Harley Quinn #37 – Frank Tieri, Writer; Mirka Andolfo, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Ad is Hilarious
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Now that the Man-Bat centric arc that opened the new Frank Tieri run has wrapped, Harley Quinn #37 brings the focus to Harley’s upcoming battle with Penguin. Or rather, to Penguin himself, who makes a big move on the crime scene in New York. Harley almost feels like a supporting character here, as she struggles to find what she wants her next move to be. The opening segment is a high for the issue, as Harley opens a new business, crimefighting for hire, in a ridiculously cheesy commercial where she beats up a musclehead dressed as Darkseid – to the confusion of her former allies. Penguin, meanwhile, has invited all of New York’s crime bosses to announce his plans to take over the crime scene there, and they react as you’d expect – by pulling guns. So he responds by unleashing a pair of giant mutant-muscle-penguins and wiping out the entire leadership of the New York mob. Like you do.
So clearly we’re getting some of the absurdity of the old Harley run back, and I am intrigued by Penguin’s new criminal network. He’s got a new second-in-command, a female assassin who goes by Lark. What’s interesting is that Lark was the codename of a heroic character in the Batverse in flash-forwards, so could she be in for a face-turn down the line? Harley’s hero-for-hire business, meanwhile, is not off to a great start, and she’s causing more property damage than she stops. She’s clearly isolated right now, with her only confidant at the moment being her dead taxidermy beaver, and her phone line is mainly blowing up with wrong numbers looking to hire her for other things. Tieri has blown up much of the status quo from the previous run, but all the pieces are still there and it’ll likely be put back together soon. This is the quickest read of the four issues so far, but it’s also the most entertaining.
Corrina: I’m laughing hard over the “Harley for Hire” ad. That’s perfect and, truly, the exact tone that any Harley series should take, especially the part about “problems with the crown prince of crime.” The reactions of the gang at Coney Island to the ad are terrific too and finally, Red Tool does something I don’t mind, which is keeping an eye on Harley in his utterly weird way.
However, the stuff with the Penguin strained my suspension of disbelief. All the crime bosses will meet with the Penguin without back-up somewhere? Yes, they’re all armed but these are paranoid people. Their snipers/bodyguards would also be having a convention off-screen and, hey, why didn’t any of these guys shoot Penguin when the Giant Penguins first appeared?
Note: The Giant Penguins are great but where did Penguin hide them??? Where does he keep them when they’re not needed to eat crime bosses? Perhaps it’s best not to ask these questions in an issue of a Harley series.
Lark’s appearance also caught my eye as she was part of a short-lived new 52 revamp of The Birds of Prey. She was heroic and then she was evil again and I think she might have eventually been killed off, which is a shame because the original character had buzz and interest.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.