Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by Steve Bennett on December 12, 2018 @ 11:50 pm CT
So far the best Christmas comic of the year is Harley Quinn #55. The current creative team of Sam Humphries and John Timms performed a minor miracle when they created a comic so well-crafted it actually made me care about the character. Well in this issue they do something even less likely; doing a great Christmas story that avoids all of the tired tropes and cliched plots and is just about a family celebrating Christmas. The only problem with it is, I always thought Harley was Jewish. I consulted several Internet sources to confirm this and, yup, she's canonically Jewish. I don't know, maybe it's one of those things that changed during the "New 52", or maybe it's one of the other Harleys who is Jewish.
As we all know there are currently three Jokers running around the DC Universe (which hopefully will finally be dealt with in Geoff Johns’ upcoming miniseries Batman: Three Jokers). Well, there have been at least that many Harleys for a lot longer. There’s the chaotic neutral one with her own comic, the violent criminal from Suicide Squad, and the Harley from Heroes in Crisis who just might be a mass murderer.
Having been a fan of Kim Possible, a Disney cartoon from the 00s created by Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle (who also wrote the criminally under-appreciated 2005 high school/superhero action comedy film Sky High), I was aware that they were going to be doing a live-action movie version of it for the Disney Channel. For those unfamiliar, the series concerned a supposedly ordinary teen who regularly battled mad scientist Dr. Drakken and his deadly henchwoman Shego*. Well, they released the trailer (see “’Kim Possible’ Trailer’”), and from the vast, overwhelmingly positive online reaction to it (for example, Hello, Yes, I Am 110 Percent Going to Watch the Live Action Kim Possible Movie), it seems the show definitely made an impression on people.
The movie is also written by Schooley and McCorkle and from what I've seen so far Disney has done a fine job of casting living actors to recreate the roles of Kim and her sidekick Ron (remarkably, Disney cast relatively ordinary-looking young people, approximately the age of the characters they're playing) and Drakken and Shego*. In the animated series, actor/comedian Patton Oswalt voiced supervillain Professor Dementor and here he reprises the role (it goes by fast but he can be seen screaming "Get her!" in Dementor's high-pitched Germanic accent).
I could have posted a link to any number of online stories about the Kim Possible trailer, but I choose the one from The Muse website because it contains the line "Shego, who helped an entire generation of girls realize they were gay." Which is something, thanks to my incredible obliviousness, that admittedly had never occurred to me. But after three minutes of internet research, I discovered that yup, "Shego made me realize I was gay" is definitely an online meme.
Over the course of my career as a professional appreciator, I've attended my share of comic book conventions but have never managed to make it to the big show, Comic-Con in San Diego. This used to bother me but I must confess I've reached a point in my life where standing for hours in a crowded environment has lost a lot of its appeal. So even if I somehow managed to beat the odds and got a badge (a.k.a. a ticket), I wouldn't be all that chuffed about actually going. Not there aren't still cons I would like to attend, but attending them is even less likely than me getting to San Diego. Such as the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, Lucca Comics & Games in Italy and the Shanghai Comic Convention. As well as Tokyo Comic-Con, Comic-Con Russia, Comic Con India, and of course CCXP, the Comic-Con Experience in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
According to a piece on the Collider website, It: Chapter 2’, ‘Wonder Woman 1984’, ‘Shazam!’ New ‘Godzilla 2’ Trailer, and More Revealed at CCXP, Comic-Con Brazil has become "the go-to destination for movie studios and streaming services as a one-stop shop to reach the geek audience in Latin America.” And while “San Diego used to be the place where movie studios pushed their product, CCXP definitely now has a bigger movie studio presence.” Which is even further evidence, if any was needed, that the international market (i.e., everyone other than us) has become increasingly important to the profitability of pop culture projects.
I have no evidence and it's entirely possible it's just a coincidence, but I've always found it a little curious how Shego dressed a lot like Marvel's Madame Hydra and was able to generate a deadly glowing fist not entirely unlike Baron Strucker's favorite weapon The Satan Claw.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.