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Review: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight

It’s Harley Quinn meets The Warriors and Snowpiercer in Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight. Harley dozes off on a Coney Island-bound subway and finds herself in a corner of the city she never imagined…the X Train, a pirate-filled locomotive sailing the troubled waters of New York’s underground!

Writer Daniel Kibblesmith takes us on a wild train ride that riffs off of and spoofs so much. Part of the fun of the comic is the pithy riffs and rips on pop culture. Harley delivers a punch or two dozen making her way to the front of the train car in a checklist of references.

Kibblesmith puts together a story that’s pretty straightforward and wears its heart and ideas on its sleeve. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight at its heart is a side-scroller brawler video game. Each car representing a new level and challenge. With that, Kibblesmith takes advantage with each car also being a wink and nod to pulp culture with numerous references to The Warriors, video games, DC Comics, Snowpiercer, and more. The comic is a digital “spot the pop culture reference.” And it works.

Part of why it works is the kinetic energy of the art delivered by Marguerite Sauvage. Harley is focused in on in red while her adversaries deliver the black and white. We get to see the flow of motion as she beats her way to the front of the train. There’s a motion to the art that reminds me of my metro rides in DC. To see Harley dance and beat her way to the front is a bit of visual poetry in the positioning and flow. Sauvage also does something a bit interesting with panel transitions as well. While not all of them line up, there’s more than enough motion between them where a swing might begin at the end of one panel and end at the beginning of the next. We fill in the gap of her movements.

I read my copy through a simple reader but there’s a chance through something like comiXology’s Guided View, the transition may be enhanced even more. The lettering by AndWorld Design too stands out as keywords are emphasized adding an extra punch to the jokes and at times making them entirely.

It’s not surprising that I enjoyed Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Eight. Not knowing the specific story, just the creative team, I knew I was going into something I’d like. But, what Kibblesmith and Sauvage deliver is an homage to so much of the pop culture I consumer and hold dear. It’s a connect the dots of things I enjoy. It’s another winner for DC and their DC Digital First program. Not only is it a fun comic but it’s yet another stand-alone comic anyone can pick up and enjoy. It’s also yet another example of what you’re able to do creatively with Harley Quinn.

Story: Daniel Kibblesmith Art: Marguerite Sauvage Letterer: AndWorld Design
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology Kindle

ComiXology Delivers a Trio of New Releases Including New Harley Quinn

There’s three new digital comics for you today from comiXology. Harlequin delivers two new romance manga while DC Comics has a new DC Digital First in Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red. Check out all three right here or the individual issues below!

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red (2020-) #8

Written by Daniel Kibblesmith
Pencils Marguerite Sauvage
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“End Of The Line”
When Harley dozes off on a Coney Island-bound subway, she finds herself in a corner of the city she never imagined… the X Train, a pirate-filled locomotive sailing the troubled waters of New York’s underground!

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red (2020-) #8

Reunited By A Shock Pregnancy

Written by Chantelle Shaw
Art by Motoko Mori
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Eight years after ending her mismatched marriage with an Italian tycoon, Sienna has finally established a cosmetics company and gained great success. But after reading about her ex-husband getting remarried in the newspaper, she decides to head to their spot to confirm that she no longer has feelings for him. There, she hears a familiar voice calling out to her. It’s her ex-husband, Niko! The newspaper was mistaken, and the one who got married was Niko’s brother. Unable to resist this reunion with Niko, Sienna spends a night of passion with him. Little did she know that she would become pregnant…and face Niko’s rejection once again?

Reunited By A Shock Pregnancy

Valentine Vendetta

Written by Sharon Kendrick
Art by Miho Tomoi
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When her best friend comes to her begging for help, Fran Fisher can’t find it in her heart to say no. Her friend wants to use Fran’s job as a party coordinator to get revenge against Sam Lockhart, the man who took her virginity and then dumped her…and who happens to be hosting a charity event. Hoping the plan will help heal her friend’s broken heart, Fran goes to Cambridge to win herself the role of Sam’s party coordinator. But when she arrives at his house, she is shocked by his good looks and endearing personality. He is nothing like what she expected. Is he really a heartless and predatory womanizer like she was told?

Valentine Vendetta

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DC Announces the Creative Teams for More of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter 7

We’re halfway through the fourteen chapters of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red and DC has revealed the creative teams for the chapters releasing throughout the month of August. Check out below for the digital comics you get to look forward to for the rest of the month.

CHAPTER SEVEN: ON SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 7, 2020 

Written and drawn by ERICA HENDERSON

“Give Me A Break”

Some people burn their ex’s belongings as a way of putting their past behind them. When Harley Quinn does it, she takes her whole apartment building with her, which causes more than a little friction with her roommate Poison Ivy, who’s something of a stickler when it comes to not almost dying in a fire. The legendary partners come to blows in this cautionary tale for the ages!

