Zombies have risen all over Coney Island! Harley Quinn and her friends need to stop this plague before it gets any worse! Is it good?
Harley Quinn #2 (DC Comics)
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed an issue of Harley Quinn (way over a year ago) and looking at where it is now with its minor relaunch, the series is just as silly and crazy as before. This issue continues from the last with Harley launching Red Tool to safety and then working with her friends to investigate the zombies that have taken over most of her home. Beyond that, there isn’t much story other than zombie shenanigans and Harley Vs. the Living Dead. That’s fine though, given that series has never been really about having a layered story. Instead, it’s really just about the silly situations that arise around the title character. It’s not something that will work for everyone obviously, but it works completely for a goofy comic like this.
Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti continue to do a decent job on the writing. Harley Quinn is still as crazy, silly, and loveable as she usually is in the comic. The supporting characters are fun, though they don’t really do a lot (the Gang of Harleys have a small cameo for instance). The dialogue is nice and there’s a lot of good humor going on. Heck, there’s a lot of humor that works rather well spread throughout the entire issue, like Harley trying to shoot out the windows of buildings on several floors so her buddy goes flying through without smashing through the glass. The only real problems with the writing arise around the use of the zombie plague and pacing. With the pacing, the book over indulges in too much narration in places, really grinding the story to a halt or telling too much instead of showing.
As far as the zombie plague itself, zombies themselves feel very overused these days since they’re almost everywhere. It’s a bit tiresome to see them unless you really bring something new and exciting to them, which the comic unfortunately really didn’t. They’re just regular zombies that eat people and nothing really else beyond that to make the story feel interesting, though they admittedly have an interesting origin that was darkly amusing. Harley adding to the madness, while certainly making things funny, doesn’t freshen up the zombie story enough. So for people feeling a bit burnt out on zombies, this probably won’t do anything for you.
The artwork is split between Chad Hardin and John Timms this time around, regulars of the past Harley Quinn series. Like always, they do a really good job here, even though the shift between their work is abrupt. While Timms’ style is more cartoonish, it fits the zany antics of Harley, even when she is zombie killing and living things up. Hardin’s style is less cartoony and more “realistic,” which works with depicting the more horrific, creepy parts of the zombie invasion. Either way, both men do a good job drawing the characters, depicting the black comedy throughout, and putting together some very good panel layouts. The only issue with the art goes to Timms’ frequent use of splash pages, which are combined with an over amount of narration boxes to fill in the story gaps. It feels a bit simple and cheap this way, just quickly rushing through some action bits to get to another without having to draw much in the way of panels.
Is It Good?
Harley Quinn #2 is a fun issue. It suffers in a few areas for sure, but it was a fun time like it always is. If you are just looking for a wild ride that won’t require a lot of depth or thinking, this is the comic for you. Hopefully you’re not tired of zombies yet.