I would like to take a moment to blame a potential portion of my readership. If you have ever spent a dollar on one of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor’s Harley Quinn comics, I’m blaming you for the atrocity that is Frank Tieri’s Harley Quinn Screws Up the DCU. Without the financial success of that initial New 52 Harley Quinn run, we wouldn’t have gotten this awful comic. We wouldn’t have gotten the abominable Batman and Harley Quinn movie trying to capitalize on the same style either. A lot of the other awful Harley Quinn labeled books like Old Lady Harley, or any of Tee Franklin’s works wouldn’t have existed either. Instead, DC continues to think this same kind of ugliness is all people want from Harley Quinn.
The “ugliness” I talk about is what we see in this comic. This is one of those comics where you can just describe what’s going on to inform people of why they shouldn’t buy it. No deeper explanation is really needed.
With all of that out of the way, let’s get into the actual issue.
This Comic Thinks Its Readers Are Dumb
We find that when Harley turned on the time machine, she individually went back to several points in time. She conveniently ran into each of the major 6 Justice League members and proceeded to do something stupid that wound up getting each of them killed at what was supposed to be their origin story.
Why does Harley only remember this now, you ask? Well, apparently Harley had “time-nesis” which made her lose her memories of her time travel specifically up to this point. It’s such a stupid and lazy excuse for a plot point. Frank Tieri obviously just wanted to give himself a way not to get into the hero’s deaths until now.
The next parts of the comic are just awful. I’d like to say first though that the artwork does not help with the miserable experience of reading this comic at all. Most the characters have the same wide-eyes with overdrawn eyelashes and very limited facial expression. That’s not to mention the times when characters appear out of proportion. I suppose the unpleasant artwork fits with the overall unpleasantness of this comic, however. Now let’s move on while I continue to describe all of the other bad things you’ll find if you buy this comic.
“Harley” is Reprehensible
We see Harley crash into Superman when he is a baby trying to escape Krypton. She eventually causes him to explode. Harley admits to the dystopian version of herself that she did this, but acts like it was akin to breaking a window and it “wasn’t on purpose.” Dystopian Harley then explains how that act allowed Starro to take over. Upon hearing this, all of a sudden, Harley starts to feel really bad about it. Why? Is Harley a crazy sociopathic nihilist who will kill a baby and try to act like its not a big deal or is she a person with empathy who cares about her mistakes?
By the way, how does dystopian Harley know any of these heroes and their identities in her timeline? The other Harley prevented them from existing in the first place!
Both Harleys go back in time to fix Harley’s destruction of Superman. They are going to do so by disguising themselves as his nannies to get him to a different part Krypton so that he won’t be there when Harley kills him. In the end, the plan doesn’t work. However, the Harleys manipulate his mother into taking him to the doctor, saying that his actual nannies have a bad case of diarrhea and that he probably has it as well. Get it guys? It’s funny because of diarrhea – because it’s talking about poop. Hahaha, aren’t you laughing? Seriously, what a lame way to go about what could have been a fun concept. Rescuing baby Superman… by claiming he has diarrhea.
This is NOT Harley
The next hero on the list to save is Barry Allen. He ran into Harley when she was getting arrested for looking like a meth-addict. When Harley sees Barry, she hits on him telling him he looks like a “sexy Bill Nye.” I’m not sure why Frank Tieri thinks it’s still the 90’s and that reference would still be relevant or funny. Barry deters Harley’s advances, saying he has a girlfriend. Harley responds saying she does as well, but that’s never stopped her in the past. Ah, there’s that lovely, perfect, idyllic Harley and Ivy relationship again. And isn’t Harley just so endearing and not at all trashy in her pursuit of trying to hook up with everyone, whether they consent to it or not?
Harley then tries to break free from the cops so she can force herself on Barry Allen against his will. The ensuing struggle results in Harley pushing Barry into the wrong place and he is killed by lighting. Don’t you just love Harley Quinn?
That’s the thing, this is NOT Harley Quinn. I hate having to use her name when I describe all of the awful things in this comic. Frank Tieri’s Harley, much like Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor’s Harley, is nothing like the character from which the Harley Quinn name originated. It’s not like the current version in mainstream comics either. It’s this weird offshoot that boils down to a bad version of Deadpool. There is absolutely nothing to like about or root for when it comes to the protagonist of this book. All of the scenarios that could’ve turned out to be fun are marred with this kind of ugly, flat humor and behavior.
- You love gross-out characters and 90’s pop culture references
This comic is filled with nothing but dated 90’s pop culture references and bodily fluid humor. Its protagonist is disgusting, trashy, and annoying, and behaves reprehensibly, yet the writer thinks making the character show empathy at random moments is somehow going to make her endearing.
The best joke of all is that DC greenlit this book in the first place.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.