By Cat Wyatt
The last issue left us off with Harley and her gang (Tony, Ivy, and Queenie) heading off on a road trip. I would like to point out now – I called it. I said they were going to get themselves into some sort of trouble (well Harley getting everyone else into trouble at least), and I was right. Granted that’s not terribly surprising or out of the ordinary, but I’m going to take a win where I can.
Issue 34 starts with the four of them in prison (told you), and Harley screaming her blond head off to be let out. Again, nothing terribly out of the ordinary. It’s soon revealed that while in the search for some grub, Harley managed to accidentally get in a fight with a couple of guys jealous girlfriends, who then had her arrested. In Harley’s defense, this one actually wasn’t all her fault. The girls were way out of line, and even if they guy was a cheating jerk, it’s not like Harley knew that ahead of time (I wish people would blame the cheaters more, instead of the person they cheated with).
Anyway, you’re never going to believe who bailed them all out of jail. Hint: It wasn’t Red Tool (Harley may or may not have used her one phone call to prank call him; sending him off to Paris). Harley’s parents. Now, I’ve been feeling a little conflicted about meeting Harley’s parents. On the one hand it’s pretty cool and has a lot of potential for being funny; on the other it could be pretty lame or corny. This whole trip balanced somewhere in between, so I’m going to let it pass.
I knew that Harley had siblings (in Injustice she mentions her sister), but I never really put that much thought into it. I certainly never thought she had three brothers (what happened to the sister mentioned in Injustice? Simply a casualty of the multiple universe plots?). Anyway, they all act pretty much how I’d expect teenage male versions of Harley to act. Quarreling and shouting and general rowdiness (I can see why Ivy wasn’t impressed).
Harley’s mom gets a lot more screen (erm, page) time than her father does, as she takes the time to pull Harley aside and see how she’s doing about Mason’s death. Which is actually pretty cool of her. I’m not sure how much she knows about Harley’s life (she can’t possibly be obvious about all of it, could she?) but it’s nice to see her being supportive here. I’ll admit I’m more than a bit curious to see if she knows about the Joker. Based on some of the things revealed later, I would have to guess yes, but I have no proof.
There is one more part I’d like to take some time to talk about; Harley’s visit to the Holiday Hyena Haven. Take a minute and read that again. Harley’s babies, the ones I was lead to believe died back in the New 52 series for Harley, are alive and well! Bud and Lou are doing fantastic actually, having found mates and even had a bunch of babies. I’ll admit that while I’m absolutely thrilled that they’re alive (I was pretty torn up about what the Joker had done to them) I’m feeling a bit conflicted over the whole thing. What the Joker did to her babies was a major turning point for Harley, and I feel like this was maybe undoing that a bit. Now I don’t for a minute believe she’ll go running back to the Joker, but I am concerned in general about any backtracking like this. But hey, they’re alive, Harley’s happy, and I’m happy.
After all the heaviness of the last few issues, it was kind of nice to have a lighter, more fluff filled issue. The happy revelation about Bud and Lou was pretty fantastic, and probably the most noteworthy part of the issue. Otherwise this was more of a break between plots, if you ask me.
The artwork was pretty on par with the rest of the Harley Quinn series; it’s bright and cheerful and makes room for humorous details. Lately I’ve been reading enjoying that when Harley is accentuating something or being really loud the words will be written in a different color. It’s a small detail sure, but it’s pretty effective. It’s also something that’s done to Joker’s laughter, so it shows Joker’s continued influence on Harley’s life.
Harley Quinn #34