Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #6 Review and **SPOILERS**

I Wanna Be a Harley

Writers: Frank Tieri & Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils & Inks: Mauricet
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: September 28, 2016


Here we are, at the conclusion of the Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys miniseries! I must confess, it has been pretty crazy. But I've enjoyed the heck out of it, far more than a previous miniseries co-starring Power Girl (and which is actually referenced at the end of this comic book!) The Gang of Harleys could support their own comic book, but since Harley Quinn and its offshoot titles feature practically every supporting member of the cast at all times, there might not be a point. Let's just accept, at face value, that the Gang of Harleys are in the mix, and one or more of them will be present for some Harley Quinn stories in the future, okay? So look for them along with Big Tony, Egghead, that goat-human guy, the lady that runs the wax museum, Red Tool, Sy Borgman, her roller derby crew, that one friendly police officer from like five issues ago, and about twenty other characters I've forgotten, maybe because their roles have been far. You can bet that if a story thread is reeled out, team Harley Quinn is going to follow it. And that's one of the most rewarding things about reading comics from the Harley Quinnverse. Yes, that's a thing. I made it up and now it's a thing. Read my review of the last issue of Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys, that's a thing too!

Explain It!

Now that the Gang has regrouped on the Island of Rich Girl's Tantrum, there only one thing on their mind: ice cream. After they get Harley Sinn for the indignities she heaped upon them! Life-threatening indignities. Harley Quinn has a change of heart, however, as her psychoanalytic side kicks in; she realizes that Quinn and Sinn are a couple of kooks cut from the same cloth. With proper mental health care, surmises Harley Quinn, Sinn could be brought back from the brink and return to a normal life of looking like a Mardis Gras float. This realization is cut short by about a dozen mercs hired by Sinn to kill the Gang of Harleys because she was in a snit. This is the first chance for the whole Gang to swing into action, and they do...bloody, murderous action. Offshore, Eggy, Goat Man, and Captain Popeye Rip-Off are watching the fracas through binoculars, so Captain Fake Popeye assists by sniping the assassins expertly and bloodily. I assume these mercenaries were hired so they would all have someone to kill.

Harley eventually makes to Sinn's private lair, with only Bolly Quinn joining her for some reason, and she offers Harley Sinn a deal: a one-on-one fist fight with no weapons. If Sinn wins, she can join the Gang of Harleys under Quinn's tutelage, which is sort of like rewarding her for being an asshole. If Quinn wins, then she's got to seek psychiatric care and can maybe hang out with the Gang if she stops being so nutty. This seems like a really bum deal for someone that owns their own evil torture island, but Sinn agrees and the two of them slug it out while the rest of the Gang breaches Sinn's compound. It looks like a pretty evenly-matched fight, when Harley Q knocks Sinn to the ground and she pulls out a knife! This must have been like shades of the Joker for Quinn, because she gets royally pissed off and puts Sinn into a choke hold that knocks her out cold. The fight and our long, national nightmare are over. Wait, Trump is still running for president? Well, the fight is over at least.

Back in New York, Sinn is strapped to a hospital gurney while her dad Not Trump sits at her bedside. Quinn has arranged medical care at some facility upstate for Sinn, and takes a moment to upbraid her dad for being neglectful and routinely paying Sinn oodles of money to stay out of sight. He promises to change his spots, so Quinn heads back to Brooklyn to visit HannuQuinn, who is laid up after getting cut last issue? Frankly, I forget what happened to her, but she got messed up. She says her uncle Sy Borgman will also be moved closer to Coney Island, which should put him in the mix a little more. And they all live happily ever after...uh, except Harley Sinn. As an epilogue of sorts, her ambulance is blocked while Sinn is in transit to her new digs, and Not Trump forks over a wad of cash to the ambulance driver because there's been a change of plans: instead of some cushy sanitarium in Upstate New York, Harley Sinn has been sent to Arkham Asylum, where she can stew and brood over having been lied to by Harley Quinn! She thinks! Also, the Joker is mopping the floor at the asylum, budget cutbacks are simply terrible.

Here's a suitably insane ending for a fairly insane miniseries. You can't say the loose ends weren't mostly tied up, though the inclusion of the mercenaries did seem like a bit of padding. It led to a lot of brain spray, however, so I'm not complaining. Harley Sinn became a pretty engaging character after a while, even though I didn't appreciate almost an entire issue being given over to her origin, it did help me empathize with the character and understand Harley Quinn's need to try and save her. This altruistic Quinn is really the most compelling character of late, I feel like she might actually commit to something heroic someday that doesn't result in several bloody casualties. The art in this issue, as it's been for the whole series, is fantastic, though I get the impression that Mauricet pulled out all the stops for this finale. We'll obviously be seeing more of this Gang of Harleys in future Harley Quinn titles, and I welcome it! Since I'll be reading these comics for the site anyway.

Bits and Pieces:

Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys comes to a conclusion, and possibly not quite the conclusion you might have expected. What had been a loosely-organized clique of Harley Quinn wannabes, most of whom were presumed dead after the first issue, has become a cohesive group of supportive friends who happen to have no compunctions against murdering with their bare hands. What are friends for, if not to wring the last gasps of life from our mutual enemies? And that's the best lesson to be learned from this series: the value of friendship. And the value of money. That Harley Sinn was living pretty well on her daddy's blackmail dough.

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