Some comics have problems juggling two plot threads within an extended storyline these days, so that’s one of the reasons why “Harley Quinn” #8 stands out so well. Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Chad Hardin have three different plots all crammed into this comic, and it not only works — it moves at just the right pace that it makes having them all present a smart move.
As Conner and Palmiotti shift from one location and plot to the next, it’s the fast pace that make them all sing. There’s not an ounce of padding here, and each new scene has a good punch line or two as Harley tackles problems in her own, violent manner. The best of the three is probably the roller derby scene, in which Harley doesn’t so much fight fire and fire, as fighting fire with a nuclear warhead. What makes it work is that Harley starts by playing by the rules; it’s only when the other team makes it person that Harley escalates the battle. And in many ways, that’s Harley Quinn in a nutshell. She’s not so much a bad person as someone who’s a little misguided and a lot lacking in impulse control. Wave the red flag, and prepare for the bull, so to speak.
I also have to give Conner and Palmiotti credit for taking some scatological humor and actually making it amusing thanks to the joys and wonders of the scatapult. It’s ridiculous and juvenile, but the way that they follow through with both the misfires and the intended targets ends up being far funnier than you’d otherwise expect. That’s not a small feat.
Hardin’s art looks great as ever. He tackles everything with equal aplomb. Harley wielding her massive mallet? Harley in an admiral’s hat and jacket? DC Comics’ offices getting literal tons of dog feces flung at it? You want it, Hardin draws it in a fluid, humorous manner. I like that Harley manages to look good looking without being too cheesecake, and the physical motion with Harley winding up for the hit (be it a shovel or a mallet) always looks full of energy. Hardin’s been a good choice as the regular artist for “Harley Quinn” #8, and I feel he’s definitely part of this book’s success.
“Harley Quinn” #8 is another example of everything that works about this title. It’s fast paced, it’s a little silly, and there’s always a hook to bring you back for more. If more comics followed these rules, who knows what the industry would be like? All in all, another pleasant installment.