Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Harley Quinn #25 Review and **SPOILERS**

Surprise Celebratory Assassination

Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Chad Hardin
Back-Up Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Paul Dini
Back-Up Pencils: Bret Blevins
Back-Up Inks: J. Bone
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover: Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Frank Cho
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 8, 2017


Hey, it’s another oversized twenty-fifth issue! More pages for an extra buck. Could be a good deal, depending on the story. I’m wondering which of the ninety-eight stories currently running in Harley Quinn will they pick? No need to wonder, since my review of Harley Quinn #25 is right here!

Explain It!

Our story begins with Madison Berkowitz, slimy assistant to the slimy mayor of New York, hiring a group of trained assassins that call themselves the Unconquerable 25. They prove their skill by having an emissary visit Madison unannounced and show of the fact that he’s got two dozen snipers trained on her position. He does know how to woo a girl! Convinced, Madison gives the Unconquerable 25 their target: Harley Quinn. Who, at this moment, is stalling Sy Borgman at a bath house while the rest of the crew sets up his surprise birthday party at Harley’s pad. Once they get there, however, the surprise party is actually for Harley! And she’s genuinely surprised! Everyone is there: Poison Ivy, the Gang of Harleys, her roller derby crew that we barely see anymore—lots of deep cuts here for the long-time Harley Quinn fan. Even Chief Spoonsdale of the NYPD is there! Everyone is having a nifty time, until the trained snipers start shooting into Harley’s apartment.
What follows is a reasonably entertaining mass murder of assassins, by propelled rocket and then a handgun, but in the end it looks like they’re on the ropes: Catwoman and Poison Ivy are menaced by a police helicopter, and Harley herself looks to be surrounded by cops. The back-up might be the worst yet, a kind of re-cap of the same stuff we’ve been reading for weeks: Harley still needs to pay the Carpenter several million dollars in six days for work done to her new hideout. Except here, Joker’s found out…and he’s thrilled! He knows nothing about the delinquent account, but he knows all about the virtue of appreciating the hard work of another. Yes, if I had to say one thing about the Joker, it’s that he’s a humanitarian.
For an oversized issue, the story sure felt undersized. There are some chuckle-worthy moments, but not very many, and not one of the several stories dangling loose threads are addressed in any meaningful way here. On the plus side, it is a complete story, and not a montage of the various pots simmering on the Harley Quinn stove.The back-up is going to be concluded in some one-shot comic book, so reading it here has been totally pointless, after all. Chad Hardin being back on the title does return some of the gore that used to be a selling-point, but it doesn’t change the fact that the story is “Harley has surprise party broken up by gunfire.” Sounds like an average Coney Island night to me.

Bits and Pieces:

We don't get the rundown of dangling storylines in this issue, as we had in the last few, but this issue is still a non-starter. It could be a set up for some really funny dialogue, but precious little is to be found. Someone stick a fork in this series already. It's done.


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