Harley is on a mobster’s hit list and has to use some transformative automotive robotronics to fend off his attack in Harley Quinn #29.
Laminar flow spoilers below…
In Detroit, Mr. Tomo, the head of the Henshin Automobile Factory in Detroit is finalizing the delivery of some very special cars. Satisfied that all the deliveries will be made, he asks his assistant, Ms. Martinn, if she is aware that his wife has been cheating on him with a number of other men. She admits that she does and he tells her to get as far away from the factory as possible. Tomo gets into one of the special cars and turns it into a giant robot like a Transformer. He visits his wife who is in a compromising situation and commits a murder-suicide with the weaponized cyborg.
A few days later in Coney Island Harley and Big Tony are breaking into an auto yard to ‘recover’ some cars that they have been told were stolen from Bowling Alley magnate O’Bannon. They are making $20k for their trouble which is money they sorely need.
After a few expected mishaps Harley and Tony get the cars into their truck and deliver them to O’Bannon and collect their cash, along with some free bowling. As Harley attempts to collect her bowling windfall the roof of the alley is destroyed by a giant robot. It is O’Bannon in the robot suit Pacific Rim style. Harley learns that O’Bannon has been hired to kill Harley by Dominic Capablo, the mobster whose son was killed at the roller rink battle with Red Tool a few issues ago. Capablo blames Harley for her son’s death and is out for revenge and demands O’Bannon kill our heroine.
Harley is able to get into her own vehicular robot and, after a few technical difficulties gets the hang of the mechanical menace. She sets off some Ass Blossom Missiles at O’Bannon’s robot and he is vaporized.
Harley and Tony realize that if Capablo has put a hit on her, she isn’t going to be safe until Capablo is dead. So they take the Harley-Gigantor over to Mill Basin where Capablo lives. At the mobster’s home Harley removes a wall and most of the roof. Capablo can’t believe that he is under attack and insists that he is the one that does the killing. He doesn’t have much experience with Harley however who sits her robot on his roof and drops an explosive deuce into Capablo’s house, reducing the gangster to a skeleton. Until Next Month…
Writers Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti deliver a pretty good action story this month that is filled with some R rated humor and clever pop entertainment references. The most obvious references here is Transformers with a dash of Pacific Rim and maybe the old favorite, Gigantor. Well, perhaps the Gigantor reference is a stretch but the idea of cars that turn into giant robots controlled by an internal ‘driver’ is used to good effect here.
The references to Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Titanic and Godzilla also make this a fun ride. The bit where Harley is fitting Bernie, Harley’s beaver, with snow globes are pretty risque and there is a moment where she and Big Tony break the fourth wall that is pretty charming. With all that, this issue’s dialogue sparkles.
The usually solid art by Chad Hardin and colors by Alex Sinclair are mostly up to their high standards. There are a few panels though that are a little confusing to make out what is going on. When the robots are fighting there are a handful or drawings that get murky. The bigger panels are mostly fine but some of the smaller ones try to fit too much in the space and the lack of color contrast makes the detail a jumble. Sinclair has been excellent, and is mostly in this issue too, but there are some missteps.
I’m loving the fact that with Harley’s Gang occupied in another book we get her with Big Tony and Bernie. Even Poison Ivy makes an appearance. These are the characters I prefer to see her with these days. Since this issue is pretty much a one shot, with just a few references to other issues, I’d recommend you pick it up if you are looking for a quick fix of Harley. It isn’t her best issue but it hits all the usual buttons.