Harley Quinn #52 Review

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Sami Basri
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Dave Sharpe

Spoilers ahead!

I had a few minor quibbles with the last issue of Harley Quinn, and I’m happy to see them addressed in this week’s story. It actually makes me appreciate the previous issue a lot more, so let’s delve right in.

After Harley and Captain Triumph brawl it out, Harley realizes she needs to get him back to his time to fix DC’s continuity. Things go pretty smoothly for the rest of the issue. She takes him back to the scene of his origin, and it’s there he’s reunited with other Golden Age superheroes.

I was happy to see an acknowledgment of how little has actually changed in America since the 40s. Captain Triumph talks about how people tend to romanticize the past, but things weren’t all that great back in the day. After all, America had to fight fascists, and the president sent American citizens to camps. It sure would be awful if the country failed to learn any lessons from decades ago, wouldn’t it?

There’s a line in this issue that really stuck with me: “Nostalgia is a trap.” Lately, Harley has been wanting to go back to her old life of crime. Not because she liked being a criminal more but because it was just simpler. The same sentiment could apply to a lot of people these days. These days, everyone’s nostalgic for the 90s because that time seemed easier. There wasn’t the same existential threat posed by technology and social media, and people weren’t constantly talking about politics every single day.

However, the past still had its problems. When Captain Triumph says, “The only way out is to move forward,” he’s giving advice to the readers. We can’t just pine for days that had awesome cartoons. We need to work to build a better future. It may be a little cliché, but for a week like this, it’s a message I needed to hear.

Overall Score: 10/10

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Mike Bedard is a Los Angeles-based writer. He has written for Cracked, Robot Butt, and many other websites. You can keep up with everything Mike does by following him on Twitter @TheMikeBedard