Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Harley Quinn #38 Review and **SPOILERS**

Killer Coney

Writer: Frank Tieri 
Artist: Mirka Andolfo, Eleonora Carlini 
Colors: Alex Sinclair 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts 
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: February 21, 2018


I gotta say, Frank Tieri on this title has been the breath of fresh air it needed. And that’s not to disrespect the previous creative team, but things had fallen in a rut and I started to find reading the comic to be a bit of a chore. Now, I don’t find it a chore at all! Thank heavens for small blessings. What do I think of Harley Quinn #38? Read my review and you’ll see!

Explain It!

You know, I could swear that the last page of Harley Quinn #37 had the Penguin hanging out with mostly A-listers from Gotham City’s supervillain community, poised to take over New York City. Sure, I remember seeing Condiment King (first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series season 3, episode 7, “Make ‘Em Laugh” from 1994) and Killer Moth (first appeared in Batman #63, February 1961 cover date), but I could swear I also saw the Riddler, and Poison Ivy, and Mister Freeze (first appeared as Mr. Zero in Batman #121, February 1959 cover date, and as Mr. Freeze in Detective Comics #373, cover date March 1968), and a whole bunch of other familiar bad folks from Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery. Instead, it’s a bunch of weird B- and D-listers like Ratcatcher (first appeared in Detective Comics #585, cover date April 1988), and King Tut (from Bill Dozier’s Batman television show), and Film Freak (first appeared in Batman #395, cover date May 1986), and Johnny Karaoke (from Batman #661, cover date February 2007), Zebra Man (first appeared in Detective Comics #275, cover date January 1960), and even Egghead (from Bill Dozier’s Batman television show), who kidnaps Eggy (aka Egg-Fu)! I gotta say, I’m not mad at this, I love folding all of these characters from different Batman-related properties into the fold. Don’t know if it would float in the regular Gotham City-based comics, but Harley Quinn operates in her own continuity, tenuously attached to the DC Universe. So there’s now some precedent for Film Freak to team up with Clayface. I’m just saying.
All of these villains are taking over Brooklyn, at Penguin’s direction, with Killer Croc taking Coney Island specially for his own (even beating the snot out of Killer Moth to get it), but meanwhile, Harley Quinn is still posted up in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, doing her “Harley 4 Hire” work—and it’s working! She takes out a gang of terrorists called the Gorilla Gang (because they all wear gorilla masks) holding hostages atop the Empire State Building, which is just the kind of hero work that gets you noticed. She’s living so high on the hog in her new life, she ignores an urgent call from Coach—that Coney Island is being destroyed by subpar supervillains! And some par ones, to boot!
This issue was simple, but very effective in moving things along and providing some jokes and joshes for your reading entertainment. I loved seeing all of these weird supervillains, a couple of which I was not yet familiar, and all of the goofy stuff they did to terrorize a populace. Just the idea of supervillains actively terrorizing a populace makes me giddy. Harley’s bit with the Gorilla Gang was a little more subdued, but necessary to show that a) she’s actually doing something, and b) unaware of what’s transpiring down at her old stomping grounds. That’s how it is in New York City: you move from one neighborhood to another, you might as well have relocated to Okinawa. The art is coming across much stronger now than it did in the first couple of issues that Frank Tieri wrote, and it’s quite welcome.

Bits and Pieces:

Now that the Penguin's let loose some of Gotham City's more...colorful supervillains on lower Brooklyn, everything's going to heck in a handbasket--and Harley isn't even aware! This is a fun issue with a lot of cool cameos that should tickle long-time Bat-fans and Harley Quinn exclusionists alike. Nice to be having fun with this series again.


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