Review – Harley’s Little Black Book #6 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer(s): Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artwork: Simon Bisley, Paul Mounts (colours)
Release Date: 29th March, 2017

Harley continues her crossover adventures with the heroes and villains of the DC Universe, this time meeting the main man, Lobo.  For those who don’t know this series, it’s a spin-off from the main line Harley book and features a different crossover with a random DC character each time, often with a hilarious result.

Amanda and Jimmy have been writing Harley since she made her debut in the New 52 event and its obvious within a few minutes of reading any of her dialogue that they just flat-out get her character.  I wasn’t sure they would be able to make Lobo sound like his old self, but they do manage to make the reader nostalgic for the 90s.  The story itself is a bit of a mess with nothing of any real importance occurring, but that isn’t really the point of this brutal and comedic romp, and it’s pretty clear that the character interaction is what will win readers over here.

Simon Bisley is on art duties this issue and his style works incredibly well with the setting and characters provided.  It invokes a 1990s comic book aesthetic that you would normally associate with something like Mirage’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Chaos Comics’ Evil Ernie with its thick pencil lines, heavy use of shading and super musclebound characters.  This works particularly well for Lobo who fits exactly into that type of pulpy visual style, although Harley herself can unfortunately come across a little rough in places.  Paul Mounts splashes the pages with a colour palette that more than compliments Bisley’s art.  Using a much darker palette than we would normally see in a Harley book definitely helps to build that unique 90s “extreme comic book” look.

Ultimately the book suffers a little from being a little too wordy, with both characters filling up the majority of panels mouthing off at each other.  This isn’t normally a problem when it is just Harley as she is the kind of girl that steals the spotlight but this feels like a constant verbal battle between her and Lobo, perhaps by design.

The book actually feels like more of a “Lobo meets Harley” story rather than the other way around which, feels a little bizarre when you consider the writers.  The humour is crass and filled with sexual innuendo and over the top gore and dismemberment, and on that level, it appeals to me just fine.  On the other hand, the story is fairly non-existent and with the characters each having personalities that are a little too big to coexist in a single issue, it can feel exhausting reading all of their dialogue.  It’s a fun book but not a great book, and as much as I enjoyed it I can’t objectively recommend it, but by now you will hopefully have a better idea whether it’s something you would like to read or not.

Rating: 3/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato

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