Comic Book Reviews (Week January 6, 2021): Future State Harley Quinn Issue 1, King in Black Issue 2, Getting It Together Issue 4, and More!

future state harley quinn issue 1 review
Future State: Harley Quinn Issue 1 (Image: DC Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (January 6, 2021). I will be covering Future State: Harley Quinn issue 1, Future State: Wonder Woman issue 1, Getting It Together issue 4, and more!

So, a number of Future State titles were released by DC Comics this week. And I have to be honest. I couldn’t make myself be interested in a bunch of them. Not only do I think I will be wasting money on stories that are supposed to only run for a couple of months before DC Comics goes back to releasing the main series of books, but I’m also ‘meh’ about the types of stories being told. 

Anyway, I did decide to pick up Future State: Harley Quinn Issue 1 written by Stephanie Phillips. I’m not the biggest Harley Quinn fan out there. I prefer her playing a supporting role in books starring bigger guns she can bounce off. However, I do have to say I enjoyed Phillips’s take on Quinn. Many readers forget that Quinn is a very smart woman. She’s a psychiatrist, after all. Yes, she’s crazy, but there’s a method to her randomness. 

The first issue showed her being captured by Scarecrow. As someone not important enough to get killed instantly, Scarecrow ended up finding a better use for Quinn’s talents. I enjoyed Phillips writing a story about Quinn helping Scarecrow capture criminals around Gotham. The way Quinn exploited what made bad guys like Professor Pyg and Firefly tick made sense. I can’t wait to see where Quinn’s current (forced) team-up with Scarecrow will lead them. I think taking down Black Mask is going to be tough.  

The art and colors by Simone Di Meo and Tamra Bonvillain, respectively, gave this book a very futuristic feel. I loved it!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

future state wonder woman issue 1 review
Future State: Wonder Woman Issue 1 (Image: DC Comics)

Future State: Wonder Woman Issue 1

It’s clear that DC Comics are expecting great things from the new character Yara Flor. She even has a live-action TV series in the works, even though she officially debuted just this week in Future State: Wonder Woman issue 1.

With Joelle Jones serving as the writer and artist, I’m not really sure how to feel about this book. Jones’s art (with colors by Jordie Bellaire) is amazing. But I always give a side-eye to art that features women in less superhero clothing compared to men. I don’t understand why heroines have to go about saving the world wearing, basically, a one-piece bathing suit while the heroes are dressed from head to toe (even when they have impenetrable skin). So, yeah, seeing Yara Flor in such clothes was disappointing.

As for the story, Yara wants to bring back her dead sister from Hades’s Underworld. That’s when Caipora comes in to escort Yara. This new Wonder Woman is impatient and has anger issues, which I think could speak to a number of readers. As for me, writers giving young people such issues and calling it a ‘personality’ isn’t my thing. So, here’s to hoping Yara has more layers.

Jones is clearly taking a modern take on the lore featured in this story (which reminded me of the Percy Jackson series). Due to Yara’s origins, I have my fingers crossed this book goes deep into Brazilian mythology.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Up to you.

Knock Em Dead Issue 2 (Image: Aftershock Comics)

Knock Em Dead Issue 2

From writer Eliot Rahal, Knock Em Dead issue 2 leaned into the supernatural stuff Pryor has found himself in. A ghost (named Danny, I think?) has taken over his body and will be using his body to fulfill their dream of becoming a successful comedian. But at what cost? The possession has already made Pryor experience a change in his personality. I think her sister might end up playing a role in helping him, somehow. And yes, I continue to appreciate a comic book story about adult siblings and their strained interactions without any outside romantic mess involved (as of yet).

The art by Mattia Monaco and colors by Matt Milla does an amazing job of making the panels look very creepy whenever the supernatural stuff comes up. Something horrible is going to happen. And I can’t wait!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Getting it together issue 4 review
Getting It Together Issue 4 (Image: Image Comics)

Getting It Together Issue 4

Coming to another comic book featuring siblings, we have Getting It Together issue 4 by co-writers Sina Grace and Omar Saphi. The latest chapter served as a conclusion, showing how our main cast of characters have grown and what we can expect from them in the future (fingers crossed Grace and Saphi return to tell more slice-of-life stories).

Everyone seems to have changed for the better. But I think many of us know how random life can be. So, even if Lauren, Sam, Jack, and the rest seem to be in a good place right now, their circumstances could be different the next time we see them.

Watching Lauren find her identity as a solo artist was fun. I think Grace and Saphi captured the life of an indie artist quite well. I was expecting more panel time with Jack, though. But oh well.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up. 

Happy Hour Issue 3 review
Happy Hour Issue 3 (Image: AHOY Comics)

Happy Hour Issue 3

I was provided with a free copy of Happy Hour Issue 3 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Wow! From writer Peter Milligan, I was not expecting THAT to happen in Happy Hour issue 3. A lot occurred in this issue and I have a feeling everything needs to grow worse before it, hopefully, becomes better. The latest installment divided the panels among four stories. Yes, that can be a narrative mess. But kudos to Milligan for making the arcs flow.

We get to see how people live under Landor’s control. Misery is a counter to happiness. However, the kind of misery that Landor advocates for seems to be as extreme a measure as forcing people to feel permanently happy.

Kim and Jerry’s runaway adventure lands them in more trouble. Jerry has emotional baggage and trust issues. Seeing him become paranoid over whom Kim secretly talked to over the phone was a sad turn of events. He clearly has feelings for her. I like them as a team. But it’s about to get messy.

We also had developments for Hamm and Chief Agent Sullivan, which I don’t want to spoil. Things are out of control!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

You can read our review of House of El: The Shadow Threat here.

Which comic books did you read this week? What are your thoughts about Future State: Harley Quinn issue 1?

Let us know.  

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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