WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Harley Quinn #38 by Frank Tieri, Mirka Andolfo and Eleonora Carlini, in stores now.
In Harley Quinn's comic, the Clown Princess of Crime is going through a bit of a crisis. She's left her Gang of Harleys behind, choosing instead to venture out on her own as a solo crime fighter-for-hire. She's also left her usual stomping grounds of Coney Island behind to explore New York City proper, and it just so happens that this couldn't have happened at a worst possible time. You see, Harley isn't the only who made the move from Gotham City to New York -- Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, has made the same switch.
Oswald's got plans of his own, of course, plans which involve taking out New York's crime bosses and expanding his operations to the Big Apple -- and he didn't come alone. In the previous issue, we saw Oswald recruit a veritable army of Batman villains to help him take control of New York. What we didn't know, however, was how obscure some of the Penguin's allies actually were.
In issue #38, Penguin's army makes its first move by attacking not just Coney Island, but all of New York City. It starts with Mr. Freeze on the beach, but that's only the beginning. After all, Freeze is well-known and quite popular when it comes to Batman villains. From here, things begin to go down hill as The Condiment King arrives, attacking onlookers with his own special brand of ketchup, mustard and mayo, deviously ruining perfectly clean clothes.
This is where things get really interesting, and where the issue starts scraping the bottom of the barrel of Batman's rogues gallery. We see the return of Ratcatcher, who sets his rat army loose on Grand Central Station; there's King Tut, trying to find love in a museum; Johnny Karaoke ruins a perfectly good show on Broadway; Film Freak is attending a film panel and sharing his newest Star Wars theories; Zebra Man is taking over the zoo; Egghead kidnaps Harley's friend Egg Fu off the streets; and the Gorilla Gang is taking hostages atop the Empire State Building.
With all of these villains attacking simultaneously, utter chaos is unleashed upon New York, resulting in a sequence that feels like something that belongs in the The LEGO Batman Movie. Some of the characters featured here haven't made appearances in a comic book in a very long time. In fact, the Gorilla Gang only ever made once appearance, in 1963's Batman #156. For their part, longtime Batman fans might recall that Egghead and King Tut both made their debuts in the 1960s Adam West-starring Batman live action television series. Others have made sporadic appearances throughout the years, mostly as canon fodder or for pure comedic purposes.
In Harley Quinn #38, your least favorite Batman villains are back -- characters you might never have even heard of -- and they're back with a vengeance. Coney Island doesn't stand a chance. No, actually... it does. It really, really does.