CHAPTER EIGHT: ON SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2020 

Written by DANIEL KIBBLESMITH
Art by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE

“End Of The Line”

When Harley dozes off on a Coney Island-bound subway, she finds herself in a corner of the city she never imagined…the X Train, a pirate-filled locomotive sailing the troubled waters of New York’s underground!

CHAPTER NINE: ON SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2020 

Written and drawn by JOE QUINONES

“Indiana Quinn!”

Harley Quinn finds herself kicked to the curb when she botches Poison Ivy’s best-laid plans to acquire a treasure of myth and legend! Determined to prove her worth, Harley sets off to capture the prize for them both, but not before drawing in Batman and Batgirl in a thrilling and dangerous adventure across the globe!

CHAPTER TEN: ON SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2020 

Written and drawn by DANI

“Sunshine Getaway”

Harley was trying to take a nice and quiet post-breakup vacation into the SLAUGHTER SWAMP, but disaster strikes when a bunch of creeps kidnap her beloved hyenas Bud and Lou. Time for her to put a very particular set of skills to use and kick some ass!

DC Delivers a Surprise Digital Release of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red With First Chapter by Stjepan Šejić and Gabriela Downie

DC has announced the launch of its newest Digital First series, Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red! Publishing each Friday and spanning 14 chapters, this digital series is an anthology of standalone stories told in the vein of the classic Batman: Black & White. The first chapter is available for purchase now on participating digital platforms, including readdc.comComixology, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and more.

Each chapter of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red will be told in traditional black and white with the color red utilized in unique ways throughout each of the individual stories. The debut chapter of the Digital First series is “Harleen: Red” by writer/artist Stjepan Šejić with lettering by Gabriela Downie. Set in the world of Šejić’s New York Times bestselling graphic novel Harleen, this story hints at a “red” that will have meaning only to Harley Quinn!

Future chapters will feature a fan-favorite lineup of talent, including Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini; the team of Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin; Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez; Tim Seeley and Juan Ferreyra; Erica Henderson, Daniel Kibblesmith, and more to come throughout the run. And Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red is also the DC writing debut for several acclaimed illustrators! Artists Mirka Andolfo, Dani, Joe Quinones, and Riley Rossmo are all developing chapters written in their own voice, paired with art in their distinct styles.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red’s first chapter, with story and art by Stjepan Šejić and lettering by Gabriela Downie, is available now. Subsequent digital chapters of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red will publish weekly on Fridays through its 14-chapter run. Andolfo’s story will publish July 3, Ahmed and Rodriguez’ collaboration will publish on July 10, and Seeley and Ferreyra’s chapter will publish on July 17 to round out the first month of the series.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red promo art is by Jorge Jiménez.

A Wave Blue World Kickstarts Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

A Wave Blue World has announced the launch of its latest anthology, Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope which is now raising funds on Kickstarter. The graphic novel anthology is a sequel to All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World which received a Ringo Award nomination for “best anthology.”

Maybe Someday is a new full-color anthology presenting over twenty-five aspirational stories to lift the spirits of readers and instill the hope that a brighter future is possible. Maybe Someday also reunites the publisher with the editorial team of Matt Miner and Eric Palicki.

The Maybe Someday Kickstarter campaign, running through the entire month of June, offers a Kickstarter exclusive cover, which is only available to backers. The cover art is by Max Dunbar with colors by Espen Grundetjern. Logo and cover design are by Tim Daniel. A different cover by this same team will be featured on the direct market edition when the book comes out later this year.

Other rewards include a digital sketchbook, signed bookplates, and combo packs of previously published anthologies.

Check out the full list of creators taking part, it’s a who’s who of comic talent:

Natasha Alterici, Alejandro Aragon, Darren Auck, Max Bemis, Anthony Breznican, Ryan Cady, Mario Candelaria, Joe Caramagna, Tyler Chin-Tanner, Gab Contreras, Shawn Daley, Jono Diener, Jeff Edwards, Greg Anderson Elysee, Mike Feehan, Ryan Ferrier, Joe Glass, Isaac Goodhart, Adam Gorham, Hagai, Ray-Anthony Height, Josh Hood, Daniel Kibblesmith, Konner Knudsen, Michael Kupperman, Alisa Kwitney, Valentine De Landro, Robert Lee, Yasmin Liang, Mauricet, John McFarlane, Matt Miner, Christopher Mitten, Michael Moreci, Steve Niles, Eric Palicki, Emily Pearson, Stephanie Phillips, Curt Pires, Sebastian Piriz, Andy Poole, Nick Pyle, Rod Reis, Renfamous, Marco Rudy, Ethan Sacks, Phillip Sevy, Erica Shultz, Martin Simmonds, Aubrey Sitterson, Stelladia, Sally Jane Thompson, Zoe Thorogood, Bobby Timony, and Rockwell White.

