By Cat Wyatt
Issue #41 of Harley brings a conclusion to the Angry Bird plot, though it leaves a couple of pieces up in the air for further investigation. This issue starts off a little weird with all of the locals wanting to tear apart the Gang of Harleys (including the Gang of Harleys). It should be worth noting that everyone has green swirly eyes right now…so clearly mind control (Mad Hatter, anyone?).
As predicted this little event has the Mad Hatter written all over it, but unfortunately for him, Coney Island’s backup has arrived. In this case, by backup I mean Harley Quinn, Killer Croc (apparently Harley’s little speech in the last issue did the trick), and Dead Tool. An odd team to say the least, but as long as they get the job done, who cares? Let’s just say that in a fight of the Mad Hatter versus Killer Croc…well…we know who will win (unless Mad Hatter gets some extra time to plan and prepare, that is). A little hat smushing and it’s game over for the Hatter.
Now it’s time to address the elephant in the room: Harley bailing on the Gang of Harleys (and everyone else) for weeks on end. Now, we know that Harley was under the influence of Penguins drugs, but from what we understand there’s at least a little bit of a truthful element to the drugs. Meaning that some part of Harley actually did want to stay away from them all. I know everyone wanted to take offense to this, but considering everything that Harley has been through lately, it sort of makes sense. She needed some time to herself to decompress and grieve, and she can’t do that while constantly taking care of a large group of people.
Still, they have reason to feel at least a little wounded, just like Harley had reason to need her space. The truth of the matter is that Penguin took advantage of the situation and Harley’s vulnerability. So really, while everyone is a little bit in the wrong, most (if not all), of the blame should be laid at his feet.
Since he’s the one to blame for literally all of the messes in Coney Island right now, I’d say it’s about damn time they take the fight to him. On Penguins side (on top of the villains we’ve already seen Harley and the gang come up against) there’s Black Spider, Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, the giant penguins, and a bunch more I’m too lazy to list. On Harley’s side, we have Harley (duh), the Gang of Harleys, Red Tool, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Harley Sinn, Power Woman, and a dozen others. So a pretty fair fight, all things considered.
Have you ever wanted to see the Scarecrow get a taste of his own medicine? Then you probably don’t want to miss out on his fight against Harley and Red Tool. Let’s just say that Harley used a modified weapon of the Jokers (cough cough the laughing gas cough) against Scarecrow, and it did not go well for him.
Thanks to Power Girl’s assistance the Gang of Harleys was able to successfully save Coach, whom I’d been wondering about. I’m not going to say I was worried they forgot about her…but I was just a tiny bit worried (nobody mentioned her going missing!).
Meanwhile, Harley and Red Toll have made it to Penguin’s office, and let’s just say that this isn’t a fair fight, all things considered. Not that I’m complaining. Penguin had it coming. Actually, the fight was a little short for my liking; you’d think Penguin would have had more of his goons close to him, just in case. Oh well.
There are still some loose ends up in the air, such as Scarface and his alliance with the surviving mob bosses. Nobody seems terribly concerned about this, but I personally would be terrified. Out of all of the villains to leave without any supervision or monitoring, Scarface is the last one you’d ever want to let loose like that. Maybe that’s just me, but I’m sure this will come up again, possibly in the near future.
As far as wrap up issues go, this wasn’t a bad one. I don’t think the actual fight against Penguin was all that satisfying, but there were other good moments at least. I’m disappointed that the fallout with Scarface wasn’t included, but in all likelihood that’ll take more than one issue to wrap up, so there’s some silver lining I suppose.
I’m still really not happy with Harley’s latest look. I swear it was even worse in this issue – she looks more and more like a goth Barbie than the original Harley first introduced. I’m not saying change is bad, but in this particular case, I don’t think the character migration was really needed. Her looks are matching her personality-less and less, which is a shame. Everything else in this issue, art-wise, was great, so I guess I can’t complain too much.
Harley Quinn #41