Harley Quinn #41 – Frank Tieri, Writer; Inaki Miranda, Moritat, Artist; Jeremiah Skipper, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Getting Rid of the Penguin
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The conclusion of the battle for Coney Island between Harley and Penguin arrives in Harley Quinn #41 and it’s an action-packed issue that mostly restores Harley’s status quo by the end. The issue opens with all of Coney Island brainwashed, attacking Harley and Killer Croc until Croc smashes Mad Hatter’s hat, freeing them. However, it’s not going to be that easy for Harley to win back her friends after abandoning them at the start of the arc. It’s revealed that she was at least partially brainwashed due to truth serum, but it just magnified her natural instincts to isolate herself after losing Mason. Sure enough, she and her friends are a united front again, just in time to take the fight to Penguin. Harley’s original allies, Poison Ivy and Catwoman, show up too (although Catwoman doesn’t get much to do beyond participating in action scenes). Penguin, meanwhile, is holed up in his giant new casino, named Antarctic Island.
The issue has some great action sequences, particularly one where the giant penguins rampage across the avenue, only to be met by equally giant monster plants conjured by Poison Ivy. I just wish the humor of the issue wasn’t quite so juvenile – one joke about people pooping themselves would be more than enough, but two in one issue? This series has had problems for a while with relying too much on lazy, gross humor both in this run and the previous run. The final showdown with Penguin is pretty much just a curb-stomp battle – he relies entirely on henchmen, of which he has plenty, but once they get him alone it’s just Harley and others knocking him around a room. By the end of the issue, status quo is mostly restored in Coney Island – although Condiment King has a new career and a new lease on life. Tieri’s run has mostly been enjoyable so far, if not really a standout. He finishes up next issue with “Old Lady Harley”, which should be suitably bizarre.
Corrina: A happy ending for Condiment King! That’s worth something right?
This is a readable comic with some fun moments, particularly the giant penguins versus Ivy’s giant plants, but it is basically one big action-fest. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) It’s not trying to be subtle and that’s fine but it basically waves away all the problems caused by Penguin in this arc and restores the status quo, save for Condiment King joining the gang. Mustard and ketchup for everyone!
The best moments were the ones between Croc and Harley, as they bonded about being outsiders, scenes which showed, again, how smart Harley can be when she wants.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.