What a Trans Sensitivity Reader Would Have Said to the Writers of New Warriors

New Warriors

When I saw that a non-binary character was being introduced by Marvel in the upcoming New Warriors  I was elated. When I saw that they were panderingly color-swapped with their sibling, playing on conservative gender coding between pink and blue, I was trepidatiously excited. Sure, they meant well. They didn’t realize that by engaging in the semiotics of gender and color; boy=blue and pink=girl that their subsequent inversion of these semiotics may implicitly unravel the work being done in representing a non-binary character. Then I got to their names and assumed that it was all some kind of fever dream.

I think it’s admirable that a cis white writer wanted to create a trans character, specifically a trans person of color. So much of our current comics status quo is cisnormative. Especially House of X, Powers of X, and Dawn of X; runs known for incorporating big status quo shifts and radical ideation. On that note, it’s admirable again to not consistently force writers like Leah Williams and Vita Ayala to become these monolithic creators, tasked with making up for the lack of trans representation that has gone on for over 30 years. Daniel Kibblesmith’s attempt to take on some of this responsibility is definitely commendable, though ultimately doesn’t deliver on the promise.

The characters’ names and their origin in New Warriors fails to hit the mark in so many ways. But it’s also important to recognize that they’re really the first to give us a character who is canonically trans at launch, rather than making it subtext or speculative, or read it post facto. Largely trans representation in comics has been within margins of magical transitions, post-facto applications, shapeshifters, fan theory, and subtext. It’s commendable for a writer to come out of the gate with a character who is unquestionably trans before the first issue even drops.

Snowflake and Safespace

To write characters with names like Snowflake and Safespace is being pitched to us as attempts at reclamation. That’s definitely ground to stand on, but more akin to a thin layer of ice, in early April; destabilizing by the second. The trouble here is that it’s not reclamation really. Reclamation is a matter of an autonomous and informed contingent or individual who sets about to take a slur used against them and to recontextualize it. A common use example is “queer”, which has risen to occlude terms like ” gay” “lesbian” and “bi”, for a variety of equally complex and valid reasons. But these characters [ Snowflake and Safespace] are not autonomous individuals. They are specifically constructed characters, that serve as an extension of the writer’s biases and ideas. They can’t reclaim anything, because they are not autonomous. They are in a sense puppets for the creative team. A puppet cannot reclaim a slur. Nor is that slur one that the creators own and hold. From the use of the two terms as names, in the context that they’re used, it’s also clear they don’t understand the terms and their impact. So the reclamation just falls apart on contact with any level of scrutiny. Constructed characters cannot make autonomous decisions, therefore they cannot reclaim anything.

In confluence with all of this, I put my sensitivity reader hat on and ask the litmus test question, 

If this was the first time a person heard of  “non-binary” as a gender experience, is this what you would want them to see. The reason that I ask this question of writers, is because in a drought of positive representation (specifically in a conservative proving grounds like marvel comics ) it very well may be. It takes so much contextualization for even Marvel insiders and long time fans to even give those name choices the benefit of the doubt, so imagine what outsiders will think about it.

There is something to be observed that nearly all the NB folks I know think this was a bad idea.

And then there’s the Comicsgate crew, who will absolutely use this as ammunition in their campaign of regressive and oppressive ideology through comics and comic adjacent spaces.

It ultimately could go wrong in thousands of ways, and really does not good. So with no benefits to the community, it really comes down to the writer thought it would be cool, and either didn’t hire a sensitivity reader or did, and ignored their feedback.

When taking these two names “ Snowflake” and “Safespace” on their own, it’s an incredibly insensitive and insulting decision. When you combine these names tertiary issues like their peer, Screentime’s power coming from “internet gas, it sounds as if Vox Day or EVS wrote the characters, not “a progressive” comics writer. Trans folks already are constantly having their immersion in social media and online communities by conservatives a way to “explain “ their trans identity. Gen Z and Millennials in particular face the invalidating and bigoted idea that “the internet made them trans”. So, what good does “ experimental internet gas” do for the trans community that Snowflake should represent?

And that’s the big question, what good does this do? As a sensitivity reader, a question I always ask of writers in this position; “What good does this do?” especially in contrast to potential harm. In this case, I see no potential for good, but plenty of potential for harm. 

