There’s so much going on in this comic. So much that my little pea brain is having a hard time keeping up with all of it. Fortunately the pace in this week’s issue of the “Nether Regions Part Two: Beware, the Tyrant is Sore” is chill enough that I think I’ve been able to take it all in.
Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are juggling three (for the moment) completely independent storylines in Harley Quinn right now:
- Madison’s hired Vampires starting their bloody rampage.
- Harley Sinn’s quest to find Mason Macabre (in witness protection).
- Zorcrom, Atlee, and, now Power Girl!
- A 150-year leap forward into a future fight area of some sort–blink and you’ll miss it.
If you’re surprised to hear that Harley makes an appearance in her own book after that crazy list, you might also be surprised to hear that she actually manages for a short while to tame the savage Zorcrom into a state of willingness to at least have a conversation about this whole taking over the world business that he seems so dead set upon.
Harley has donned her Power Girl-inspired togs and convinced Atlee to go get help while she deals with the evil entity–including the problem of his buck-nakedness (oh thank the Maker for pants!).
Conveniently placed, but I’m not complaining!
I admit I really enjoyed the dynamic between Harley and Zorcrom. Somehow, despite her craziness, Harley is the perfect life guide: she calls things as they are and her explanations of human behavior are always on point. Part of the great success of this book is that occasionally we are reminded that Harley was actually qualified in some way to be a therapist, and that she does have an acute sensibility about human interaction and relationships, despite her blind spots with regard to her own personal behavior.
Though she can only control Zorcrom for so long, she manages to baffle and distract him enough to buy time for Atlee to fetch Power Girl along. Of course, by the time they arrive, the problem is quickly ballooning out of control.
Quite literally ballooning in the sense of things flying hither and yon.
Our other two storylines don’t intersect with this primary one quite yet. I haven’t developed an opinion on the vampires and they really are only here long enough to remind us that they are a plot thread lurking in the background. Harley Sinn, however, takes more prominence as she closes in on Mason Macabre, who’s out in the desert probably thinking that witness protection is working like it’s supposed to.
Of course it’s not.
This storyline piques my interest particularly because I never did like Mason and though I somehow doubt he’s going to get axed by Sinn, I’m curious about how the confluence of these two characters are going to ultimately disrupt Harley’s life all over again. Given the inevitability of this, the only real question is: will it happen before or after Harley has to deal with the vampires?
Sinn is turning out to be a very interesting villain indeed!
Lastly, there’s the opener: 3 pages earmarked as 150 years in the future. I don’t even really know what to say about this because as of yet, it too, feels completely disconnect from the rest of the stories going on in the book. Joseph Michael Linsner is the artist for this particular section and he does a nice job with a futuristic Gotham and some curious costuming for our fight contestants, but without any context, I don’t have much to say here.
The rest of the art duties are split between Khari Evans and series regular John Timms. Timms draws the vampires, Harley Sinn, and the introduction of Power Girl into the mix. Sinn in particular looks awesome: menacing and deadly–a villain to be taken more seriously now that she’s out of the BDSM getup.
Evans handles the rest and the work is generally good, but I still think it pales by comparison in some aspects. Her faces are still often weird–the expressions too lined and too pinched to convey the comedy. And some of her action just doesn’t track as well as it could. Like finding a pair of random pants on a fallen clothesline, or pulling money out of Harley’s butt pocket. We get what’s going on, but it sometimes feels like the words are carrying the story more than the pictures.
That said, Evans draws a delightfully satanic-looking rabid squirrel!
- You’re ready to see Atlee and Power Girl, together again!
- The more chaos the better–it’s like a whole new comic book every three pages!
I mentioned last time that this isn’t quite my cup of tea, but Conner and Palmiotti always keep you on your toes and I can appreciate that big time–there’s no getting complacent here. I love, too, that this is such a “throw something at the wall and see if it sticks” sort of book. More comics need to take risks are this one does. So long as the characterizations are consistent, you can practically get away with anything in this medium and this whole team understands that. Looking forward to seeing what Harley Sinn does when she finds her mark, and to getting rid of this pasty Zorcrom creep!