Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Harley Quinn #34 Review and **SPOILERS**


A Little Leftover Business in Florida

Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner 
Artists: John Timms, Chad Hardin 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: January 10, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, I made a big stink about how Harley Quinn #33 was Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s final issue on the series. Turns out I was completely wrong about that! Issue #34 is their final issue, and the very one that I’ve reviewed right here! Read on!

Explain It!

For their finale, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have Harley Quinn drive down to Florida…to threaten their lives. What? Did I give it away too soon? There’s a bunch of other stuff that happens, too, but this is basically the hook. And it’s pretty funny, too: she smashes Palmiotti’s computer while complaining about the rigidly-imposed continuity, clobbers Conner’s drawing table while taking issue over all the characters jammed into this series (which gets editorial support, by way of a caption), and then she’s whisked away to a yacht with Poison Ivy by Amanda Conner’s artistic omnipotence. And that’s sort of a weird point, too: this issue really pounds home the loving relationship between Ivy and Harley. It’s something that’s run through this series, and I don’t mind it, but it just occurred to me that Poison Ivy’s been hanging around in every issue for months—even while Harley was boinking away with her recently deceased boyfriend. I mean, he’s deceased now, he wasn’t deceased when they were boinking. Ya sickos.
Harley is also reunited with her hyenas, now kept on some kind of hyena compound, and visits with her parents and two brothers, who I didn’t even know lived in Florida. Indeed, my keen comics sense detected some set-up for Frank Tieri’s run that begins next issue, and which I’d heard takes place in Florida…but at the end, Harley says she wants to get back to New York and simplify things, concentrate on herself more and less on her menagerie of misshapen weirdos. Which is something she’s said she would do before, and it’s never happened. It was sort of a weird switcheroo since it looks like she could just stay in Florida and have a whole new sitcom, sort of like how Jon Lovitz wouldn’t stop hanging around FOX Studios so they eventually gave him The Critic. But that’s for Tieri to figure out, and since Harley doesn’t end the issue in Brooklyn, I suppose anything could happen.
This is not the final issue by this writing team that I expected. What Conner and Palmiotti have done with and for the Harley Quinn character is absolutely monumental. Not very long ago, she was the Joker’s punching bag. Now (as Amanda points out in the comic itself) she’s in games, movies, and has captured the prolonged attention of disaffected teenage girls worldwide. And make no mistake: ‘twas Jimmy and Amanda what done it. I would have expected and happily granted some kind of pithy monologue, delivered through Harley or Big Tony or Red Tool, an allegorical look at the time spent on this title, what it’s meant to the creators, and how they’ve been humbled by the support, etc. Instead, we got a solid Harley Quinn issue with a really funny breaking of the fourth wall. I guess that says everything we need to know about the writers of this series. Good job, folks.

Bits and Pieces:

Now at their final issue, Palmiotti and Conner take Harley Quinn to places she's never been before...after she visits a few with which she's very friendly. You really might never know this was the last issue by two writers that have become synonymous with this series, and that is probably the point. Their parting gift to loyal readers is a funny issue of Harley Quinn.


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