We can argue what issue number this is. The SDCC ’14 is issue number one. We’ve also gotten an H.Q. # 0, an 23.2, and Issue 1…For my sanity, I’m just going to name this issue 9.5.
If you watch/watched the Steven Spielberg Presents : cartoons in the 90’s. Then this comic will act, like an old “weekday afternoon friend.” Whether artists/writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti satirize T.V. shows/ movies of past/present. Or trying to pay tribute to an Archie comic. Harley Quinn comics are still a must read. I don’t think it’ll go past issue 100, mind you. However plucking Harley from Gotham and placing her in Coney Island, N.Y. , still continues to work.
I’ve come to terms with the sideshow freak tenants. They are to me, what the Dursleys were in the Harry Potter series. They’re introduced in the first few pages, and that’s pretty much it. Occasionally they’ll pop up in the middle or end of an issue. However I feel that they’re an opening/closing act. You know warming up the crowd before the real story/act, sneak in for that second curtain call. One of them becomes Harley’ s male BFF, a little person named Big Tony. He owns/runs everything from freak shows to burlesque shows near the Coney Island Boardwalk. He asks Harley to fill in on one of the shows. Because an performer, has taken some time off.
Basically the first few pages are for both the male and female demographic. Harley comes on stage in a cheap alien costume. Her co-star is a astronaut dressed as a space explorer. Both remove their costumes to reveal their outfits…little to the imagination.
She’s half naked, covered in glitter, complete with ankle boots and playing card diamonds covering her breasts. It just comes off as an excuse to fulfill some fan boy/girl fantasies. Which ironically that is where this issue is going. Co-starring with her is an half naked buff Gypsy woman, making out on stage in front of a rowdy crowd of drunk Coney Islanders at a burlesque show…wrap your head around that one.
Long story short, Harley doesn’t know how she should kiss her co-star. So off stage Big Tony suggests to Harley that she’s kissing her ex-lover. It brings back memories of Mustah J. Harley loses it and incites an riot.
She get’s arrested, but it turns out the cop is a stalker (he has killed and cop and stole his police car, DUH)…who we find out resides in Staten Island.
Harley is placed in a cage, as her unknown stalker wonders what to do with her. Harley decides to educate her captor and the readers what the “real Harley” is like. As her her alter ego Dr. Quinzel educates her stalker (and the readers), about unhealthy obsessions.
We do find out that he has also kidnapped three comic book nerds, where he has been keeping them prisoner in his basement. Because when he was at his local comic book store, he had overheard that they were verbally bashing Harley.
I understand the point of the story. It’s satisfying, because Harley was obsessed with the Joker. She confesses how it didn’t end well. Even though she technically still has this love/hate relationship…anyway…The point is in this universe she understands that she has developed an fan base since the 90’s with cos-play, fan fiction, and so on and so forth. I’m glad Harley counsels her stalker instead of bashing his head in…as for the fate of her stalker and his other captors…you’ll have to read and find out. You won’t be disappointed.
If I were taking a freshman college Psychology course, I would’ve used this issue for an extra credit paper on obsessions. As stated before, the first few pages are for the fan boys/girls fantasies. If you think about it, that’s the point of the story. We’ve been fantasying about Harley since her introduction in the 90’s. We’re getting an idea, what Harley is like on the inside and outside.
To change the subject for a quick minute, I used to live in Staten Island, N.Y. for twenty two years. So I get the jokes from Harley making comments about the landfill, to how expensive the Verazzano Bridge toll is. For those who are unfamiliar, when I lived in Staten Island, the bridge toll was $8.00, I believe it’s now…$12.00? I also lived 10 minutes from the landfill…so, yeah.
As for the artwork, we get some great artwork/designs of a outer space burlesque Harley. As well as the interiors of her stalkers house (he lives in a Norman Bates-esque house). There is also an reference to an 70’s John Travolta film, like I even have to tell you which one ( ; . However I said it before and I’ll say it till this comic ends its run. There are no build ups to the pop culture references. Take that…you know who.
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