This zombie apocalypse story arc concludes in its third issue “Goin’ for Takeout”. But as is always the case with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti crafting the wacky world of Harley, there’s a lot more going on here than merely wrapping up the goofy tale of space-delinquent-turned-hotdog-fodder resulting in a plague of Coney Island zombies.

For one, Red Tool’s little “accident” (in which Harley chopped off his arm as a knee-jerk preventative measure against possible infection) is clearly going to have repercussions for any future potential relationship between him and Harley. And they might be hilarious.

Red Tool finds himself in the hands of some rather sketchy surgeons who are unable (or unwilling?) to attach his original arm and instead give him the amputated arm a dubious dead villain known as Chronic, who evidently had some difficulty keeping his hand in an appropriate place in the presence of the ladies.

Now, of course this is an absurd idea: that the Chronic’s proclivities will somehow manifest in Red Tool–but we know it’s going to happen all the same. I’m a little worried about what’s going to happen given Red Tool already has problems keeping things appropriate with Harley. I hope however it plays out, it’s more hilarious than tragic. I’ve actually come to really like Red Tool and I would welcome seeing him be as much a regular as Eggy or Goatboy or even Big Tony.

The other interesting bit of business this issue sets up for later exploitation is the fact of some creepy underground tunnels beneath Madame Macabre’s theatre, where a stunningly satanic portal leads to a room full of tantalizing doors.

Like Harley, I had an impulse immediately to know what was behind all the doors they weren’t going to take to get to the surface again. I was hoping they might at least open one or two. But we’ll have to wait until Harley returns–and she most certainly will. I have a feeling these doors will figure into a variety of storylines down the line.

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Yeah, that looks like a big ol’ welcome mat!

As for “curing” the zombie apocalypse, we get a wee bit of a deus ex machina, but it’s one of those that’s so well set up, you don’t really mind it (and come on, did you really think Harley and Ivy and the Coney Island gang were going to be able to cure this thing without killing everyone anyway?).

Ironically, the kid who caused all this chaos is going to actually survive this mess, despite having been minced up into hundred of hot dogs. All those people and animals who ate the hot dogs? Not so much.

Series regulars Chad Hardin and John Timms are on art duties and the book looks fantastic as always. Some of my favorite notable bits are that aforementioned underground gateway, and also the glowy elegiac cleansing that the visiting aliens visit on the hot dog victims is strangely beautiful even in its grotesqueness. If you read Harley to ogle her sexy bod, there’s lots of that too (especially with Ivy), though as always this comic is delightfully restrained where other artists might go off the rails. In particular, a shower scene with Harley and Ivy together washing gore out of each other’s hair could have been so gratuitous, but Hardin not only tempered the angle in the framing, but also put the emphasis on their expressions: it’s actually a funny moment in which you almost forget that it’s two naked women under suds.

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Dream-up, team-up, Ivy may be here to stay!

That’s right: it looks like Ivy might be sticking around in this comic for a while, which is the final development of importance in this issue. I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Harley and Ivy dynamic–I’ve never been a fan of the overt sexuality between the two as it’s always contributed to a notion that Harley is just hot to trot and doesn’t actually form deep attachments. But I’ve grown accustomed to the suggestive banter and occasional pawing between the two here, and I guess I’m interested to see how this might play out with what’s on the horizon between Harley and Red Tool.

Recommended If…

  • You like Harley and Ivy (it’s just shy of being an issue of Gotham Girls!)
  • You like a book packed with non-stop humor and action: this issue never lets up!
  • You want to finish out an arc that actually has a unique take on a zombie apocalypse trope.

Overall

Harley and her gang of misfits should be indoors riding out the zombie storm, but Harley’s hungry and her appetite is always going to override her common sense. So out she goes in search of eats, dragging her crew along for another bout of zombie-kicking–this time with designer heels! “Surprise and Delight” is always the name of game. Each month Harley Quinn straps us into the bumper car and doesn’t let us out until the ride is duly trashed–in the best sense of the word!

SCORE: 9/10