Story: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner
Art: Chad Hardin
What They Say:
It all comes down to this: Harley finally tracks down some of the mysterious hired killers who have vexed her since the start of the series. But what is she going to do with them?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Now that Harley has largely settled the issue of who was trying to put a hit on her, she’s feeling more comfortable and relaxed in this new life she’s chosen for the time being. Part of the appeal of the character is to see how she functions on her own and what shenanigans she gets into, and sometimes it’s just a matter of idle hands leading to some pretty weird things. There’s been a few things set into motion with the book at this stage and each of them works their own angle, such as we saw with her taking the therapist job that lead to the Borgman incident, and obviously the whole contract killer thing as well. But she’s also go the people who live in the building and their stories as well as her Roller Derby gig, never mind whatever it is that Tony is building.
A good chunk of the appeal of this series is that it can be so playfully referential, though sometimes a little too much. But some of that just comes from how one views the book. The prologue here gives us a fun little Pulp Fiction riff, but it was like the first bits of dialogue from the criminals set the tone completely and it just grew from there. The fun of it is that we get Harley messing with a couple of thugs, she gets some good cash for it and now has access to a samurai sword, which I can imagine being more important later on. All of it does serve advancing Harley’s interests, which is funding Tony’s device as well as a party for the tenants and friends as she’s riding on cloud nine after all that’s happened. And there’s a lot of fun with that aspect of Harley as she’s very aware of her friends and her need to be a part of it all to ride that kind of crazy high she has.
Which is why her doing Roller Derby is so much fun, as her making her first actual game here goes about as you’d expect when one of the worst types of players gets onto the track with her and they get all horribly violent. It’s a lot of fun to watch, but in the end it’s all really been setup for a Fight Club gig to come up soon with Skate Club, since Harley’s violence itself gets her ejected from the league. No surprise there that she’d end up like that. But that kind of craziness just feels right, as does the way it largely closes things out here with copious pages spent on another contract killer arriving and Tony revealing that Harley’s request was for a Scatapult, a device to fling weak, biodegradable bags of dog poo over the city. It’s as awful and hilarious as it sounds across the board, though it also sets up plenty of reasons for others to want to come and take her down in the future for getting dog poop flung at them.
Getting the first eight issues of Harley Quinn and the zero issue as a collection on the cheap, I knew it was a series that I needed to space out in order to really enjoy and not feel overwhelmed by. I had really enjoyed Palmiotti and Conner’s run in Power Girl and this is another variant of it in a way, but with a more strictly comedy oriented character with some really violent twists to it. What we get is definitely all of that and more, and this issue captures it well. Outside of some Poison Ivy appearances, the book largely stands alone and doesn’t get bogged down in crossovers or guest appearances, and that means it’s a big Harley Quinn show here, which is what she deserves. There’s a whole lot to like and I can definitely see myself acquiring more in the future, albeit again spacing it out so that it doesn’t all blur together.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: July 30th, 2014