Harley has gone deep undercover in the punk scene, but will she fit in?
With a little help from her friends, and some swift and blinding violence, sure! Your Major Spoilers review of Harley Quinn #6 awaits!
HARLEY QUINN #6
Writer: Jimmy Palmiotto & Amanda Conner
Artist: John Timms/Jill Thompson
Colorist: Alex Sinclair/Jill Thompson
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Chris Conroy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Harley Quinn: “EAT TO THIS BEAT” part two! Harley’s carving her way through the rock underground of New York City, looking for the brutal criminals who hurt someone she cared about…unfortunately for Harley, one of the crooks in question has fallen in mad love with her.
I GET WHAT THEY’RE GOING FOR…
We open with Harley and her band (The Skull Bags, each of whom has their own gimmick and some SERIOUSLY distracting word balloon idiosyncrasies) preparing for their first show. The only problem is, they’re not really any good, or even particularly musical. Harley makes up for their flaws by enhancing the performance, first pulling a random bystander up on-stage and MURDERING HIM (or at least implying such, as he was actually a willing volunteer who really wanted to be beaten up by a girl) and then follows up by throwing animal feces at the crowd. They love her act, to the point where Harley is invited out by some of the other performers, allowing her to sneak a peek into the subculture, all the better to find the people who hurt her friend. This is interspersed with flashbacks to her days as a doctor at Arkham, specifically some of the earliest interactions with The Joker, including the moment where he made her a little soap heart to declare his love for her…
…BUT I’M NOT FEELIN’ IT
Everything in this issue happens for a reason, but the overall package is just… not hitting the right notes. The transition from Jill Thompson’s flashback art to John Timms punk-rock present seems jarring by design, but the transition ends up being too difficult to pull of, while Harley’s antics are a little… I suppose the only word is “gross,” which probably reveals that I’m no longer an angry young punk ready to buck the system, blah blah blah fishcakes. The strengths of the issue come in the character work (including one who seems to be the son of legendary terrible villain Egg Fu), and even though I don’t like the juxtaposition of the two wildly divergent art styles, both are solid. Timms work is perfectly suited to this punk-rock aesthetic, as well, which makes for some great visuals throughout the issue.
THE BOTTOM LINE: OFF-PUTTING ON MULTIPLE LEVELS
In short, this one does a lot of things well, but still misses the mark as a whole, especially since I was a little bit lost throughout even after reading last issue’s part one. Still, Harley Quinn #6 isn’t a bad comic, just one that doesn’t pivot as skillfully between its various moments as I’d have liked it to, earning a still-better-than-average 2.5 out of 5 stars overall. If nothing else, it’s intriguing enough to make me want to come back and see if the arc ends up pulling all the loose ends together successfully…