As a Harley fan, it is obligatory for me to pick up the mini series. I did enjoy the original Harley and Power Girl interactions from Harley’s own series in issues #11 to #13. The concept of straight (wo)man and foil is not a new one for Harley but if you pit a serious but not too serious character like Power Girl with Harley who is zany and colorful, fun things ensue. In the original storyline, Power Girl has amnesia and Harley sells her a lie that they were both friends. They both go to boutiques, shop, dine and fight crime. It was a promising pairing that was worthy of its own series. We the fans got our wish and I admit, I am…..not as excited about it as I initially believed that I would be.
I admit that I am not a big fan of too much science fiction. More specifically, I am not a big fan of a series or a character that has a basis in real life to be sucked into another world, especially if that world is sci-fi based. In Harley’s series, it was Power Girl in a Barbie, err, I mean Harley world. In the Harley Quinn/Power Girl series, it is Harley in a Power Girl world.
The basic premise is this: There was a panel in Harley Quinn #12 that mentions some adventures that the girls had in an interstellar dimension. This was mentioned just after they return with the help of an intergalactic toe ring. This little tidbit is expanded upon in this series. The story is about the girls and how they have to save a planet whose leader is trapped. This planet is called Lustox and its leader is a guy named Vartox. This planet is under siege by a pleasure repressed villain named Oreth Odeox. Did I mention that Vartox looks like someone you would see in a skin flick? Sprinkle in some innuendo, pop culture and Harleyisms, this book has that light popcorn flick feel to it. It is not recommended except only if you are a Harley completist.
Text: The story is simplistic. Harley even breaks the wall when she quips: “Okay, so we zip down here, rescue the princess from her evil stepmother, get the teleportation ring from Oreth Odeox, an’ are home sweet home*** again. It’s so easy we gotta complicate things a bit to make it a challenge…” Story wise, the book lacks. Harley pretty much explains it in that quote.
This is the storyline in a nutshell. Connor and Palmiotti create extra characters to ‘pad’ the story. As a story that is sci-fi based, it is obligatory that we get introduced to weird looking characters and creatures that you would see in a George Lucas film in various forms of development:
You have a horny Yoda look alike, hot space aliens. The setting looks like a mix between 70s funk and an interstellar space opera thrown into the mix.
Part of me actually thinks that this book was an excuse to draw Harley with those donut buns that Carrie Fisher had in Star Wars. As I mentioned in my last post, Harley is one of those characters whose costumes just demands to be reinterpreted. Stephanie Roux does an amazing job on art and the colorist did a beautiful job during the ‘acid trip’ sequence when Harley uses her hand and makes a zebra. The art is stunning, the story is very…meh. During this very ‘acid trip, the girls encounter a man who looks suspiciously like Grant Morrison. There is a reference to ‘meta’ and how they are traveling outside of continuity which is actually integral to the story because Power Girl mentions that Vartox is in love with ‘a version’ of herself. Promising.
The story is thin but it is heavy on visuals. I can’t complain about the acid trip experience, the creative original characters and the way the ‘man meat’ is drawn. I did like the part where Harley expressed her art appreciation and how she admitted to drawing dirty pictures in high school. I can relate.
I like series because of the nuggets that it has but as a whole it doesn’t excite me. Palmiotti and Connor know when to spoil and when to hold back. The book doesn’t excite me as much as the main one. Too much sci-fi which is more of a personal preference and not a knock against Palmiotti and Connor as writers of sci-fi as demonstrated with their popular Power Girl series. I prefer realism but I am not hesitant to get out of my comfort zone or something that makes me uncomfortable (see Garth Ennis’ “Preacher” series).
The book is very colorful, literally and metaphorically. At this juncture I want to continue because I want to see the showdown between Vartox who is possessed and the girls. I am not expecting anything too earth shattering. Get it if you are a Harley Quinn completist or if you like sci-fi that is light and has humor. And if you like dirty puns.
**As a bonus, we have confirmation that Harley Quinn likes hard rock. In Harley Quinn #14, she sings a KISS tune and in here she sings “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns n Roses. I seriously think that the bolded part is a reference to Motley Crue’s ‘Home sweet home’. The girl has great taste! Stuff like this is what I live for in a Harley book. #shallow #sorrynotsorry