Batman: Harley Quinn

Batman_-_Harley_Quinn_1If you haven't seen Suicide Squad then you are lucky because your weekend wasn't ruined. This poorly cut film is the latest from WB/DC and it struggles mightily. Sub-par CGI, a mediocre soundtrack and questionable writing left me wishing I had paid to see Jason Bourne instead, a franchise also devoid of substance. And while Cara Delevingne’s subtle dancing kept my eyes on the screen, this humorless dud couldn't even be saved by decent performances from Robbie, Smith and Davis. Its inclusion of the Joker felt out of place and frankly unnecessary. Oh and that ending! Sadly we have seen it all before.

As for comic speculators who have spent months upon months obsessing over connected comics and first appearances all I have to say is I hope you made your money and got out cause if you are holding copies of Slipknot's first appearance you are screwed. And while BA 12 will still remain a blue chip book, I'm sure some of Harley Quinn's other keys could see a dip especially her Suicide Squad books. There is one other major exception though.

One of the most disappointing things about the film was Harley's look. I'm sure the execs at Warner sat in a room with Ayers demanding no one put Robbie in a clown suit. So instead they put her in hot pants, and had scores of men drool as she manhandled the long bat. The feminists are sure going to love that. All this left me yearning for the true HQ not just in acting ( Robbie was great ) but in appearance as well. Thankfully, through an electrified induced, clairvoyant, flash forward, Harley Quinn was born and not only is she wearing the costume that made her famous but she's dancing with Puddin'. That one, all too brief scene ended up being a cinematic cover rip from a DC masterpiece.

The already pricey Batman: Harley Quinn 1999 one-shot is an expensive publication but it’s worth the price. When you mix an iconic cover with a first in-continuity appearance and the character happens to be the most popular female comic property today, then you really do have a solid collectible.


***Editor comment:  Please note this is Topher's personal opinion of the movie and should be construed as such – there are others here who liked the movie, but Topher beat us to writing a review.  As always, please take any spec advice with caution and remember that due research is always advised before making any decisions – Khoi Cakes


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    So would you consider Incubus 1st apps in the same vein as Slipknot?

    • Topher

      As far as speculation goes, you have to be memorable to be see the love. He was not. I liked the idea but the actual screen time for him wasn’t that great.

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    I thought the movie was pretty damn good. I like the tie-ins to how they are building the DCU cinematic universe. Deadshot, Harley, Joker, Waller, Enchantress and Diablo were all well done, so that’s enough for me to make it enjoyable. Some books might take a dip from a pre-movie high but not going to disappear any time soon. This is only the beginning for a lot of these characters. I liked how they paid homage to Harley’s other outfits throughout. A lot of nods to comics. And also followed the New 52 origin from SS #7. I don’t see how they could do the setup without the joker, or do a Harley origin without him? That wouldn’t make sense to me. I thought the soundtrack was perfect and even listened to it Saturday. I really don’t get all the hate towards this movie. Maybe people’s expectations were too high. It wasn’t perfect but suspending disbelief is part of watching a comic-based movie. If anyone hasn’t seen it I recommend seeing it.

  • Deno Pappas

    I agree with Shaun for the average viewer mostly non-comic people, who do not know the origin of Harley Quinn, need to understand how she became the way she is (You need the Joker in there). I also like the homage to the different covers in the movie. I don’t think it was the best movie of the year but I will say its the best DC movie. I think this has helped DC sway the ship back against marvel when it comes to movies. Understandably from a comic standpoint, maybe SS#11987 will not skyrocket but I could see ba#12 be the king of these books with harley quinn being popular as ever. I bet we could see a modest bump in minor characters like deadshot and waller (Enchantress could be an undervalued spec) who were both fantastic in the film.

  • Trey

    I love Topher’s stuff most of the time, but not sure if this is a “Spec Alert” or a rotten tomato movie review? I can’t figure out which, to be honest. The Harley Quinn one-shot has been a monster for 3 years, so saying it’s a speculation book is far-far reaching in my opinion. Opinions are one thing, but trashing a movie, then saying a book will be hot because of the movie, when it’s been hot for 3 years is confusing to me.

