My headlong rush into mainstream comics has made me feel as if I’m leaving more independent (if in tone and not in publisher) and original material behind. Today’s recommendations are all pretty much courtesy of The Unwritten (drop everything and go find a copy now!)—one was written by Mike Carey, and the other merely advertised in its pages. And both deal with celestial beings!
If you’ve been alive for the past few days, you may have noticed a fresh wave of Harry Potter mania, tinged (or rather halved) with nostalgia has hit the world with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 on Friday. I went to a midnight showing because I love midnight crowds; it’s where con folk and normal people meet in the middle. We cheered, we cried, we were heartily confused by whatever Warner Brothers executive decided this was the audience for a Yogi Bear trailer. (And because of my deep love for Two Steps from Hell, I may or may have not sung along with the trailer music for The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Well, as much as you can, because rumor has it Two Steps from Hell doesn’t utilize any known language, but rather goes after what sounds epic.) My review is forthcoming, but, because of my current mania for fantasy deconstruction, I thought we’d take a look at three works that take Harry Potter and gleefully deconstruct it.
I did not grow up reading comic books, I have to admit. The only comic book store in town closed while I was in middle school, and I never really had an affinity for superheroes. Occasionally, I heard about some superheroines I quite liked the concept of, especially She-Hulk, but I never got involved.
However, I did watch Batman: The Animated Series, the fantastic Saturday morning cartoon that gave birth to Harley Quinn, one of my favorite characters in all of fiction–a smart, loony, complex, cheerful, and amoral villainess with a Queens accent and red lips. While I missed her self-titled comic that ran from 2001 to 2003, I’m currently following Gotham City Sirens, which features Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. It is admittedly hit or miss–while the writing is often delightful, the art tends to treat the female leads as simple palette swaps of each other, despite their different fighting styles and physiques. (Catwoman’s given birth, for Pete’s sake!)