After an entertaining, if skippable done-in-one interlude last issue, the campaign begins. Harley Quinn officially throws her hat into the mayoral race of New York. Well, American politics are a circus at this point, might as well have a certifiably insane clown run office.
This issue is very focused on Harley — this series has a wide cast of characters that are a lot of fun in their own right, but sometimes it’s nice to get back to basics. We follow her as she leaves her position on the roller derby team and her alter ego’s job as a therapist in anticipation of focusing on politics. The story bounces between these two recent pasts and the present, where Harley, Poison Ivy and Harlem Harley are trapped in a trunk, about to take down some criminals in a sting operation. This kind of bouncing back and forth in the timeline is novel and spices things up a bit, but it doesn’t really add much to the story.
Though there isn’t much action in this issue, there is a palpable sense of suspense as the three are awaiting their moment to strike from the trunk. It manages to keep the issue a page-turner even if there isn’t wall to wall fighting. Of course, the banter of Harley and her compatriots keeps things entertaining as well. Jimmy Palmiotti and Amander Conner nearly always nail Harley’s character and voice with aplomb, and this issue is no different.
Art duties are handled by John Timms, with Tom Derenick contributing four pages (two scenes) worth to the issue. This series has always had to deal with multiple artists coming and going for whatever reasons, and sometimes it can be quite jarring. Here though, it works out in the end. The two brief scenes Derenick draws don’t involve Harley at all, so it does not detract from the experience at all — and the scenes are drawn well in their own right. Characters remain consistently drawn throughout the issue, which is the biggest thing to hope for when dealing with multiple artists. Timms, the series’ regular artist, delivers some interesting paneling on a few pages, including one with a neat layering effect as panels are laid on top of a full page spread. The artwork throughout the issue contains a fair amount of sexuality – no outright nudity, but the idea of prostitutes are brought up multiple times, there’s a Harley shower scene, and a stereotypical locker room changing scene. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for a series that has always exhibited a certain degree of titillation, but it was consistent enough to be of note.
Lettering is always done well in Harley Quinn, provided by Dave Sharpe. Yelling, and other situations of urgency have a very distinctive feel, as they are brightly colored and rendered uniquely (and huge). Red Tool makes a brief appearance and his introduction includes an almost logotype lettering, surrounded by, what else, tools. It’s a neat touch to make the important moment stand out a bit.
This issue ends on a villain reveal that should make a lot of fans happy. It will be really interesting to see what direction this villain goes in as Harley’s campaign continues.
Is It Good?
Harley Quinn gets back to the task at hand in issue #28 as Harley makes her campaign official. With a unique angle, great writing and a tantalizing cliffhanger, this story arc is headed in the best possible direction.