Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Harley Quinn #15 Review and **SPOILERS**

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It’s a Helluva Town

Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti 
Artists: Khari Evans, John Timms, Joseph Michael Linsner 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair 
Assistant Editor: Dave Wielgosz 
Editor: Chris Conroy 
Group Editor: Mark Doyle 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: March 1, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

I’ve lived in New York City all my life, and let me tell you: it’s a real pain in the ass. I mean, if you’re young and scrappy, it can seem electric and magical and all that romantic crap you’re fed from Woody Allen movies. But by and large, people in New York cope with their daily existences, the saving grace being the city’s many distractions. Oh yes, spend an hour on any busy Manhattan street and you’re sure to see one of those “only in New York” moments that city-folk seem to rave about, like a large rat hauling a pizza slice down a flight of subway steps. But the problem is that experiencing these events don’t make you a more rounded person, they just steel your resolve for living in New York City and make you a more hardened person. Now our Harley, though! She’s been downright sunshiney and positive since kicking that faux Joker to the curb. What’s she up to now, I wonder? Find out in my review!

Explain It!

Our story opens in Gotham City, the year 2167. The city has become much more dense and buildings have weird angles that probably make more sense 150 years into the future. We meet Devani, who is training to fight in some competition that will “change the world,” which means it’s probably not a welter-weight boxing match in Atlantic City. Devani dresses like a futuristic, motorcycle-riding Batman…or Batgirl, if you prefer, and everyone in Sector 68 is rooting for her to win! A little girl holds up a Harley Quinn doll and asks what Devani is going to do to her, so Devani chucks it in the air and blasts it with a finger ray that goes K-ZZAAAPP. And then…we return to the present day, where Atlee and Harley Quinn are getting their butts handed to them by Zorcrom. Oh yeah, I forgot about this. I was kind of getting into this Blade Runner-esque future story!
So Zorcrom is humiliating Harley and Atlee, but Harley seems to have a rapport with him. She suggests Atlee take off to find help while Harley Quinn chats up the naked silver dude, and after a little hemming and hawing Atlee takes off. Harley gets Zorcrom a pair of pants that look to be taken right from the garbage, and suggests they fly off to Central Park to talk about the best way to go about breaking and enslaving the entire human race. By the way, Harley is wearing this awesomely ridiculous superhero costume, we saw it at the end of the last issue but we really get to spend time with its silliness here. On the way to Central Park, Zorcrom and Harley zip by a skyscraper, wherein Atlee is petitioning Karen Starr aka Power Girl…hold on, didn’t she go back to Earth-2 like two or three years ago? And then that other girl with the afro puffs on the Teen Titans became the new Power Girl? Something like that, at least. I guess that’s out of continuity now? This will not bode well with the Continuity Kid.
After some light dick joking, Harley and Zorcrom settle down in a little meadow and she brings over some hot dogs from a nearby cart. If you still lived in New York, Palmiotti and Conner, you’d know that you’re about as likely to find an old hot dog cart in Manhattan as you are to avoid getting run over by a cyclist. Once Zorcrom tastes a hot dog, he decides he must preserve this amazing foodstuff, and Harley points out that it’s a pretty complicated endeavor—you have to grind the butts and the guts, after all. Just then, a rabid squirrel bites Zorcrom on the finger, so he flings it across the park—but somehow it made him bleed! At that moment, the vampires hired by the Mayor to devour New York’s homeless and somehow make Harley Quinn look bad in the process show up elsewhere in the park and snatch up some homeless. I don’t really know what to make of this plot, I keep thinking it’s being seeded for a future issue but it’s apparently unfolding while this other main story with Zorcrom is going on. The solicits indicated that this issue would primarily consist of this vampire thing, so…I dunno what’s going on. But here it is.
On a page that looks to have been drawn in the dark, Atlee and Power Girl are floating above New York, about to head out to Brooklyn where they think Zorcrom is still wrecking shop. Just then, the rabid squirrel flung by Zorcrom slaps Power Girl in the face, so she decides to take it to Animal Control and then head out to BK to deal with Zorcrom. What a weird, incongruent scene. Something is fishy here, I tells ya. At that same moment, Harley and Zorcrom have taken to strolling around the city, determining the best way to take over the planet, when they hit upon Beckerman’s Jewish Deli. We know it is Beckerman’s Jewish Deli because of the awning, but in conversation it’s only referred to as Jewish deli. This is weird because there is no Beckerman’s Jewish Deli in New York, so why not just call it Beckerman’s? Was there some preponderance on it being Jewish? At that moment, across the country, Harley Sinn has gotten into her new identity as a hired assassin, which is totally secret despite her having a stark white face full of piercings and covered in tattoos. She sees Harley on television, who is now joined by Atlee and Power Girl, getting beaten up by Zorcrom because he thought the pastrami was too fatty or something.
Whew. This was just one comic book? I feel like I just ran a marathon. It looks like this Zorcrom thing is the main story, but there are so many other quick cuts to other moments that my attention was fractured. Add to that the varying art styles and I’m not sure what to pay attention to. I did like some of the silly conversation between Harley and Zorcrom, but it got lost in the shuffle of a million other things. I’m just not sure what to make of this series anymore. Usually I praise this team on their excellent storytelling and foreshadowing, but Harley Quinn seems to have lost its direction.

Bits and Pieces:

An aimless, uneven story that holds some future promise, but no immediate gratification. Nice boobs n' butts, though, if you're in the market for that.

6/10
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