It’s no surprise to say that “Harley Quinn and Power Girl” is more of the same Harley Quinn wackiness, as writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti — two-thirds of the writing team for “Harley Quinn” – are joined by Palmiotti’s regular co-author, Justin Gray, and artists Stephane Roux and Elliot Fernandez for this second issue. Like its parent title, this outer space romp is silly and slightly irreverent, serving up a distinctly non-serious story.
“Harley Quinn and Power Girl” #2 picks up right where the first issue left off, with our heroes going up against all sorts of robots and space ships. What’s nice is that Conner, Palmiotti and Gray find a good mix for the protagonists to go up against, showcasing their own tones. Power Girl’s fight is much more standard, punching her way through her foes. Meanwhile, Harley’s is over the top and ludicrous, using solid light holograms to rework a homicidal robot into a distinctly cuter form.
Conner, Palmiotti and Gray also don’t lose sight over the bigger picture, with the search for Vartox continuing. The introduction of the XGF not only has a certain comedic value, but it also lets us know more about the McGuffin at the end of the road. We’re learning about Vartox through those who interact with him and, with each new piece of information, the picture gets a little bigger. The story is slight, but at least it’s well-constructed and entertaining.
Stephane Roux draws most of the issue, and his art continues to look attractive and fairly clean for the most part. On the whole, the characters move well, and the looks on Harley’s face as she figures out the hard light holograms are hysterical and perfectly set up the humor to come. There are exceptions, though, most notably the two-page splash introducing the XGF with characters like Cherub and Sala in some slightly awkward poses and expressions. Elliot Fernandez pitches in for the last four pages of the comic and his art is a good match for Roux’s, blending in well enough that I suspect some readers might not have even noticed the switch from one artist to the other.
“Harley Quinn and Power Girl” #2 is fun, if slightly forgettable. In many ways, it’s the comic book equivalent of the comedic popcorn flick: big and silly and brash and hitting the right notes at the right time. You might not dwell on it in the years to come, but for the moment? It’s fun. I’m down with that.