Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Harley Quinn #40 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Quinn is In

Writer: Frank Tieri
Artists: John Timms, Moritat 
Colors: Alex Sinclair & Jeremiah Skipper 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: March 21, 2018


Coney Island was beset by mayhem and madness at the end of the last issue! And not in a good way! Have a look-see at my review of Harley Quinn #40, which can be found forthwith!

Explain It!

I have to admit, I didn’t expect Hugo Strange and False Face to be the the masterminds behind a conspiracy to get Harley Quinn to leave Coney Island, so the Penguin could overrun it with supervillains. For one thing, I didn’t realize that there was a conspiracy. Despite the evidence that Fake Frank was duping her into staying in her Hell’s Kitchen apartment, I certainly didn’t expect that he was also doping her whenever she handled the novelty toys he peddled. And the reason I didn’t expect any of this is because it is a delightfully ludicrous plot that serves no purpose other than to entertain the giddy heck out of us.
Coach figured this out, however, and as a reward she was kidnapped by several goons (presumably in the employ of Hugo Strange) and thrown into a holding cell with their other captive: Frank Tieri! Or, at least, Frank Frank, the original one as devised when Palmiotti and Conner were writing the title. He tells a pretty funny story about how he was nabbed, and speaking of nabbed, there’s Harley Quinn in the back of an ambulance, about to be stuck with a needle held by Hugo Strange! She snaps out of it and threatens to sodomize Strange with a thermometer, when…the Ventriloquist and Scarface barge in the room? Scarface announces that he’s brought order to New York City’s crime families by taking them over. And that includes the frozen brouhaha that is Coney Island, as he demonstrates to Tweedle Dum for some reason.
That taken care of (?), Harley sets her sights on a big showdown happening between Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc right on the Coney Island beach. Like, beyond the beach, even, on a frozen floe created by Freeze’s ray. Harley bashes Mr. Freeze’s helmet and cracks it, fairly well taking him out of the fight, then she has a heart-to-heart with Croc, to find out why he wants to wreak revenge on the old Brooklyn peninsula. He explains that he was part of a Freak Show there as a child, and the humiliation still burns (though there is a Freak Show you can see there today, right on Surf Avenue, that is loads of fun.) Harley points out that Coney Island is already a wreck after the Penguin’s goons ran all through it, so what will his next move be? We’ll find out next issue! Oh, and the Gang of Harleys rescued Egg-Fu from a Staten Island fetish movie studio run by Egghead. So he’s all fine and dandy.
This issue was…really weird. A few loose ends were tied up, strangely, though since there’s at least one more issue to this story arc, I can’t say that anything is yet final. But leaving Scarface in charge of New York City’s crime families…is that a good “end to things?” And what happened to the Penguin? Are Coach and Frank Frank going to see daylight? (Well, Frank Frank, anyway.) I guess if I want to know answers to these questions, that bodes well for the series. And with John Timms and Moritat doing the visuals, you know I loved looking at this issue. Check your senses and sensibilities at the door, the wacky is back in Harley Quinn.

Bits and Pieces:

When the author of a comic book writes himself as the lamest character, you're dealing in MAD magazine sensibilities and that's right in my wheelhouse. Fun has returned to Harley Quinn, rejoice ye juggalo masses. Some of you other serious types might want to take a look as well.


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