At the end of last issue, Harley and her parents were in danger on a boat at the hands of…the Clock King and the Sportsmaster. Not exactly the most fearsome of foes Harley’s ever battled, but a compromising position all the same. How does she make it out of this one?
As we find out in the opening action sequence, she makes it out thanks to her parents, surprisingly. Harley is tied up in slowly contracting metal rope, threatening to cut her into dog food. Thanks to packing heat and some quick thinking, her dad, along with Goat Boy, is able to rescue her while her mom rids the scene of the bad guys. It’s a fast paced, fun opening scene that kicks things off on a high note, as it’s an interesting role reversal to see Harley as the damsel in distress.
This issue essentially happens in three acts. The first act is the action sequence described above. Secondly, we catch up with Red Tool and Devani Kage, who agree to team up. Devani is an interesting character who was sorely missed for the last couple issues, so it’s great to see she’ll be part of the story going forward.
Unfortunately, Devani Kage scenes mean a jarring change in artist is going to happen, and we get that here. I like Linsner’s art, more for this title than Timms’ even, but the transition is so abrupt it doesn’t feel great. We don’t even ride out the rest of the issue in this style, either, as the art switches back to Timms once the Red Tool/Devani scene is over.
I won’t get into the third act explicitly as I don’t want to spoil anything, but the pacing of the comic slows down dramatically for the final third. It does end on an intriguing enough cliffhanger though, so the issue ends on a good enough note.
Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner write another solid issue here, though there aren’t quite as many laughs as last time (Harley actually calls Sportsmaster "Fartsmaster," ugh). Still, everything read smoothly outside of the massive slowdown in pace for the final act, but even then, the exposition was interesting and made for an emotional moment with Harley.
The backup was a bit more fun than it’s been this time around. Harley needs to come up with three million dollars stat, and Joker wants to know what she’s hiding. These situations will come to a head soon, and it should be fun to see how Harley weasels her way out of this one.
Is it good?
Despite inconsistent pacing and another jarring, abrupt transition between two artists, Harley Quinn #24 delivers.
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