Warning: Spoilers for Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2 forward!
- In Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2, Harley pokes enjoyable on the Golden Age of comics whereas additionally shedding mild on dangerous tropes, significantly the “Ladies in Fridges” trope.
- When Harley discovers that her love curiosity Pamela has been changed into a salad and stuffed right into a fridge, she calls out the pointlessness of those cliché and dangerous narrative gadgets.
- This situation highlights the absurdity of those tropes and reminds readers of the progress made within the comedian business — whereas acknowledging that there’s nonetheless work to be completed in representing feminine characters.
By no means one to take issues too critically, Harley Quinn‘s latest journey turns into an ideal alternative to poke enjoyable on the Golden Age of comics. However irreverent doesn’t suggest heartless, and when issues take a flip for the more severe, Harley is fast to name out the pointlessness of a few of comedian’s most dangerous and reductive tendencies with a darkly comedic call-out to the “Ladies in Fridges” trope, which originated in a difficulty of Inexperienced Lantern.
Tini Howard, Hayden Sherman, Triona Farrell, and Steve Wands’ Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2 sees Harley Quinn exploring a Golden Age-style universe because the “Heroic Harlequin” after unintentionally casting herself as an “A-list” superhero within the multiverse. Though she finds solace within the arms of this world’s Pamela Isley, she rapidly tires of fixed intrusive thought balloons and the inanity of supervillain plots and banter — to the purpose the place the universe begins mimicking even the worst of those comic-book tropes.
When Harley returns dwelling to search out that Pamela has been murdered and stuffed into the fridge as a bowl of salad, she breaks down, shouting “I do not need [this] cliché crap. I do not need the double life. I do not need my family members in peril.“
What Is “Fridging,” Comics’ Worst Trope?
This scene is a blatant call-out of the “Ladies in Fridges” trope, a phrase coined by comics icon Gail Simone that refers how usually comedian books kill or hurt feminine characters solely to create drama for his or her heroic (and normally male) counterparts. The time period will get its title from the extremely controversial Inexperienced Lantern #54 by Ron Marz, Steve Carr, Darryl Banks, Derec Aucoin, Romeo Tanghal, Steve Mattsson, and Albert De Guzman, during which Kyle Rayner returns dwelling to find that one in every of his villains has murdered his girlfriend Alexandra DeWitt and actually stuffed her physique within the fridge for him to search out. Crucially, the violence inflicted has nothing to do with Alexandra herself; quite, her existence merely serves as a story machine enabling the villain to assault the hero.
Harley is fast to level out how silly these sorts of tropes are. All through the whole lot of the problem, she rejects each trope that the “A-Checklist” heroes have needed to cope with, from the always returning villains to the incessant inside monologue. Pamela’s loss of life is portrayed for comedy, however the very absurdity of turning her into refrigerated salad highlights simply how preposterous these tropes are to start with — and the way they make the lives of DC’s “A-Checklist” heroes much more farcical than Harley’s personal “bizarre origin.”
Harley Quinn Will not Tolerate Melodramatic Clichés
Whereas the comedian business has made leaps and bounds in higher representing its feminine characters, the specter of “fridging” nonetheless looms massive; for instance, the loss of life of Marvel’s beloved Kamala Khan in a seemingly random situation of Wonderful Spider-Man set off a firestorm of controversy a couple of main character dying outdoors of her personal collection within the service of both company mandate or Spider-Man’s personal story. Harley Quinn‘s confrontation with a bowl of salad is not only a comedic reference to Inexperienced Lantern and one in every of comedian’s largest narrative issues, it is also an excellent level about simply how absurd and pointless these melodramatic clichés are.
Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #2 is now accessible from DC Comics.