If you’ve read Harley over the last five years you’ll know the humor tends to be tongue in cheek, fourth wall breaking, and self-reflective. If those qualities sound similar to another character, Harley’s already got you covered, as the Deadpool-parody character named Red Tool (who first appeared in Harley Quinn #26) makes an appearance this issue. And it’s certainly not an accident the title of this new miniseries is a play on the now famous Mark Millar-helmed series featuring Logan. So if you feel indulgent and want to explore a semi-comical take on a futuristic Harley who lives in a barren wasteland, not unlike Wolverine did, then buckle up and enjoy this ride.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
After liberating New York City from her now-feral Gang of Harleys, poor Harley wants nothing more than to slip back into retirement in her coastal (and heavily guarded) paradise. But the Laughing Boys Gang has another idea–they’ll follow her to the ends of the Earth, to drag her back to their leader! It can’t actually be…him! Right?! He couldn’t possibly still be alive, could he? After all…Harley killed him herself with her bare hands! Should she turn to President Power Girl for help? Or flee to the 51st state, Atlantis? Step into an insane vision of a future DC Universe we all better hope we don’t live to see!
Why does this matter?
The biggest draw for me with this book is the creative team of Frank Tieri and Inaki Miranda. That’s because Tieri is a horror writing maestro while Miranda mesmerized on his Ragman miniseries. Together they have the chops to do this series justice.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
From page one, it’s obvious this is a good alternate-reality comic; it opens with news anchors delivering the news across the world and it’s not looking good (see above). Each woman is the same because they are all clones and replaceable. The very next scene cuts to Condiment King offering up food options for the zombies that rampage the world and you can generally get the idea this is not a very pleasant future. And that’s before Harley shows up.
Tieri does a good job piecing together how Harley has ended up where she is with well-placed flashbacks. That’s not something these types of stories tend to do either because they want to stretch out the reveals or because less information allows the story to remain mysterious. Tieri’s imagination never wavers with this issue as he drops interesting tidbits about the DC universe and/or a strange weapon idea for Harley to tangle with. The pacing is spot on, keeping you entertained and mixing in exposition with the plot always moving forward. This is a dense read with a lot of rewarding elements.
Miranda’s art, with colors by Eva De La Cruz, complement the story, one which captures the Mad Max style wasteland the world has become. There are monsters galore for Miranda to render all of which have a good amount of detail giving the book a realistic look. There is a bunch of action in this book too all of which is clean and easy to follow.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Harley herself hasn’t changed much which is a bit of a surprise. Or, she’s at least written as basically the same character as she currently is in the main book. She’s a bit nuts, but still kind when she needs to be. That’s surprising given the change of scenery and brand new world she inhabits.
Is it good?
A crazy fun romp into the future with Harley Quinn like you’ve never seen her before. The book looks great and more importantly is paced excellently. You won’t want to put this down.