I’ve always been pretty stingy with the 10s around here and I confess I found myself looking for a flaw in this book just to keep those mated 1s and 0s precious. But you know what? This book just knocks all your teeth right outta your mouth, your feet right outta of your socks, your brains right outta–well, you get the point.

If you liked last week’s Suicide Squad Harley Quinn, here’s more in that vein: Harley is fit to be tied about the city being overrun with crowd-thinning cannibals and though they have, indeed, tied her, she’s not about to be contained.

Cue the kind of righteous savagery that keeps Harley so distinctly over the line.

David Sharpe’s lettering kills it in the SFX department!

And that’s just the regular ongoing storyline. I haven’t even begun to touch on the “Harley Loves Joker” special feature currently running in this book.

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti keep all the focus on the immediate problem of Harley’s Abduction, the cannibals, and Red Tool’s attempt at a rescue in this issue, which is part of what makes it so great: total cohesion start to finish, without any strange and vaguely distracting sidelines about time-travelers or vengeful Harley wanna-be bounty hunters. I mean, we know those elements are going to figure into the plot eventually, but it’s nice to just be able to focus on the immediacy of the current situation. Especially since half the book is taken up with the bonus material from Paul Dini and Palmiotti.

John Timms also covers the art for the whole front end of the book, which again, is a total consistency that’s a rare treat in the pages of Harley Quinn. And he does plenty of fun stuff with all the carnage she wreaks on the cannibals. Every bit of blood splatter, every wicked grin, and every acrobatic kill shot looks sharp and feels right.

Harley Loves Joker

Things are heating up between Mistah J and his kookie cupcake as Paul Dini and Jimmy Palmiotti present us with the third installment of this looney tune, once again replete with art from Bret Blevins on pencils and inks from J. Bone.

Harley’s daffy love of a fur coat has led the B-man right to their hideout and the whole of these sequence is the dimwitted duo trying to squeak away from Batman’s determined justice. We’re treated to giant goofy props, the Jokermobile, and good old Bud and Lou (oh how I miss them!). As a rare treat, too, we get to see Joker have one of those kindlier moments toward his Harl. Doubt it will last, but it’s a pitch perfect moment of charm in which you can almost be glad they’re together–at least until the next time he ejects her off a bridge or drops her down a manhole or something.

Batman looks like a smug toreador here

Blevins and Bone have this world down just right. A single panel of Harley bouncing off the face of that oversized squeezie toy is a picture of pure joy. And Batman looks amazing: dour in this world, but not too dour.

He even manages to smile a little bit.

Probably because he likes this book too.

Yes, I tried to find something in here to nitpick or fuss about, but after a moment I realized how ridiculous that effort was. When a book is this good, you just have to say so.  Everything about this comic is just flat out satisfying: from Harley giving that Madison something to think about to Joker threatening to kill Harley’s babies, this hits emotional highs and lows and brings you right back to high again.

Can’t ask for much more than that!

Recommended If…

  • Good comics are what you want in your Wednesday lineup!
  • You thrill at the spill of blood–there’s buckets of it here.
  • After all that violence you like something a little bright and sweet for dessert.

Overall

Maybe it’s a weird combo: salty and gruesome on the one hand, pure rainbow confection on the other. But it works. And you want it. Trust me. This is the comic you were looking for when you picked up that other thing that didn’t turn out quite as good as you hoped. Conner and Palmiotti ace this one, and Dini just frosts the top.

SCORE: 10/10