Harley Quinn #52 – Sam Humphries, Writer; Sami Basri, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Golden Age Love Letter?
Ray: Sam Humphries has embraced Harley Quinn’s craziest elements, turning her into some sort of twisted hybrid of Deadpool’s chaotic neutral nature and Booster Gold’s casual disregard for the laws of nature. And somehow, it works completely. That brings us to Harley Quinn #52, where Harley teams up with a forgotten Golden Age hero to restore him to his own time period. The issue opens with a flashback to Captain Triumph’s bizarre origin – involving a twin brother, a sabotaged test flight which results in his brother’s ghost being bonded to him, and a lot more weirdness. Oh, and a trio of witches behind his superpowers. All normal stuff, none of which prepared him from being stranded in the present day, which is why he’s attacking Harley blaming her for his predicament. After an extended chase sequence where Harley can’t seem to stop him and he can’t seem to catch her, it eventually becomes clear that Triumph is genuinely unwell and his mental state is deteriorating with every moment he’s in Harley’s world.
Jonni DC, the oddball DC Continuity Cop, shows up to push Harley to find Triumph and get him home. This weird bit character is an amusing little addition to the title, although seeing her drawn in Sami Basri’s more realistic style is more than a bit odd. Harley is eventually able to track Triumph back to the aircraft hangar where he got his powers, and a sequence of events ensues that leads to him getting his brother’s ghost back and being reunited with his family and friends – as well as the mysterious witches, who I don’t think are supposed to be Hecate from The Witching Hour. But you can never be sure with this book. One adventure over, and another one soon begins as Harley’s new arch-nemesis emerges – a teenage girl calling herself “Minor Disaster”. She’s Major Disaster’s daughter, and her device doesn’t cause earthquakes so much as intestinal distress. It’s the kind of plot that could only happen in Harley Quinn, and Humphries’ anarchic approach makes me look forward to this book every issue.
Corrina: On the surface, Harley Quinn seems the most unlikely title for a Golden Age tribute. I mean, she’s a murderous person, with a skewed sense of morality, though not quite the villain she used to be. But, underneath, because of her skewed sense of the world, Harley is probably the perfect person to handle Golden Age crazy elements.
Look at Triumph’s origin. I suspect it’s even weirder than Harley’s own, with the witches, the ghost, and the shared fiance. But Harley is able to not only accept all that but make dirty jokes about it. It works, gloriously so, and somehow seems a tribute to the Golden Age characters too. (None of whom I recognized saved the Red Bee.)
On Minor Disaster, I believe that many, many years ago, in a Teen Titans title from the mid-70s, Major Disaster “hijacked” the entire island of Manhattan. Aqualad had to push it back into place with the help of sperm whales. I’m not saying Minor Disaster will do the same to Coney Island but…I’m not ruling it out, either.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.