For those watching, this not how you create positive and empowering representation. Creators who want to represent underserved communities should know better than to try to “reclaim” harmful terms that have been used against those very communities. I think it’s important to celebrate the attempt being made but to also have an honest conversation about the missteps. It does no good for us to excuse this by saying that since “Kibblesmith is a progressive and an ally” we should just appreciate the attempt. We have to recognize that future creators will follow the example set here, and this will continue to be used against trans and non-binary folks, rather than making us feel seen.

I wish I could feel optimistic. I wish that a new non-binary character in a Marvel book was something I was eagerly writing about in joy, rather than trying to channel my disappointment and rage.

A New Team Comes Together in the New Warriors #1 Trailer

When Kamala’s Law goes into effect in the highly anticipated one-shot Outlawed this week, the former teen vigilantes Night Thrasher, Firestar, Rage, Speedball, Namorita, and Silhouette will need to step up to lead the next generation of the Marvel Universe. But will they be able to make them into heroes?

Created by Emmy-nominated writer Daniel Kibblesmith and rising superstar artist Luciano Vecchio, the classic New Warriors of the 90s will reunite to introduce the New Warriors of 2020!

Meet the all-new team launching in New Warriors #1, on sale April 15!:

TRAILBLAZER: A regular kid scooped up into the world of teenage Super Heroing. Her “magic backpack” is actually a pocket dimension with seemingly infinite space, from which she can pull out useful or random objects—it’s not always under her control. She claims to get her power from god, but “not the god you’re thinking of.”

SCREENTIME: A Meme-Obsessed super teen whose brain became connected to the internet after becoming exposed to his grandfather’s “experimental internet gas.” Now he can see augmented reality and real-time maps, and can instantly Google any fact. Does this make him effectively a genius? He sure acts like it does.

SNOWFLAKE AND SAFESPACE: As psychic twins, Snowflake, a cryokinetic, can materialize snowflake-shaped shuriken projectiles for throwing. Safespace can materialize pink forcefields, but he can’t inhabit them himself, the reflex only works if he’s protecting others. They’re hyper aware of modern culture and optics, and they see their Super Heroics as “a post-ironic meditation on using violence to combat bullying.”

B-NEGATIVE: A teen “living vampire” exposed to Michael Morbius’s blood as a child in a rogue, but life-saving medical procedure. He still ages like a regular kid, but has all the abilities of Morbius. He’s also obsessed with all the music and attitude of a “classic” long-past decades like the ’90s, and the ’00s. “The world is a vampire…and so am I.”

Check out the NEW WARRIORS #1 trailer for Vecchio’s designs along with Kibblesmith’s inspirations behind this one-of-a-kind team of young heroes!

Spinning out of Outlawed comes Champions, New Warriors, and Power Pack!

The lives of your favorite super heroes are changing forever! When a law is passed outlawing teenage vigilantes, the already-high stakes facing Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, Ironheart, and more will suddenly be raised. The government is imposing new restrictions on Marvel’s teen heroes, but that’s just the beginning of the story. Now, it’s time for Marvel’s next generation to fight back!

Three brand-new series, each reflecting the new Marvel status quo, were announced earlier today:

Champions will be a new ongoing series spinning out of Outlawed. Written by Dr. Eve L. Ewing with art by Simone Di Meo, this series will be chock full of surprises as the Champions prove that despite the new law, the world needs them more than ever!

Champions

Writer Daniel Kibblesmith and artist Luciano Vecchio’s New Warriors is where fans will get to reunite with old friends and meet new ones! The series will show Night Thrasher reuniting with classic New Warriors Firestar, Rage, Speedball, Namorita and Silhouette to mentor a whole new group of young heroes. Get your first look at these mysterious new heroes, and stay tuned for more information on them in the weeks to come!

New Warriors

We’re getting new adventures of Marvel’s original team of young super heroes. That’s right – Power Pack is back in an all-new series written by Ryan North and drawn by Nico Leon. Not quite youngsters anymore, the Power siblings will have to use their honed super hero skills to settle an old grudge while they go up against the brand–new law banning them from doing what they love!

Power Pack

The changes all start in March’s Outlawed where new rules and restrictions, unheard of since the days of Marvel’s Civil War, are imposed on the youngest heroes of the Marvel Universe. Be on the lookout for more announcements about the far reaching effects of this new status quo.

Champions, The New Warriors, and Power Pack arrive in comic shops, on the Marvel Comics App, and on Marvel.com this April!

Review: Loki: The God Who Fell to Earth

The War of the Realms is over and Loki has a new role as the king of the Frost Giants, but what will the trickster do about it?

Loki: The God Who Fell to Earth features issues #1-5 and material from War of the Realms: Omega.

Story: Daniel Kibblesmith
Art: Oscar Bazaldua, Andy MacDonald
Ink: Oscar Bazaldua, Andy MacDonald, Victor Olazaba
Color: David Curiel, Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores on January 21! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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