Harley Quinn #46 // Review
Darkseid is… what exactly? Harley Quinn, or Hammer Harlem as she is now known, asks the tough questions of the DC Universe while Sam Humphries and John Timms continue this wholesome trek across Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. Harley, after learning the unfortunate truth behind Apokolips and Darkseid, must now come to grips with her new found persona and evil group of allies. This wonderful new debut run continues to understand not only the titular “hero” and comedic timing, but especially what makes a compelling interesting story narrative.
John Timms yet again knocks this issue out of the Fourth World, adding the visual cues needed for Humphries’ comedy and taking them to the next level. The distinct stylized artwork of John Timms consistently fits perfectly for this title, and this arc is no exception, with the outlandish Harley Quinn juxtaposed by the stark contrast of Darkseid’s Apokolips. Timms has shown time after time how greatly he works on Harley with previous writers, and, with the addition of Humphries on the title, his art can only get taken even further. With no surprise, Frank Cho brings yet another gorgeous variant to the comic stands. With a long history of gorgeous work, these are sure to be more classics for master artist Frank Cho.
Harley’s popularity can cause her to feel oversaturated and come off as forced or corny at times, but, with Humphries at the helm, Harley has the ability to flourish and gain an even wider audience outside of the cosplay scene. Humphries has a great voice for Harley with his well plotted comedic timing, such as the use of breaking the fourth wall--something Harley has not always executed well--which helps to heighten a joke or narrative and lends credence to the series. Humphries’ jumping over to Harley and aspiring to be something much more meaningful than would be expected is a most welcomed surprise. Where other writers would keep Harley in her own box outside of the DCU, Humphries wants to embrace continuity. Where the series typically suffers from a lack of importance or involvement with the rest of the DCU, the use of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World and references back to Grant Morrison’s epic Justice League classic ‘Rock of Ages’ adds up to be much more than just Harley on vacation from the rest of the universe as per usual.
Humphries and Timms display why Harley Quinn is so loved and adored by so many fans, new and old, while also bringing her closer to the rest of the respective universe. This run is off to a promising start, as Harley continues her romp on Apokolips, earning the respect of readers and on the verge of subjugation to Darkseid’s will.