Picture from Adventures in Poor Taste.
In issue #3, we conclude the tale of Harley and the Zombie Apocalypse. If issue 2 was about Harley and her team going up against the infected hosts, #3 goes back to exploring interpersonal dynamics between the characters.
First we dissect the text:
We see that the Team is safe and secure inside their warehouse and that the Zombies may or may not transmit their Zombie Cooties. This creates a complication as the team assembles to figure out what to do in a Doomsday like scenario. Of course, this cannot be solved without taking in Harley’s gastrointestinal preferences into question.
We also learn that Red Tool whose arm was amputated in the last issue after Harley cut it off due to a Stiff biting him. (Oh and his ‘donor’ was a man who had exhibitionist tendencies.)
Wait, wait, what caused this Zombie Apocalypse again? It started back in #1 when a teenage alien runaway lands on a farm, turns into a cow and then gets sent to a processing plant. In short, he became ground meat and anyone who had a piece of Nate’s hot dogs was fair game.
This is seen when Harley and the Gang are trying to find a way out to escape Coney Island and away from the Zombies. While Harley is looking for an outfit to make her escape (She has to look good doing it), Big Tony mentions to Ivy that the main entrance had to boarded up because of a ‘noise’. The ‘source’ of this noise was finally explained in this week’s issue of #11.
Harley Quinn is one of those characters/comics where realism is thrown out the door. There is enough suspension of disbelief that as long you accept the zaniness is a part of the character, you are good. This goes back to the first volume of her comics, that of the Karl Kessel/Terry Dodson run. What makes the Connor/Palmiotti version unique is that in this interpretation, she has her own extended cast and CaP have a vision where the impossible is possible and that there is an answer (However out there it is) all while planting seeds for future issues. That is the magic in their writing. They create something that is so out there that they revisit it and give it an explanation. In this case, a Zombie Apocalypse caused by an alien who was eaten by people and animals.
I also wanted to point out that I also love this scene because of the closet. I love that Harley has all her costumes put away and that we see a glimpse of her traditional outfit. I think my personal favorites have been the two tone dress from the Valentine’s Day special and my latest favorite the black tank top with blue diamonds and a red star. The ideas that the creators come up with are insane.
I should also point out that in this secret underground tunnel, we stumble upon a collection of shoes that would make Carrie Bradshaw jealous. Harley squeals with delight so we know she isn’t out mystery Imelda Marcos. Maybe Madame Macabre has something to explain. I personally have about 40 in my closet.
The issue ends with the teenage alien’s parental units reclaiming pieces of their offspring by getting him back piece by piece using a special vortex.
This whole thing is a tragedy in Harley’s world. You cannot have a disaster in a Harley comic without poop jokes. It is a tragedy for Harley considering all the cute animals that died, not the people. It’s not that she doesn’t care. She cares about the people she loves, the underdogs, and innocent little animals. I wouldn’t say this makes Harley a cold blooded killer or a misanthrope. It just means that when it comes to innocent lives, she has a list of ‘priorities’. At the top of the list are little doggies, then the people she lives/kids and then adults, depending on who they are.
The whole thing however made her reflect on how this was a Sandy level disaster. Harley doesn’t dwell on tragedy. She acknowledges it, reflects some but she also moves on. This is why a ‘serious’ Harley book would not work for too long. On second thought, I think it could but it depends on the execution. Dini would nail it and given the little bits I have seen, the current team can whip one up as well. Love this series!