Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Harley Quinn #28 Review and **SPOILERS**


Mass Murder Does Not Preclude Your Eligibility

Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner 
Artist: John Timms with Tom Derenick 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: September 20, 2017


That last issue was…interesting, but now we’re back to the multitudinous storylines that comprise the regular Harley Quinn series! If I recall, she and Harley Sinn concocted a plan where Quinn would run for mayor and then something something. I forget, but I suppose we’ll find out in my review of Harley Quinn #28! Which is below!

Explain It!

New York City has a long history of colorful and less-than-reputable mayors and mayoral candidates. Fernando Wood, installed by the corrupt political machine Tammany Hall that was run by “Boss” Tweed, was a huge supporter of Southern states during the Civil War. In the 1920s, Mayor Jimmy Walker could be seen at illegal speakeasies and gambling houses while Prohibition was still the law of the land. And then, of course, Ed “How’m I doin’?” Koch himself. Point being, a scantily-clad woman with bone-white skin and a mouth that would make a Teamster blush isn’t too far off from a candidate we might see running for local office in the Big Apple. Heck, even her murderous past wouldn’t take her out of the running.
Getting caught having committed a mass murder, however, would probably present a problem. That’s what happens in the story, when Chief Spoonsdale has Harley, Poison Ivy, and Harlem Quinn secure themselves in a trunk of a car being sold to a chop shop by an undercover agent (we all know and love) named Big Tony. When things start to go south, everyone uses their special overkill powers to practically eviscerate every member of this automotive thievery gang, all for the convenient news cameras and on-air endorsement by Chief Spoonsdale. While Harley literally stands in front of a heap of corpses left in her wake. The actual mayor sees this and gets really pissed off—ultimately takes it out on Madison Berkowitz, while admitting outright to the reader that he’s a piece of shit. Now here’s a guy I wouldn’t mind seeing Harley beat the pants off of. Wait, scratch that—leave the pants on. Just have Harley give him a black eye or something.
Most of the issue involves Harley going around to her job at the nursing home, and her pals at roller derby (which appears to have devolved into a roller skating fight club where two woman enter, one woman leave) to say that she’s going to be busy for a little while, so she’s going to take a leave of absence. I can’t remember the last time her being a member of a roller derby team or therapist to the elderly played any kind of meaningful role in a Harley Quinn story, but I was sort of glad to see her handling her business, and reiterating that many wacky elements make up the life of Harley Quinn. After showing off her bust of an auto theft ring, it’s time to Harley to throw her hat in the ring, and make that mayoral bell ring! Okay I reached for that one.
I definitely appreciated that we had one story here: Harley Quinn laying the groundwork for her mayoral campaign. In that context, it was a pretty good comic book. In the context of “I hope something meaningful happens in my comic book, for which I have waited during an extra fill-in issue, and then paid nearly three dollars for,” this issue falls a little short. We are a step closer to Harley running for mayor, but not appreciably so from where we left her at the end of two issues ago, when she swore to do that very thing. Still, this issue did seem focused and, though I might find a mayoral candidate who announces her intentions while showcasing a pile of gore a little dubious, it’s more or less in tune with the series and not nearly the most unbelievable thing to happen in a Harley Quinn book.

Bits and Pieces:

After an issue's journey into the mind of Frank Tieri, and a 25th Anniversary issue that had nothing to do with the current plot, we return to our regularly-scheduled programming for Harley Quinn, and it feels pretty good. The narrative stays on task while Harley ties up a few loose ends before she enters a public life. How she ties up those loose ends is pure Harley Quinn.


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