[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: John Timms & Jeremiah Skipper
Talking skeletons, barbarous cannibals, and workplace sexual harassment — all in a day’s work for Harley and Red Tool. This issue concludes the “Red Meat” story arc in a rather flashy way thanks to Red Tool’s antics. After exploding the cannibal’s front door in an attempt to save Harley he takes himself out of the battle but does provide a nice distraction. From there all hell breaks loose and every manner of slice and laceration is explored in gory detail.
In the second half of the issue, focusing on Harley’s past with Joker, the story continues where it left off last issue. Batman has tracked the Clown Prince of Crime and his psychotic sidekick to their base! From there hilarity and carnage ensue as Harley’s pet hyenas get involved.
The epic showdown in the issue is great! The choreography is well thought out and the illustration goes a long way to show off the brutality of the fights. Something that I enjoyed about this issue is how well it shows that Harley isn’t super in any way. The fighting is barbaric and entirely on instinct, not thought out and calculated like a martial artist might be. By having an eye gouging, biting slug-fest, this issue is reminding us just how savage Harley can be.
Due to the various gory spreads and large panels in this issue there isn’t a whole lot of development for either the characters and the arc itself. The real “story” of this issue is crammed into five panels of dialogue that could make up about half a page. While this makes sense when reading the arc and the issue within context to each other as an isolated issue it is awkward. This is likely a result of the previous few issues of Harley Quinn having 3-5 separate arcs going on inside of them.
This is a bloody showdown for the ages sure to have Harley fans cheering and on the edge of their seats. It is a little flimsy on content but with sheer savagery it pulls through.