Posts Tagged ‘Superheros’
Somehow I recently became obsessed with the character Harley Quinn. For those that don’t know, she’s the Joker’s girlfriend. You know, the Joker from Batman. Didn’t know he had a girlfriend? Well he does now.
Visually distinctive in her red and black motley or jester suit with white face-paint and panda eye make-up, Harley Quinn was created for Batman: The Animated Series. Something that passed me by at the time, I have been able to catch up with via the magic of YouTube. Though she was at first only in the animated series she eventually moved over into the Batman comic proper.
Now I’ve never been a huge Batman fan but always found the mentalist villains to be of interest, especially in the comic, where they can be a lot darker than the ever could in the films, campy tv show or even the cartoon series. (Though the cartoon series definitely has charms of its own as is much better then either the films or earlier tv show).
Having an interest in the Joker naturally leads onto his girlfriend and what a character she is. A wise-cracking fool she wants to be a femme fatal but always falls short, usually over a banana skin. Locked into a love-hate relationship with the Joker that has very sinister undercurrents you can’t help feeling sorry for her. She comes over as forties heroine, gutsy but klutsy and with a self-deprecating awareness about herself – which reminded me of Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby. Some of the cartoon episodes are really excellent especially the origin story ‘Mad Love’ (Harley was originally Joker’s shrink) and the innuendo-filled ‘Harley and Ivy’ where she teams up with the vampish Posion Ivy. Read the rest of this entry »
Some time ago Alan Moore wrote the series Top Ten. It’s about a city where everyone, down to the cats and mice, is a superhero, alien, deity, robot or some other entity inspired from mainly comics, but also literature, film and television. That’s an idea which has done before and, no doubt will be done again, but I doubt if it will ever be done better. From the basis of this one idea Moore let his imagination fire off in all directions as he told the stories of some of those that policed the city. A number of the scenes and sub-plots were completely bizarre and yet Moore grounded them with real human emotions so that a quick aside about a teleport crash or the love affair between a woman and an intelligent dog could be completely affecting. The backgrounds of each panel were also studded with in-jokes so you could also play a ‘Where’s Wally’ game in spotting the famous and not so famous characters from other stories cleverly included by the artist Gene Ha. And probably most amazingly Moore through all the madness kept a multi-level, multi-strand plot going until its natural conclusion. Not for nothing was it called ‘Hill Street Blues with superheroes’.
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