Seriously, I felt like my picks for this week got everything going.

In Harley Quinn #23, we establish two key things:

Mason and Madame Macabre help Harley with Harley Sinn. This is one less distraction and worry for Harl, for now at least.

Chief Spoonsdale is onto the Mayor.

After that whole incident with the Cannibal zombies and opportunistic and slimey Berkowitz, I anticipate their downfall. It should not be too far off because according to the Mayor’s dialog when he and Spoonie had a throwdown, he said he was up for reelection soon and he was not going to let him stand in the way and ruin it.  In a time when distrust in the government and probes are the talk on our media, we can’t help but hope that Harley and her pals bring these slimey politicians to justice. It won’t be easy which is why I anticipate the arc that finally brings Madison Berkowitz down.

I know I have complained about Connor and Palmiotti having too much in one plate in the past, but this is one of those times  where I am excited for a storyline that will happen in the not so distant future. Preferably in its own issues and not one that shares a book with two or thee other concurrent stories.

In this issue, Harley has a double date night with Goat Boy and her parents. On her way to the ‘Moonlight’ boat (Haha, I love the reference to Harley being  a moonlighter), we see GoatBoy and Harley having a chat about the city. While it may seem innocuous, I see Harley’s commentary here to be a significant voice in today’s cultural and social issues.

One of the things I love about Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor’s Harley is that they sneak in little socio-cultural observations through the characters. The thing I have noticed with other lesser writers is that they are very blunt and lack the finesse that these two have. The characters feel more like puppets for the writer’s fantasies. Palmiotti and Connor do this sparingly and in a subtle way. It feels more like a natural expression of the character rather than flat characterization. Most importantly, I think the way that the creative team handles this issue is something that other companies *Marvel* should learn from.

The fact that Harley and Goat Boy can casually use public transportation while having a conversation on diversity made me smile. In a time when the media talks about diversity, I do think they have good intentions when they mean to use race and gender as a topic but diversity has other parameters. Here, John Timm’s art perfectly demonstrates his ability to capture a wide variety of people. All ages, races, and genders. It doesn’t feel contrived. It feels organic. I admit, I can’t stand how a lot of media and yes, this includes comics, talk about diversity by focusing on race and gender when in reality, there will always be differences even amongst a similar group.  I grew up a working class Catholic Latina. Ask me how my family viewed LGBTQ people.

I like how they are taking a dig at pretentious types who talk about ‘diversity’ and representation and Harley thumbs her nose at them (Harley and her Gang of Harleys, the Harley Quinn back up stories, Harley Quinn Road Trip Special). Even though the language is directed at the supposed bigot, I do think that the commentary is aimed at ANYONE who judges anyone. The comments may look like they are aimed at one group, but in actuality can apply to anyone who exhibits close minded behavior.

“It’s a crying shame some people judge other people so harshly for being so different. Point of view can change your day, y’know?”

This is common sense. Growing up in a diverse community, the idea of being rude to anyone who did not look like you did not register. That did not mean that it did not exist. I never heard a racist comment aimed at me but I have heard it used on other people. Let me tell you, it wasn’t rednecks who said it.

“That’s why I love this town! It has personality….You ever notice how rich people all wanna look the same kinda handsome and pretty? Snore. I LIKE all the differences in everybody an the way they look. The more money gets pumped into this city, the more personality it loses.”

Last time I checked, gentrification was not driven by Trump supporters but well meaning people who may not realize (or care) about the damage that they may be causing. I want to also note that Harley has so far mocked Trump only once in her series? That is because he is too easy to make fun of.

I love it when someone like Harley makes real life political commentary that isn’t critical of one group but ALL.  Most importantly, I think the way that the creative team handles this issue is something that other companies *Marvel* should learn from. You can talk about diversity without being ham fisted about it. I am so glad that the creative team for Harley is here to offer a supportive and productive way to talk about a conversation that is happening today through humor and great writing. A great issue!

 

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