Warning: SPOILERS For Harley Quinn #50
Harley Quinn has broken the DC Universe, creating multiple alternate realities... including one where Batman and Superman are pirates on the high seas. And in a surprise to no fans whatsoever, the result is just as incredible as it sounds.
In the previous issue, Harley Quinn had a little time after wrapping up her latest adventure, and decided to do what many of us do to relax: read a comic book. However, Harley managed to pick up her own comic, and that's definitely not good news for the DC Comic Universe. Quinn may be one of the handful of heroes who regularly breaks the fourth wall, but even for her, reading her own anniversary issue (technically before it was released...) definitely does some damage to continuity.
Harley Quinn #50 begins with Harley showing the comic to her mother, implying it's an amateur project drawn by a friend of hers. So far, so solid an explanation for why Harley has a copy of her own title. But as Harley realizes that this comic covers events her friend couldn't possibly have drawn - right up to the very moment that she and her mom are reading - her mother dissolves in front of her eyes, and the very fabric of the DC universe begins to change.
Jonni DC better known as Continuity Cop steps in to reveal that Harley has to hunt down the comic and read it backwards in order to undo things (a nice easy fix, for once), so she plunges through a range of origins and alternate continuities. The most notable being the continuity where Batman and Superman are enemies, not friends... and pirates. They're also pirates.
The two are pictured on the high seas, with Superman running a merchant ship that is attacked by Gotham's Dread Pirate Batman. Many of the other characters in these comic families make their appearances on the deck of the ships, with Robins swashbuckling throughout the crew of Bruce the Bat, Superman-- sorry, Kal-ptain Bluebeard aided by his own Kryptonian kin, and even Swamp Thing appearing as a monster of the deep.
Of course, this is far from the only strange and hilarious alternate reality that Harley runs through - Batman and Superman also appear as dinosaurs in another panel, and there are many, many alternate versions of Harley Quinn herself running around this issue as well. It's also not the first time that Batman has appeared as a pirate in the DC Universe - in the mid-90s, Batman: Leatherwing reimagined the Dark Knight as a swashbuckler of the 17th century in a fun alternate reality.
By the end of the issue, Harley is able to get hold of the comic that caused all the trouble and figure things out - drawing her own comic to reverse the chaos that reading the original one caused. For fans of dinosaur variants of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight... a sad day indeed.
It seems that all is well that ends well (although there may be some repercussions that are still to be revealed in the next few issues), and Batman and Superman are no longer sailing the high seas... which is a shame, for all those pirate fans who would have loved to see more of that particular DC adventure. Perhaps a spinoff graphic novel coming in DC's Mature Black Label? If they're willing to show Batman in the nude, putting him on a pirate ship shouldn't be trouble at all.
Harley Quinn #50 is available now from DC Comics.
Header Image Source: Arena of Valor Mobile Game