Monday, September 7, 2015

Harley Quinn #19 Review

Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Art by: Chad Hardin and Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 26, 2015

I'm strong to the finish

While I have had my issues with some of the other Harley books (cough cough Harley/Power Girl cough cough), I have generally enjoyed Harley's main solo title.  It's right up my alley with it's potty humor and pop culture references and when that is combined with a strong story, then this book really shines.  That's what I was hoping for when Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner started this "Gang of Harleys" story.  Overall, I have enjoyed it, but I have to admit, it's beginning to drag a bit.  This issue ends the first arc of the story. but did it end it on a high note?  Let's find out...

The issue opens in Staten Island and we get a look at a couple of the worst parents ever.  We don't know it now, but it will soon be clear that the McCallister's have nothing on these two bozos.  Their daughters have left them a note...they have moved to Brooklyn and joined the Gang of Harleys.  Of course, they aren't in Brooklyn anymore.  Nope, Popeye (we all know it's him, right?) has kidnapped them and most of the others and it's up to Harley to make things right.

As far as openers, this one was okay.  It sets up what's to come just fine, it just seemed to be a pretty good well for pop culture goodness that never came to be.

Back in Brooklyn, Harley may not have a boat to go after Horatio Strong, but she has something better (?)...the Scatapult!  She straps on a parachute while Tony and Poison Ivy get the coordinates down and then BOOM, Harley is airborne.  Before I go on with the story, I just want to mention one of the big problems I have with this issue and arc...Poison Ivy.  Mainly, the lack of her in the story. I'm not really sure why she even hopped on board because she is regulated to less than a background character here.  At least she helped get the right coordinates, because Harley ends up with her foot right in Horatio's chest.

That isn't really what the sailor man wanted and a big fight ensues.  It's pretty back and forth for a bit until Harley pulls her patented "flag shooting gun" out.  You know, the one that goes "Bang" and while that may not seem like anything that would put down a hulking, drug infused Popey amalgam, it does the trick.  How?  Well, it makes him laugh, which makes him have to take a crap.  One giant crap.

Meanwhile, a certain mother has shown up at the headquarters looking for her daughters.  She is mighty pissed off and while I still think this is all her fault, it's funny to see Eggy react to her brandishing a spoon.  Back on the boat, Gnarly wasn't too successful and Horatio comes out mad (and looking a bit more S&M then he left) and looking to end this fight once and for all.  That's when the girls mother arrives via catapult herself and makes quick work of Horatio.

This scene was funny enough, but it was dominated by Horatio and Harley exchanging euphemisms for taking a crap and throwing up.  You know, like "dropping the kids off at the pool" kind of stuff.  I know that this is what most people probably love about this book, but to me, it just wasn't clever at all.  Palmiotti and Conner have done this same type of thing, but so much better.  It also went on a bit too long.

The book ends with the reader feeling really dirty if they had any impure thoughts about the Gang of Harley sisters and Sy Borgman helping to set up the next arc.  I thought that first part was simply hilarious and I really like where the next arc is headed...Hollywood!  I can only imagine what trouble Harley will find herself in there.

This issue was up and down to me.  While the humor didn't hit as hard as I'd like, I did enjoy the story enough and Palmiotti and Conner thin the Gang a bit and that can only help.  The best members are still around and ready to kick ass in Hollywood.

Chad Hardin's art is as great as usual.  Everything looked great especially Horatio "Popeye" Strong who I have loved the whole arc.  If only he would have said "I yam what I yam" just once, but that's not Hardin's fault, now is it?  Back to the art, Hardin and colorist Alec Sinclair are making this book one of the craziest and most consistently good looking books out there and I thank them.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue ended the first Gang of Harleys arc and while it wasn't perfect, I got a few laughs and Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner set up the book to be even better going forward.  Horatio Strong is getting the help he needs and the Gang has been thinned down to a manageable number as they head off to Tinseltown.  As long as Palmiotti and Conner take Chad Hardin and Alex Sinclair along for the ride, I'll be there too.

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