I sit here having just finished reading Harley Quinn 64 and to be honest I’m at a total loss for words. We knew where this was headed, but still… One minute I am crying tears of laughter with my sides splitting. The next minute I am totally gut punched. You know what’s coming but to shift gears that fast and that completely…I am stunned. Honestly, but this issue but wait til 65 comes out to read its so you don’t have to wait like those of us who read it.
Cover 2 Cover
When you don’t know where to start, start with the covers. With the way we receive comics, I cannot tell if Harley Quinn 64 runs three covers or two covers and an art page. Either way they are all magnificent.
Cover A is a new Harley, one that is half terminator and half Evil Dead, yet all Harley bad assery. As random as this cover may feel it is quite relevant to the story within, so keep this cover in mind.
Cover B is artfully beautiful. It looks the spitting image of a book from the days of Kurt Vonnegut covers or 60s/70s style playbills from Broadway. By the very design I’m left asking is this a graphic novel coming next month? Given this issue’s 4th wall breaking who knows.
Cover C (Artpage) is downright gorgeous. Harley is beautifully detailed, but it is the look in her face and what she’s saying that turns downright deadly. She is pissed. With a giant mallet in one hand and a lighting quick bat in the other, She asks the target to choose their death. Oh, and she WILL deliver it.
Harley Quinn 64: A Somber Opening
For the readers who have been with the title for awhile, we all know where this was headed. For any newer readers, Harley’s mother has fatal cancer and is dying. Nothing new. Nothing unexpected. We receive a one page somber opening of Harley sitting at her mother’s bed side, talking to her. She does not know if her mother can hear her or not, but that won’t stop her from being there for her mother.
So what’s she do? She breaks out a comic to read to her mother. ok. cool. The only thing is that if you look closely, the comic she breaks out is none other than HARLEY QUINN 64!! Marvel may have Deadpool and his fourth wall breaking antics, but those of us who are DC followers have Harley! Thus begins the brilliance of this issue.
First Type of Tears
Thus starts are first trail of tears. As Harley jumps into this very comic, it picks up where last issue left off. Apex Lex is making Harley an offer to join his YEAR OF THE VILLAIN campaign, which happens to be the current over all arc in DC comics. You will note that comic mode Harley transforms to “comic mode” she dons the costume made famous by the Batman animated series.
Harley, being the good little girl she is, crushes his droid and walks away. Of course this pisses Apex Lex off. This is where ribs will break with laughter and tears of hilarity will fall.
Lex keeps coming after Harley, but Harley keeps jumping comic titles. The first she jumps to just so happens to be populated by a world of naked heroes and villains. Let me sat that again – NAKED HEROES AND VILLAINS! Of course “Censored” bars cover all privates but still.
We Jump Out….and Back In.
We have a quick jump out of Harley Quinn 64 to show her family is all there and following along with her. Jumping back into Harley Quinn 64 and “Zazzy Quinn” pops up with a Lois and Clark that look like shield agents in a gun fight at the Parks and Rec building! Lex finds her and again she leaves.
Next she jumps to a Justice League Dark/Hanna Barbera cross overs where the JLD crew is Scooby and the gang in total Zoiks mode. Again Lex shows up and again Harley screams, but this time she also breaks out and yells at the family to listen to the story. Although now we see family, Tina, Catwoman, and many others have joined the group.
Finally we get a hilarious scene where Apex Lex interviews with Sam “The Hammer” Humphries (aka the actual writer). After some hilarious back and forth Sam turns out to be Harley who beats the snot out of Lex once and for all. No means no and Harley is sick of it.
Harley Quinn 64: Name Calling at Its Best
One quick aside, note all the names Harley gives “Apex Lex”: Lex-y, Spandex Lex, Reject Lex, Defect Lex, Rolodex Lex, Perplexed Lex, and finally Herpes Simp-Lex. My sides hurt at this point between the dialogue and name calling and fourth wall breaking.
Harley keeps shooting down Lex and his stupid ideas for Year of the Villain. That is until Lex mentions he can cure his mother’s cancer. Wait…..What?!?
Major Gear Shift and Gut Wrench
Harley is reading a comic and that comic reaches into Harley’s world like she breaks the fourth wall and reaches into ours. How does a comic know about her mom’s cancer? The look on Harley’s face and the pain in the choice of selling her soul to save her mother or not stops the show and the comedy immediately.
She begs for her mother’s guidance, but her mother remains comatose. Then something else happens. I am not going to go into it because it must be read, but….Holy shit. My heart leaps into my throat, and the world stops. Darkness envelopes the world….yet a single ray of light and hope remains.
Hurry up issue 65!!