eltaeb, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Corrina: Lots of Villians (Maybe Including Harley)
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The second half of Chris Sebela’s one-month arc on Harley Quinn wraps up in Harley Quinn #44, as Harley’s mentally unstable mission to figure out who robbed her favorite bodega winds up with her in the clutches of two of Gotham’s most dangerous villains. The last issue saw her tearing through the underground to find the culprit, only to discover a confused Dollotron who wanted her help. She tried to chase down Pyg for the guy – only to run into a completely different villain, the mad serial killer Reaper, who we haven’t seen in a long time. The return of this villain should mean big things for the title – they were a Batman: Year Two creation, I believe, and the inspiration for Phantasm in the animated movie. However, here Sebela never even reveals how and why they’re back and mainly seems to use them as a generic villain. The two villains are sharing lair space and have some sort of a pact going, although it’s a tentative alliance at best and their minions don’t seem to really trust either of them.
If there’s one thing I like about the issue, it’s the fact that Sebela is having some fun with the generic evil minions. Here they actually come off as people, usually young and desperate, who got into something much deeper than they were expecting. Between the Dollotron that Harley encountered last issue and a young woman in a Reaper costume who is looking for the exit, it’s a fun concept – although the meet-cute between them late in the issue sort of comes out of nowhere. The last issue seemed to be playing at some interesting things involving Harley’s unraveling mental state, but everything seems much more played for laughs this issue, including lots of antics involving Harley and Bernie the Beaver. Overall, this arc isn’t likely to stick in my mind once Sam Humphries jumps on board to take Harley to space, but it’s an amusing diversion that serves its purpose to give Harley fans a quick, chaotic arc in between big runs.
Corrina: This issue is overstuffed, between the cult members and Pyg his dollotrons, plus the romance subplot, plus Harley’s currently unhinged set of behaviors.
It is breezy fun, if you don’t think too hard about it, which could be said for many Harley stories, though I could have done without the torture.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.