WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Harley Quinn #34, by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, John Timms, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair and Dave Sharpe, on sale now.
This week’s Harley Quinn #34 marks the end of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conners’ impressive run on the series. The writing duo has penned Harley’s adventures dating back to the launch of her first solo ongoing series in November 2013. Though they didn’t create the character (that honor goes to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm), Palmiotti and Conner can be credited with shaping Harley into the multimedia superstar she is today, with appearances in movies and animation heavily borrowing from their comic book depiction of her.
But before the writers say their goodbyes and pass the baton to the new creative team of writer Frank Tieri and artist Inaki Miranda, they served up one last gift to Harleen Quinzel in the form of a reunion with a pair of long lost best friends who she’s known since her days on Batman: The Animated Series.
Quinzel Family Reunion
Harley, Poison Ivy, Tony and Queenie book a hotel room to rest up during their road trip. A quick jaunt to a local bar and grill next door — and a misunderstanding with some patrons — results in the foursome landing in jail. Thankfully, their time in the slammer is cut short when Harley’s parents show up to bail them out. All it took was a call from Tony and a twelve-hour drive to make it happen.
The arrival of Harley’s parents allows us a glimpse of what her life was like growing up in Casa de Quinzel. Along with mother and father, Ivy and Harley’s crew also meet Harley’s three brothers, Nick, Barry and Ezzie. The presence of Ivy leaves Barry and Nick fighting for her attention, which ultimately leads to an even larger fight with their sister Harley, and later, an impromptu round of spin the bottle before the house calls it a night.
Bud, Lou And Puppies Too!
With everyone asleep, Harley sneaks out of the house to break into a place called The Holiday Hyena Haven — a sign foreshadowing the issue’s callback to Harley’s time on Batman: The Animated Series. When she was “merely” an animated sensation, a good portion of Harley’s screentime would include The Joker and a pair of hyenas, which she affectionately referred to as her “babies.”
Well, those babies — named Bud and Lou — make a special appearance in Harley Quinn #34. And they missed their mama.
The last time we saw Bud and Lou in the comics was during the 2012-2013 Batman crossover event “Death of the Family,” when The Joker drugged the pair and turned them against Harley. Though it appeared she was left with no choice but to kill her beloved four-legged companions to save her own life, we now know that wasn’t the case. Instead, she stashed Bud and Lou at The Holiday Hyena Haven while they recovered.
This isn’t the only surprise in the issue, however. Bud and Lou found mates while at the haven, and are proud papas as well. As Harley eloquently states, “My babies have babieees!” Though Harley would like nothing better than take these adorable pups back to Brooklyn with her, she knows (with some convincing from Poison Ivy) that’s not possible. It wouldn’t be fair to split up this new family. So with that, Harley promises to come back to visit more often, and during normal business hours.
Palmiotti and Conner have done so much with the character of Harley Quinn during their almost five-year run on her series, it seems fitting to bring their time to a close with this heartfelt reunion. Additionally, it serves as a nice nod to Harley’s beginnings in Batman: The Animated Series, where fans initially fell in love with her.
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