Harley Quinn #32 cover, via DC Comics.
Harley Quinn #32 — Tini Howard, Sam Maggs, Writer; Sweeney Boo, Kelley Jones, Artists; Jose Villarrubia, Colorist
Ray — 8.5/10
Ray: All the recent Harley Quinn runs have taken things to a ridiculous level, but Tini Howard may be trying to outdo them all with the absurdity. After all, where else can you find two hyenas possessed by a cosmic entity? Harley was victorious in her Knight Terrors journey and is back on Earth, hoping to reconnect with Ivy (even if Janet is cramping her style), but she also has to complete her current community service as a teacher and help her students prep for finals. So when Lady Quark comes calling, that means a field trip — with her taking her students deep into the multiverse. This is a suitably absurd story, especially with the twist of what happens when these curious students encounter the knowledge of the far future, but it does drag a little whenever Lady Quark starts talking. Overall, it’s a fun take on the character but some bits work a lot better than others.
Awkward returns. Via DC Comics.
However, it’s the backup that really shines this issue, as two great DC talents — one old, one new — unite to tell a Gothic Harley story for the ages. The first is Sam Maggs, an acclaimed YA novelist making her DC debut. She’s joined by the legendary Kelley Jones, an iconic DC artist for over thirty years. This is another of Harley’s dreams, and her she’s a gothic maiden who gets a marriage proposal from “some Joker.” That, and her best gal pal Pamela’s qualms, do not keep her from heading into the breach and meeting with a man who turns out to be a horrific grinning vampire. But from there, it takes some unexpected directions and ends the only way it can — with vampire lesbians having a great time. Most of these backups are just directionless gag comics or random absurdity, but this one tells a satisfying story in only a few pages and is also one of the most gorgeous stories DC has put out in a while.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.