“A Blast from the Future,” Part 1
Writers: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini, J. Bone
Artists: Chad Hardin, Bret Blevin
(Minor spoilers ahead)
It’s out with the cannibals, and onto a new threat in this week’s Harley Quinn #20. A few issues ago, you may recall a bit of a prologue for Bat-fan. She has traveled from the future and has her eyes set on one person only: Harley Quinn. Now, the two come face-to-face for a round of fisticuffs that end in a “this is only round one” sort of manner.
That summary doesn’t do justice to the joy spread out among every page in Harley Quinn #20. I’ve proudly cheered on each issue’s amount of fun, and it’s no different here. The book opens with a nice, quick nod to the cannibal story before and then we’re off to the next one. If there’s anything I’ve enjoyed out of this title, it’s that writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have no issues with pacing. The book doesn’t get bogged down with details, meandering plotlines, or an abundance of characters. It stays on-course and just keeps moving. The dialogue is quick and snappy. The action is fun and exciting. And each panel just oozes comic bookiness (did I just make that up?). Oh, what fun!
The art by Chad Hardin complements the clever writers. Each page feels so animated and detailed, but not as harsh to make it feel too gritty. If that sounds in any way negative, no worries…it’s not. I really dig each panel Hardin keeps cranking out.
The backup story continues to add to the feature’s overall vision of fun. We get more of the Joker/Harley relationship Batman: The Animated Series fans have loved for so long. Except here, we ALMOST get a confession from the Joker. Until, Harley falls asleep (dammit Harley!). Regardless, I can’t help but feel writer Paul Dini is loving his reunion with the character he created. I want the backup to turn into a series itself.
Meanwhile, Bret Blevins delivers a familiar look to each panel of this backup story. While the obvious nod is to B:TAS, it’s also just different enough to be his own thing. The characters feel a bit updated from that series, but their overall frames and features are too similar to not be from the 90s cartoon.
Harley Quinn continues to be one of, if not THE, funnest titles on DC’s lineup. Our main character is a blast. The side characters are fun. And the plots aren’t too complex and move along at a brisk pace. Oh, and the backup is written by Paul Dini. If you’re not on board, this is the perfect time to jump in.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment