Harley Quinn #5 review

The chief of police has a problem with some weirdo hellraisers with a Renaissance Faire kink running around on horses and dressed as medieval knights, harassing the public as vandals, thieves, and murderers. The worst part of the problem is that the ringleader of these knights of the wrong table is (naturally) the spoiled son of a senator who regularly gets the brat out of his scrapes by ensuring that he doesn’t get arrested (and if he does, that he doesn’t get charged–shades of Harley Sinn again?).

So how does he deal with this problem?

How else? By calling in Harley Quinn.

“Undercover Punker Part 1: Eat to this Beat” shows that Harley’s only too willing to jump in, of course. Let’s face it, this basically gives her license to wreak havoc. And there’s a reward, though she doesn’t exactly negotiate the details of that.

Her plan? Infiltrate the gang who happen to moonlight as a punk band called Purple Satin.  First she wants to play groupie, but then changes tactics to entering the punk club scene with a band of her own. Because of course, right? Harley saw it in a movie once, so it’s obviously the logical way to go.

First thing she has to do is pull together a band. Unfortunately her “gang” all comes up short–not one of them actually plays any instruments, though Harlem Harley says she can sing. Harley isn’t interested in a competing lead vocalist, so she nixes that on the spot.

But Eggy was once a drummer and Big T. finds her a bassist who is none other than ol’ Red Tool himself (and his weird replacement arm, which, as predicted, is threatening to cause problems, having been salvaged from a serial masturbator).

I’m sure we’re in for more of that. In the meantime, if you’re at all concerned about how Harley looks on the cover with her extreme mohawk hairdo, I can tell you right now that yes, Harley does in fact shave her head.


Oh yes she does

Most of this comic is set-up for this new arc. Fun bits include the usual innuendos as Harley takes counsel from her beaver, and Harley sitting on the toilet after a pizza bender (if you’re into that).

John Timms is on art duties and absolutely revels in the weirdness. His backgrounds and detail work have gotten consistently stronger on this series as he’s progressed, though he seems to have a little trouble with the horses (a common problem with artists–horses are just hard to draw).

An early sequence in which Harley is awakened by the knights’ mayhem to discover her favorite mailman a victim of the violence, however, is rendered beautifully (and it makes Harley’s investment in taking down the group nicely personal). There are also some wonderfully weird sequences in which we see what Red Tool is up to these days since parting ways with Harley in the aftermath of the zombie outbreak.

There seems to be more gratuitous sex in this issue than has been showcased in the Harley regular series generally, and hopefully it’s anomalous. The toilet gag is amusing, but I’m not sure we needed to see her actually on the toilet. Later, Red Tool is taking down a kinky menage a trois, and Harley struts buck naked to show off her new hairdo. None of this stuff is strictly necessary and it’s only mildly funny. What can I say? It just didn’t entirely work for me here.

There is an interesting bit toward the end where we discover that one of the packages on the mailman’s truck was addressed to Harley herself–from Arkham Asylum. The package falls into the hands of Purple Satin and what’s inside is mostly mysterious. Between this issue and the recent conclusion of the Gang of Harleys limited series, it’s clear we’re poised to see the return of someone from Harley’s past. Someone very special.


It ain’t this guy, that’s for sure

Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

Recommended If…

  • You enjoy the extracurricular activities of that blatant and delightful Deadpool doppleganger.
  • You actually like Harley with a shaved head.
  • You want to see the start of an arc that will bring Harley’s notorious ex back into her life.


I’ve always praised this series for keeping it tastefully tasteless in the best way. This is the first issue that seems to cross the line a wee bit: heavy sexual innuendo and poopy humor (of the human kind, not the animal kind) was just too much for me personally this time around. But it’s just a handful of panels in a book that otherwise delivers the usual great combo of violence and hilarity from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti–all the while setting up some new intrigue that’s sure to take Harley into new and interesting situations.

SCORE: 7.5/10