In HARLEY QUINN #50, Sam Humphries, John Timms, and Alex Sinclair take Harley, her mom, and a comic book cop through reality as it falls apart.

50th Time Is A Charm

Humphries brought, almost literally, everything to this anniversary piece. For the last few issues, Harley had been reading her own comic. While that could just make someone squint at the screen for a few seconds, you probably thought nothing of it. Maybe it was another one of her weird but funny attributes. It was the perfect foreshadowing for her fiftieth comic. 

For such a potentially confusing plot, this installment was easy to keep up with. The race through reality in HARLEY QUINN #50 spent equal time making inside DC jokes and preaching about passion. The seriousness felt cheesy at some points, but the message about creativity at the end of the comic was fitting.

HARLEY QUINN #50
HARLEY QUINN #50 page 4 & 5. Image courtesy of DC entertainment.

The story never felt rushed. The plot drove itself, and the extended length of the comic let the author give more attention to characters. I actually liked Jonni, the Continuity Cop. Her uptight attitude served as a cute contrast to Harley’s wild attitude. She was often the one telling the inside jokes, even when they subtly mocked DC itself.

In fact, the only real criticism for this piece is more of a complaint. After this comic, you’ll probably want to punch the next person who says the word continuity. Word choice is barely enough to ruin a comic, however.

Art Across Realities 

Aside from Timms and Sinclair, multiple other artists came on to craft HARLEY QUINN #50. The variety in style never conflicted though. The different styles help portrayed the differences in reality. Honestly, the artistic choices came together to produce a comic I’m tempted to buy the physical copy. It’s that gorgeous.

HARLEY QUINN #50
HARLEY QUINN #50 page 6. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The incredibly bright colors are nothing new, but they were especially catching during the shifts in reality. The line work and contrast of colors on top of the white background not only communicated that a continuity wave was coming, but stood out against some very busy panels.

The art was incorporated into the story in a very noticeable way, and it wouldn’t be the same without it. Often, art does not get as much credit as it deserves. It can be very easy to write it off as shapes and word boxes, but this installment doesn’t let happen. The visuals have a key part in the story. It goes to show that visuals are more than what meets the eye. 

HARLEY QUINN #50 is the Perfect Anniversary

What HARLEY QUINN comic doesn’t have a lot going on? Ultimately, no one should be surprised when hundreds of superheroes appear to be jumping out of a DC comic, inside another comic, inside another comic, inside… you get the idea. This series has successfully balanced all sorts of material at a time, but even I was a little worried when I saw Batman and Superman as pirates. I was worried this would try to play itself into other comics, or become a story arc. Luckily, none of that happened. That being said, HARLEY QUINN #50 might be one of my new favorite comics.

It’s easy to prefer fun and flashy comics over in-depth, heavy ones. However, you can still have standards. I may avoid the overly serious, but that doesn’t mean I want everything to be completely purposeless. While the writer cracks jokes at the expense of DC, there were occasional meaningful moments that addressed the passion and drive behind creating comics. As someone who recently started writing about them, I can’t help but love that. Creativity comes in all forms, and all are valuable. Whether that’s making major superheroes in dinosaurs or analyzing why the artist did that, it’s important you do. We need a world that imagines more, not less.

HARLEY QUINN #50 by Sam Humphries and John Timms
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
In HARLEY QUINN #50, Humphries delivers a fun but meaningful misadventure through realities, accompanied with bright art from Timms and Sinclair.
94 %
Perfect Anniversary
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