Review: Harley Quinn #14

harley_cv14_dsThis weeks issue of Harley Quinn was full of all the things I love about the way Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have been taking our favorite maybe sheroes story arcs. There were some growing pains and a sense that they were trying to shove too much into one issue but, not only did it all work itself out but, it has fueled the issues that followed. Palmiotti and Conner are kicking ass at defining who Harley is now, not only have they excelled at giving her agency, purpose, and focus but, they’ve managed to tackle some pretty serious social and relationship issues. They have also managed to serve up a healthy dose of girl power and sisterhood reminding us all that women really do kick ass. Despite her often psychotic and fractured actions, Harley Quinn has returned to being the penultimate “you don’t own me” bad ass boss chick role model that we got a glimpse of before.

Harley Quinn #14 starts off with a glimpse of what Ms. Berkowitz has in mind to help the Mayor solve his homelessness problem and it’s not only shady but, scary. We also discover more about how Harley pays the bills and, runs a crew. There’s something kind of empowering about the way she handles herself and her gang with her own hero for hire and , bad ass for kicks business ventures. If that’s not enough excitement for you there’s also a what’s in the tunnels story arc that’s about to take off. We’re treated to a front row seat as the insects come out of the dark, into the light and set loose their dark lord. Harley in her usual trouble maker with a heart uses some trickery to get this alien arsehole out of her hood to keep her home turf safe. But, she ends up needing help from an unlikely and new source in order to do battle with what promises to be a wrathful return.

The writing is on point as usual. There are multiple storylines going on but, hey are clear lines letting the reader know where the storylines switched over. There are also some killer social commentary quips and undertones that make the story touch on the readers humanity. The writers were even nice and clever enough to take a jab at Sunkist Stalin number 45 himself. I was also impressed that when the shizz hit the fan, Harley thought about all of the female heroes she could call to help out with their alien overlord problem.

Khari Evans and John Timms split the drawing duties for this issue with Alex Sinclair serving up some killer, mood appropriate color. It’s a really pretty comic, full of detail, providing a feeling that the scene is just as important as the words.

Overall this issue of Harley Quinn brings together some A-team level storytelling and artwork. Everything fits together and the words complement the art which aids in the ability of reader to get sucked in and enjoy the ride. This was a solid set up for a new arc and, a good precursor for the arcs that will follow. I appreciated the story and, enjoyed that it had a mildly political subtext with a good, relatable, entertaining tale dominating the forefront. It was a blast to read and I look forward to not only watching this story arc play out but, discovering what other arcs are lurking in the wings waiting for their chance to have a full fledged story arc of their own. Wherever this team decides to go I’m here for it and have full faith in their ability to keep us all wanting more.

Story: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner Art: Khari Evans, John Timms, Alex Sinclair
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

DC comics provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review