The Best Comics in January Part 2: Harley and Ivy, Together at Last
Each month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best book to review. Look for Part 1 here.
All-New X-Men #22: One day I hope there's a huge trade paperback collection of all these Brian Michael Bendis stories because they are wonderful, huge, and frankly a little hard to love in single issue format. Still coming off a time when the original five X-Men were brought to show their future selves just how far they had wandered from their origins, the five teenaged mutants are now trapped in the present and joined by X-23.
What they had gone through was more or less a huge recap of the fall of Scott Summers into a man who could essentially be called a terrorist, not to mention Jean Grey witnessing her own death. That's going to leave anyone shook up, and the emotional aftermath is portrayed with real poignancy by Bendis.
Now the Shi'ar have come to Earth to claim the younger Grey and make her stand trial for the crimes of the Dark Phoenix, even though she hasn't actually committed them yet. Help arrives, sort of, in the form of the Guardians of the Galaxy. There has never been a comic that couldn't be improved by more Rocket Raccoon, though I am not a fan at all of the way Stuart Immonen has taken to drawing Kitty Pryde.
The consummate professor and veteran X-Men has way too many scenes where she's drawn helpless in men's arms when she's arguably the most badass person currently on the team. It doesn't ruin the book or anything, but it is a little annoying at this stage in the game.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Harley Quinn #2: I'm on the fence about Harley Quinn. I feel that she was a brilliant addition to Batman: The Animated Series but I often feel that maybe she should have stayed there. Too often it feels like she just never fits in with the DC Universe comic-wise.
For instance, here in her solo series she feels more like a knock-off of Deadpool than her own lady. There are worse characters you could emulate, but I hope that further along she gets to deepen into something stronger.
On the other hand, planning an enormous heist because she wants to adopt every animal about to be euthanized in a Gotham animal shelter is just plain adorable. Psychotic, but adorable. That Harley...
I was pleased to finally see Harley and Poison Ivy wake up in bed together. The two villains have basically had the longest unspoken romantic relationship I've ever seen in comics, and though it's still portrayed as not-exactly committed and sexual it's a long overdue step forward for the both of them.
Rating: 7 of 10
Piece continues on next page.