    • Topher

      Gotta relpy to the man first….Yo I know you loved it and there are a few moments to love. I often recommend books that can be found in dollar bins, not books that are already high priced. In this case this is a spec alert because the cover to a major HQ key was featured in the film, That matters and it should push the value of an expensive book that much higher. And yes I trashed the film but that doesn’t mean that a book cannot see gains despite a poor effort from a studio. The only reason I mention the book is because the director adapted the actual cover to her first appearance. That’s huge in my opinion.

  • Keith S.

    whoa, lets back up a minute. If going to watch a movie ruined your weekend, than you might have to re-evaluate your life choices.

    I totally disagree with you, as this was an action flick at the core, and it was what I was expecting it to be. Who’s fault is it when people build up unrealistic expectations for a comic book movie and it doesn’t fulfill their expectations? Let’s face it, this movie was never going to win an Oscar. It’s an action movie. I would say the worst part about this movie was DC shoving Harley down our throats, and making her steal every scene. At some point it’s over kill, and if it were her own solo movie than yeah have at it. I also thought the Joker was also a necessary evil, as it most likely sets up the next movie in which they can star in.

    But the biggest flaw to your commentary is that the soundtrack was awesome. I am a huge music person, and they managed to blend the classis hits with modern songs pretty seamlessly, which is no small feat.

    So I’m sorry that you’re butt hurt by the movie, but I think your opinion of the movie doesn’t necessarily belong as a Spec Alert feature article.

    • Topher

      This movie was infected by studio interference and Ayers is backing the studio like a good little soldier should. I bet we see a different cut on bluray just like with BvS. BvS also suffered from poor writing and editing. One they fixed it and released it on Bluray my opinion changed. Why? Because it makes sense now. I don’t want comic movies to win oscars. But saying that it’s action movie can never justify the making of a bad film. I wanted this movie to be great but reality is reality man. Here are some reasons:
      90 percent of the comedy in this film fell flat. The film was poorly edited. Even Leto doesn’t sound too happy that key scenes were left out of the film. The opening credit scene was at the end ( huge error ), Boomerang did NOTHING. He should have been the comedic relief in this film. Flag was miscast. Did I mention the writing and plot were bad? And the music…GOTG was one of the best comic movies ever produced. This is because it has a coherent and original narrative. The music is part of that narrative and critical to the advancement of the plot. Suicide Squad has no reason to use those songs other than to try and replicate what made another companies film a huge hit. Songs start and stop and random moments and don’t mesh well with what’s on screen.
      It’s a spec alert because of the Ross book which for me was one of only a few great moments in the film.

      • Keith S.

        don’t you feel just a little over critical? I guess I just have low expectations after BvS.

        • Topher

          My words may be harsh but I think they are accurate. Now it’s just an opinion and everyone’s opinion should be respected. A studio’s job is to make good movies, when they don’t those of us who pay to see the film have every right to call them out on it.

    • Topher

      As far as the movie ruining my weekend, you do understand that was a hyperbolic statement right?

  • Khoi Cakes

    Don’t forget we have a forum thread on it as well:

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    The movie was good. The nitpicking of superhero movies is getting a little overboard now.

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    Had this conversation with my buddy the other day. Critics give these movies horrible reviews then this takes in $130 million. Clearly it was a horrible movie and not well received by fans. (sarcasm intended) Honestly what do people want out of a movie? Action, plot, background origins, superheroes….all in this movie. It was a great fun movie!
    These movies are not always going to follow the comic book exactly. I think sometimes as comic book fans if a movie leaves the story by 1 degree we bash the comic. Starlord’s dad is different than the comics. Should we not go watch it? Great movie, I’m going to go see it again. 🙂

    • Topher

      OK so I never said the movie has to follow the comics did I? The movie made 130 million based on a great marketing campaign. On sat attendance dropped sharply y 41 percent. That’s a Huuuuge drop. Why did this happen. Word of mouth had something to do with it. I do understand the backlash to what I wrote but I don’t have an agenda. If it’s great then I will be the first to say so. The director said he made a film for fans of the comic. Though he may have tried he did not succeed. The writers and editors are mostly to blame but you have to blame the ship’s captain too.

