Here we go folks, another week with Harley Quinn. I will be the first to admit that this series has been very hit-and-miss in the quality department. I skeptically went into reading this book this week, however, to my surprise, it turned out to be one of the best issues the core series has offered up in a while. It appears that Conner and Palmiotti are beginning to realize that Harley fairs much better when a strong supporting cast surrounds her.
The issue opens with a group of women, Antonia is the only one named, discussing a new website that offers cash paying jobs to individuals who might be willing to bend the rules a bit. This page feels very out of place for a large majority of the issue but wraps up nicely near the end of the book. In the following pages we see Harley doing what she does best and that is spending an unfathomable amount of money buying animals. In this instance it is birds. After leaving the pet store, Harley stops by a newsstand and begins to lament over her inability to stop all of the crime that is taking place in her city. Before she has time to finish processing the news stories, she notices a fire that has broken out in a nearby building that is the home to a law firm. In true Harley fashion, she bolts into the building to save any persons that might still be in danger. A villain who goes by the name of Tinderbox who appears to be seeking retribution for misrepresentation by the law firm greets Harley with a flamethrower. This character is very similar to Firefly and after a short battle; Harley is able to thwart the plans of Tinderbox and save the trapped civilians.
The story shifts once again and introduces another new character, Shona. The daughter of an Indian restaurant owner, we quickly learn that violence is the answer to any problem that Shona must be faced with. After pummeling a group of patrons who skipped out on their bill, Shona takes to the streets with a small purse of money given to her by her grateful grandmother. We shift to see Harley returning home to find Poison Ivy lounging in her bathtub. Ivy quickly deduces that Harley is stretching herself very thin and is need of some rest and relaxation. The story shifts once again to introduce the character of Carlita. Similar to Shona, Carlita is a young woman who is not afraid to resort to violence in order to resolve her problems. The page ends with her kicking a man off a rooftop for attempting to take her laptop.
Harley continues to explain to Ivy that she needs help if she is going to be successful in stopping all of the crime around the city. After a brief visit with Mason, Harley and Ivy take to the Internet to recruit potential sidekicks to help Harley in her crime fighting pursuits. This is where all of the characters introduced earlier in the series come full circle. The remaining pages of the issue are spent showcasing Antonia, Shona, and Carlita examining the job posting that Harley had put up on the web. The teaser for the next issue is titled The Gang of Harley’s, and therefore I find is safe to assume we know where this story is going.
This was a good week for the Harley Quinn core series. I feel that the character truly shines when she is part of a larger group. I am excited to see where this story arc goes and hope that Poison Ivy stays along for the ride for a few issues. Only time will tell if Conner and Palmiotti can continue this positive trend, but for now they are surely moving in the right direction.