Harley Quinn #0 Spoilers: Controversial Nude Suicide Tryout Art Panel Replaced With A Phallic Panel & What Is Harley Quinn’s New Status Quo? (DC Comics New 52 In Review)

DC Comics had initiated a tryout art contest for page #15 of Harley Quinn #0.

Due to the page’s fourth / last panel on the script – featuring a nude bathtub bound Harley Quinn appearing to commit suicide – a controversy erupted which had Suicide Prevention groups up in arms. Comic book creators also chimed in on whether such a panel would have been created for a male character.

This brouhaha, as reported in USA Today, caused DC Comics to distance itself from the suicide (mis)interpretation as the book’s co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti clarified that the panel in question was in tended to be slapstick in a MAD magazine style.

Harley Quinn #0 came out today and the fourth panel to the page 15 art tryout page has been changed. More on that in a moment.

DC Comics’ online tryout art contest information is no longer available on their website, but you can see the instructions below (far left) as well as some sample pages from various artists that includes that controversial fourth panel as originally scripted. Hover your mouse’s cursor over the tryout page to see the artist’s name.

Spoilers for Harley Quinn #0 follows.

Jeremy Roberts won the art panel contest and the fourth panel was replaced with Harley Quinn, um, riding a rocket; a very phallic rocket. I get that the panel is intended to be whimsical, but I imagine some readers will see a sexist suicide panel replaced with a simply a sexist suicide panel. Below are also the main cover and variant cover for the book. Jimmy Palmiotti is one my favorite writers in comics and I think we should move on from this tryout page controversy. And, I have to say, I’d love to see more art from Jeremy Roberts.

Moving past the tryout page / panel controversy, the book seemingly ends with new Harley Quinn series artist Chad Hardin on two pages that set up Harley Quinn #1. They are art imitating art pages and set up a potentially interesting new status quo for Harley.

Harley reads the comic book before her cliffhanger panel happens. Plus Harley Quinn, landlord? A sitcom-like premise next month? We’ll see. Who is Harley’s mysterious benefactor?

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