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Review: Harley Quinn/Power Girl #5

harley powerAfter defeating the evil Oreth Odeox Harley Quinn and Power Girl face a new menace as Harley risks her very sanity in the latest issue of Harley Quinn and Power Girl.


Spoilers, the final frontier…


Last month we left off with Harley and Power Girl having just defeated Oreth Odeox. They were staring into space at some kind of incoming danger summoned by OO. This month we find out what it is – a gigantic free-floating head called the Harvester of Sorrow. The HoS is so big that when PG throws Odeox at it he disappears into one of the noggin’s pores. Apparently the Harvester causes strife and madness in entire solar systems and then feeds off the minds and bodies of those living there.


The Harvester lets out a great explosion which knocks our team unconscious. Harley wakes up and is confronted by her spirit animal – a leather jacketed looking smoothie. He encourages her to fight back so Harley uses the Hard Light Gloves from issue #2 to create a motorcycle which she rides into the mouth of the Harvester.


Inside the giant head Harley is confronted by fruit candy shaped attackers that cover her in gum and carry her to be ingested by the Harvester. As Harley’s mind is being assimilated the Harvester gets a full dose of Harley’s version of Mr. J lurking inside and begins to go mad


Outside, Power Girl, Vartox and Groovicus who have decided to hurry to Harley’s assistance are at the mouth of the head when it begins a maniacal laugh and starts to appear as the Joker. Harley gets ejected but the experience has brought her Joker madness to the surface. She is reunited with her friends but sadistically rips off Vartox’s handsome mustache which she throws at Power Girl.


When Vartox begins to whine about the loss of his stache PG has had enough. She punches Vartox into space and flys off with Harley and Groovicus to escape the head which is about to explode being overfull of Harley’s Joker energy. After the requisite head demolition, they are rejoined by Vartox who shows that his mustache can grow back like a starfish’s arm.


Harley finally snaps out of Joker mode and the ladies ask Vartox for his teleportation ring. He says he would be happy to give PG the ring and does so…proposing marriage on his knees much to Power Girl’s dismay.


This is a pretty basic ‘defeat the bad guy’ episode in the penultimate entry of the mini. Our heroes meet a big bad, rely on Harley’s kookiness and PG’s strength to defeat him, and then have a couple of personality defining moments before the cliffhanger ending. That has been Conner and Palmiotti’s pattern of much of the series and it works fairly well here. There are a couple of things that were a little inconsistent such as the size of the head. At first a person could disappear into one of its facial pores but later PG seems about the size of one of the creature’s teeth. I don’t want to be one of those guys who complain about little stuff like that and ignore the fact that Harley, a human, is perfectly able to travel through space without a spacesuit of any kind. Whatever, its cool.


The dialogue in this issue was a little more plot driven than character driven. Harley got a few one liners in and PG was appropriately grossed out by some of her sidekick’s antics. I know that Joker is a big part of Harley’s backstory but I have to be honest and say that he isn’t my favorite character and I really don’t like to see that kind of sadism in the book, so Harley’s tearing off of Vartox’s stache was a little much for me. Overall I didn’t care for her in channeling Mr. J.


However, I do like Stephane Roux and Flaviano’s art. The story is told clearly and there aren’t any panels that make you scratch your head wondering what happened. Harley’s facial expressions particularly are very comical. I particularly love Paul Mounts’ color palette: all the greens and deep blues of space along with the fiery red explosions and Harley’s almost silver skin. Beautiful.


I will rate this book probably more highly than it deserves. It isn’t the best in the miniseries but with one issue left the action kept things moving towards Harley and PG’s (spoiler alert) return to their world which is in the next and last issue. Seems like Vartox is going to have his hands full in issue #6.


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