Harley’s initial foray into politics isn’t off to a good start, but this arc is.
The political climate in the United States is grim right now, but look on the bright side: we could have someone like Harley Quinn in office. …Actually, now that I think about it, that would definitely be an improvement. Harley is running for mayor in an effort to "get gritty for New York City," and in this issue, it’s time for her first debate.
Harley Quinn #29 sees Harley prepare for the first mayoral debate, but perhaps more importantly, she’s able to reconnect with Mason Macabre, something she hasn’t had much time to do since Joker’s Last Laugh. It’s a surprisingly touching moment in an otherwise hectic issue that was a long time coming. The mind games associated with the character are already in full effect, and it will be interesting to see how Harley gets out of this one.
But the major selling point of the last issue wasn’t Harley getting it on, it was the reveal that Mason Berkowitz has employed none other than Scarecrow to help take down Harley! After last issue’s cliffhanger ending, Scarecrow is predictably a big part of this issue, threatening to muck up Harley’s huge aspirations. The villain aspect of this series has been lacking for a good while now, so it’s nice to see a classic, unique bad guy get his time to shine.
First the homeless want our money, now they want our ideas?!
In an issue that is a little low on actual developments, the most exciting part is a nightmare sequence that sees Harley’s worst fears embodied. It’s dark, it’s sad, and it’s full of exactly the kind of screwed up thoughts you’d expect from Scarecrow manipulating Harley Quinn’s mind. Though the issue is actually paced very well and is a breeze to read, when you’re done reading it, you realize just how little actually happened.
Artwork in this series is historically all over the place, and unfortunately this issue may be the most egregious example. Rather than series mainstay John Timms, or regulars like Joseph Michael Linsner, this issue is split up between three different artists, two of which I haven’t seen on this series before: Mirka Andolfo, Michael Kaluta, and Tom Derenick. Andolfo and Derenick take a random assortment of pages each, while Kaluta draws the dream sequence — thankfully so, as his style is markedly different from the other two. His sketchy, otherworldly style is actually pretty perfect for the nightmare, and while there are noticeable differences between Andolfo and Derenick’s work, they are not glaring enough to detract from the experience all that much.
Is It Good?
Harley’s initial foray into politics isn’t off on the best foot, but this arc is. The story is paced well, accomplishes a decent amount, and is a breeze to read. Despite having three (!) separate artists, none of which are series regulars, the artwork never suffers, either.