Harley Quinn is under a new creative team and has a new story direction, moving her back into confrontation with Gotham’s baddies and away from much of the Coney Island circus we’ve seen her with over the past few years. While issue #37 got off to a bit of a rocky start, #38 brings things into focus and gives purpose to not just Harley’s new mission, but manages to continue the stories of Big Tony, Eggy, and the gang as well.
While Harley moves on to her new life in the Big Apple, her Coney Crew finds itself besieged by the worst of Gotham’s criminals. I don’t mean the most evil folks to ever cross Batman’s path — I mean literally, the worst. Mr. Freeze ice over the Coney Island shore is a great start, complete with a crack about Schwarzenegger movies. Following him up with Condiment King was a bold choice. The villain gags continue to the point where the whole thing is ludicrously hilarious. Eggy’s full page shock spread of all the villains currently assaulting various areas on NYC is great, followed by his immediate kidnapping at the hands of, who else, Egghead.
Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Harley appears battling the Gorilla Gang atop the Empire State Building because cliches are what we all live for. Artist Mirka Andolfo has brought her work on DC’s Bombshells and brought it to Harley in particular. I really dig the new look, especially as Harley mocks the Gorilla Gang for just trying way too hard. Andolfo is joined on this issue by Eleonora Carlini who draws a kick-ass Killer Croc taking back his own corner of Coney Island while lesser villains like Killer Moth posture. I’m very interested to see where Croc’s story goes from here as we get a peek into his past I’m not sure anyone expected.
My one criticism of the writing? Having Sal say the following: “How meshugenah of them.” “Meshugenah” is a noun meaning “crazy person.” “Meshuga” is an adjective meaning “crazy.” Is there no editor at DC who understands Yiddish? Or dictionary.com?
Certainly, there is a long way to go for Frank Tieri and company in living up to what Conner and Palmiotti brought the the table, but if the beginning of this storyline is any indication, Harley is in fine hands.