Review: Harley’s Little Black Book #5

by Konrad Secord-Reitz
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Neal Adams & Paul Mounts

In a call back to an issue that is a full decade older than I am, Conner and Palmiotti bring us a new gem. In the fight for planetary survival, who better to defend the planet than Superman? Conner and Palmiotti would have you believe it’s Harley Quinn, of course!

As the saying goes, no pain, no gain. That saying couldn’t be a better title and description of Superman’s experience. When the Scrubb come to Earth threatening to destroy it if a champion doesn’t step forward their representative picks the worst possible place to start, Harley.

After a rather rocky start involving a few backhanded comments and slaps being dished out followed by a solid punch, it is clear Harley is ready to go. As Superman arrives on the scene he notices Harley and immediately tries to take the responsibility. Both her and the Scrubb representative look at him and immediately state the obvious, he isn’t even human! And so begins a crazy star crossing journey involving the most unlikely of allies.

This issue is thoroughly enjoyable and the pencils of Neal Adams add a refreshing look to comics that hasn’t been present in a long time. One of my favorite things about how Neal Adams has portrayed Harley is her posture. It is easy to put her in a cat-suit or a bikini and give her big boobs and call it a day but he really makes her look tough. She often is portrayed as more solid than Superman and in stance, especially when she starts laying into him one boxing glove after another!

The story itself is quite simple but the sheer amount of sly jokes, call backs to “The Great” Muhammad Ali, and innuendos really make it a joy to read. There’s even a line in there for us gingers! For any new readers that started picking up comics after the age of Neal Adams and others of that era, this issue will open the door for them get into the older books if they haven’t yet.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable issue which pays respect to the late Muhammad Ali and opens a window for new readers to enjoy what came before.

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