Sunday, April 23, 2017

Comic Book Review: Harley Quinn #18, "Red Meat, Pt.2"

By: Jerry Montgomery
April 21, 2017

Harley Quinn #18
“Red Meat, Pt.2”

Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor
Pencils by: John Timms
Pencils, pgs. 1-3: Joseph Michael Linsner

Since moving to Coney Island and inheriting her very own apartment from a fellow
Arkham inmate, Harley has done just about everything from joining the local roller derby team, has taken on aliens, battled a rampaging zombie horde,  saved Christmas and even killed one of the Jokers (or at least, a Joker) when he came a courtin’. Yes, she’s done it all and all she’s been trying to do is pay her rent on time. Living with other zany tenants that live in her building, she’s made allies and friends that assist her in her wild and crazy adventures.

In the last issue of Harley Quinn and part 1 of the “Red Meat” story arc, a mayoral aide by the name of Madison is given the task by the Mayor himself to take care of the growing number of the homeless within the city. Don’t bore him with the details, just get it done! Therefore, Madison, thinking outside the box, hires a group of cannibals to take care of the problem. In the course of this radical and gruesome solution, Skipper, one of Harley’s good friends who happens to be homeless, comes up missing. Harley and company then come up with a plan to stake out Prospect Park, dressed as bums and find out what is happening. Harley ends up getting captured by the cannibals and it doesn’t look good for our heroes. On top of all this, two subplots are introduced as Harley’s parents announced that they are coming for a visit which has the love smitten Red Tool in a love overload and the deadly Harley Quinn obsessed, Harley Sinn is back, freshly released from prison and on the loose! We are also treated to part 1 of a backup story,  “Harley Loves Joker”. It’s a throwback tale of Batman: The Animated Series, Harley and Joker, complete with black and red harlequin costume. It details the beginnings of the biggest mistake of her beginning criminal career by leading the Batman to “Mistah J ‘s” hideout.

In Harley Quinn #18, the book opens to the year 2167 in Gotham City as another lucky arena contestant by the name of Devani is awarded the opportunity to travel back in time. So what’s the big deal?  Our lucky lady has won a chance to travel back to  21st  century Gotham City  to possibly meet with our present day heroes, even getting her own new Bat-inspired costume. And oh yeah, she gets to have a chance at killing public enemy #1 , according to this future, Harley Quinn and return to her own time a hero. Another new story arc is building up as well apparently and we haven’t even explored the other subplots in depth yet, so there’s plenty to look forward to!
In the  present day however,  the stakeout in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park that began last issue continues… though not quite as planned. Going undercover to find out where the city’s homeless have been disappearing to, poor Harley has fallen victim to the culprits responsible. As I said previously, not in the plan, but with Red Tool and Edgar “Eggy “ Fullerton Yeung, tagging along, what could possibly go wrong?! What happens when the Mayor finds out about Madison’s solution to the homeless? What can a drugged and tied up, “strapped and stashed” Harley do against this brutal band of cannibals? Now is not the time to lose your marbles and start talking to skinned and eaten friends! Can Red Tool reach Harley in time? Something tells me that hand cannon he’s toting around won’t go to waste. And last but not least, why is Eggy rowing a boat across a lake going to help?

In the backup story, Harley Loves Joker, the story continues as an amorous Harley is in the mood and is trying to share that with her “Puddin”, but he seems a little preoccupied. Just wait until Batman shows up…

The Verdict: Everybody is in love with Harley Quinn right now and her comic is a continued best seller ever month, so you cant go wrong with this title. Longtime writers, Palmiotti and Connor know tgeir stuff and continue to spin interesting adventures for Harley and set up future ones with plenty of subplots. The artwork is pretty good by John Timms and guest artist Joseph Michael Linsner of Cry For Dawn fame, the favorite title of heavy metal fanboys back in the 1990’s, for several pages. This issue will even satisfy your horror fan with the heavies played out as cannibals. The cannibal fetishists may come crawling out of the woodwork for this one as well! Lol! If you like your superheroes with a touch of zaniness, a dash of parody and a dollop of sexiness, then look no further, Harley Quinn #18 is what you’re looking for!

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