Chaos is the Penguin’s business and business is good. Coney Island is in disarray, crumbling under the relentless attacks of some of Gotham’s dumbest villains. With Harley out finding herself, the denizens of the shore town must fend for themselves in a losing battle against the forces of darkness who seem to only want to take over hot dog joints for the moment. Is this part of Penguin’s evil plan? Probably not.
There is something satisfying about seeing King Shark nearly tear off the arm of an aquarium worker who should know better. Or a ridiculous henchman being gobbled whole by a giant penguin. Maybe “giant” isn’t the right word — Colossal. Enormous. Gargantuan. This is a big-ass penguin and it eats Tweedledum whole. I’m not sure why it hits me in all the right places, but people getting gobbled by ridiculous monsters just makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
Harley, meanwhile, is running herself into the ground trying to battle villains in NYC proper and avoiding thinking about her recent past. After an assist from Red Tool, finally making his appearance from the shadows, Harley dispatches with an actually dangerous villain in Victor Zzazz, only to pass out from exhaustion. Back in Coney, Coach has made a discovery that could lead to the answers she needs and a way for Harley to come back to Coney Island. That, or she could have experienced her last Nateman’s hot dog.
Writer Frank Tieri and artist Ikani Miranda are really hitting their stride with Harley Quinn. The inclusion of so many insane villains brings the hilarity that we’ve come to expect from the book, but also ramps up the danger level for Harley and her extended crew. Where it initially looked like Tieri might abandon the Coney Island crew entirely, they have been featured alongside the true big bad in this story arc and are going to be dealing with the ramifications for quite a long time. I am looking forward to Harley’s return along with, hopefully, Poison Ivy to continue their unrequited (in-panel) snuggles. Time shall tell. Oooh, has the Clock King shown up yet?