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    Wow really? Aside from the awkward editing, the movie wasn’t that bad. It is worth seeing, if not at theaters than at home. This is the worst article I’ve ever read on this site hands down. It is all opinion, has little to do with spec and sounds like a whiny 12-year old who was angry they had to do reshoots to cover up Harleys ass

    • Topher

      I write em’ like I see em bud. I will say it one last time, there is a comic pick here and the comic was picked based on the fact that the director chose to put an iconic cover to a key HQ comic in a Hollywood film. If that ain’t a reason to spec on a book then what is? Also they did re-shoots to inject some humor into the film not to cover up Harley’s ass. Guess what, they failed.

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    Maybe re-edit the post with just the spec info because I believe it’s right on. I think that book has tons a growth. I mean isnt it the first appearance of Harley in the DC comics universe anyways?

  • tiredguy

    It’s ok topher, show us on the doll where the DCU hurt you.

  • Drclix

    Haven’t seen the movie yet and probably won’t until it comes out on Bluray, but dang. Why is everyone so personally offended by this article? It’s just one person’s opinion.

    • Topher

      This is a webpage primarily concerned with investing in comics, maybe a lot of people are pissed the bet big on key comics. I know I’m mad I held a few.

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    The movie was GREAT! I will go back for 3rd time on Wed. The Harley/Joker love story made up for the ending. I’m holding onto the 3 big keys which include the iconic Batman: Harley Quinn in 9.8/9.9 condition. Looking forward to future Harley/Batman movies. The next Batman movie should be amazing, hopefully Red Hood.

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    I feel like people have been speculating on this movie for a looong time and surely the build-up to this has to be some kind of watershed moment or reality-check reevaluation or something. Not that the speculation was a bust, but people really need to learn some lessons from what happened here, myself included.

    Overall I probably made over $400 in the last year or so selling hot Harley/SS-related books. But I’m sitting on like half a shortbox full of stuff like Antiphon’s first appearance (remember when he was supposed to be in the movie?) and early issues of the ’88 SS series, which I wasn’t able to sell for anything. A lot of this stuff didn’t pan out and most of it peaked early. The market got flooded in the last month. There were more speculators on this stuff than on pretty much anything else in memory that I know of; people were READY. I’m happy to keep my VF+ copy of ’88 SS #1 that I only paid like $10 for, but if I wanted to sell it for enough of a profit, I’d have needed to do so months and months ago. And I’m happy to keep my 9.6 New 52 CGC SS #1, but I’m damn sure glad I sold some other stuff, at the prices I did, when I did.

    On the other hand, El Diablo had something of a star-turn in the movie, and this might be that last time his books sell for much, but in the past week I sold almost all my El Diablo stuff and made a nice profit overall.

    It’s funny how lead-up news about the movies usually affects prices more than the actual movies themselves do.

    • Avatar

      P.S. It’s a self-serving statement, but I just thought back, remembered earlier sales, and I probably made closer to $600 selling SS-related comics in the past year. It was super easy. But for me it was easier to sell them last year than this year.

  • merlin

    Topher you did a fine thing expressing your discontent with the film and skepticism regarding the majority of affiliated books. True, it reads more like a review than speculation although your reasoning and information on the aforementioned book is clear. I haven’t seen the movie, but after all of the praise it has received on G+ from cbsi and other comic book groups it was refreshing to read a negative review by a comic book fan. Thanks!

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    Not sure I agree much with the movie review. While it was not what I hoped it could be, it was an enjoyable enough popcorn flick to warrant the ticket and a DVD purchase down the road, but not a second viewing at the theater. Robbie and Smith were the goods in the flick, thats for sure. All else were expendable / replaceable, although I will add I was pleasantly surprised I did not despite Leto’s Joker as much as I though I would (jury is still out though, for me). As for your bit about HQs costume or whatever…you are WAY off. It was fantastic. She was fantastic. The costume was fantastic. Screw the shrill feminazi joy-killers and their pandering half-men supporters…they are a cancer, the whole lot of them. The part you now bitch about on their behalf was precisely the best thing! I could be completely content without any other character in this film seeing a reprise, but offer me a Harley Quinn solo movie with Robbie doing her like she did here, and I am all over that!

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