Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #4 Review and **SPOILERS**




Daddy, Buy Me a Murder Island?

Written By: Frank Tieri & Jimmy Palmiotti 
Art By: Mauricet, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 3, 2016

**NON-SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Enjoy this video for “La Isla Bonita” by Madonna!

Now, enjoy my review for Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #4!


Explain It!

Throughout this series, I’ve mentioned that Hannukah Quinn has been kind of shoved off to the side, holed up with her uncle Sy Borgman in an Atlantic City hotel while the rest of the gang gallivants around New York City. Well this issue opens with an assassination attempt against Hanna, better known as Hannukah, right in their dumpy room! She fairly well handles herself and protects Sy, before he bumps their antagonist out the window with his wheelchair, but in the fracas she got sliced and so faints dead away as the scene shifts to Harley Quinn in a Harley Quinn bikini (available now from Hot Topic!) lying on one of those single-palm tree sandy islands that are all the rage in newspaper comic strips. She comes to is attacked by a shark that morphs into the Joker, but when she belts him one (attagirl, Harley!) she can tell it’s not the real Mister J. That’s when Harley Sinn reveals that Quinn is caught in her holographic trip-out room, that is not unlike the Troy and Abed’s Dreamatorium in the defunct sitcom Community.

Sy is in Atlantic City hauling the unconscious form of Hannukah to the hospital on his super scooter, but Coach tells him via phone not to go to the hospital or Sinn will be tipped off that they’re all still alive—Tony’s got a “guy,” she tells him, and Tony indeed gives Sy directions to his “guy.” Pan out on Tony and Coach, and they’re in a van with the rest of the Gang crammed into the back, sitting in front of a large skyscraper that reads BRAND BUILDING on the front. Tony and Coach leave the crew in the van and go into the building, straight to the office of Mr. Brand himself, who may or may not be a parody of Donald Trump but definitely is Harley Sinn’s real father! Coach sussed it out when they traced the warehouse that Sinn blew up in the last issue to Brand, and then were able to figure out that he’s been bankrolling Sinn for years, so she and her murderous, psychopathic ways will keep their distance. Coach implies that they’ll remedy his situation if he gives up her position, and he does.

And her position? Why it’s the Island of Horrible Death! Probably named for the English explorer Archibald Horrible, Duke of Death-on-Stratford, if I had to take a guess. That Brand dude must have some long money! The Gang, plus Tony, Eggy and Goatboy—I guess they’re part of Harley Quinn’s gang, too? I mean, who isn’t in this Gang of Harleys?! Anyway, they’re all headed to the island in a boat piloted by Captain Strong, who you may remember from a previous story in Harley Quinn [I don’t know the issue number! –ed.] Carli Quinn gets really seasick, so as they approach the island she leads the charge to jump into the ocean and swim to shore. On the way, they get butt-bitten by robotic Harley Fish (and there’s a nod to Joker Fish, one of the plot elements to one of the best Joker stories of the late 1970s!), then they are besieged by miniature robotic Eggy grenades! Luckily, the group spies the silhouettes of Poison Ivy, Power Girl and Catwoman in the distance, so they approach the trio for their aid—only to find that they’re robots, too! Is everything on this freaking island a robot?! It should be called the Island of Lots of Robots if accuracy is a thing!

This issue really went into some strange plot territory, borrowing from many different creative sources to create something very…weird. Parts of this book reminded me of Dr. No, parts of it reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Four issues into a six-issue miniseries, you’re either into the story or you’re not, and my case I am definitely into it. I’m impressed that this unwieldy cast has been handled pretty well by the writers, and it has three other fellows from Coney Island tacked on there as well. Plus Captain Strong. And Sy Borgman. I feel like pretty soon we’re going to see Mayor DiBlasio and Spike Lee hanging around. This is a madcap story that is probably going to have a very silly conclusion, and that’s just my kind of comic book.

Bits and Pieces:

The tale of Harleys continues on, and the team leaves New York for a more exotic locale. Did I write "exotic locale?" I meant "likely spot for violent death and murder." We learn more about Harley Sinn's past and finally find out what's up with Hannukah Quinn...and it ain't pretty. All that and a subtle dig at Donald Trump! Not a bad outing when the usual high-quality art and colors are considered. A worthwhile read for Harley Quinn fans.


8/10
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