OLD LADY HARLEY #3
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Inaki Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, Dave Sharpe
Edited by Dave Wielgosz, Chris Conroy, Jaime S. Rich
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: January 2, 2019
Stuffed with hilarious pop culture references and geriatric takes on some of Batman’s most iconic villains the Old Lady Harley miniseries has been just as insane and silly as you would expect it to be. Frank Tieri has done a pretty hilarious job of crafting an insanely wonky and twisted future world for Old Lady Harley to inhabit. I mean the very first issue features Harley and Red Tool battling against a group of country backwood squid at the local Kraken Barrell.
The third issue continues a streak of extremely twisted and funny issues. The issue starts like the two before it, with us learning more about the polictics and dynamics between Lexico, Canada, and The United States. Tieri has done a really good job of takeing concepts that we are familiar with and playing with them a little, like Lex Luthor as the ruler of a country. Tieri spends the first few pages doing what he’s done a really good job of in previous issues, and thats world building without the burden of exposition. He presents us with TV footage that essentially lets us know what type of world we are in and what type of comic book we are reading without ever having to beat us over the bead with exposition. He then continues to paint the picture of what happened between The Joker and Harley in the past as he gets us closer to solving the mystery of what truly happened the day the Joker supposedly died. He’s taken us through the honeymoon phase of Joker and Harley reuniting and finally we are at the inevitable parting ways that we knew was coming. I would say its a spoiler that we find out that Joker was actually lying to Harley about not using deadly force and actually killing people, but at this point we are all pretty familiar with the Joker and its kind of understood that he was lying anyway.
The issue then moves us to the present day where we see Harley, Red Tool, Killer Croc, and Catwoman being confronted by a horde of Bludhaven criminals. In the last issue we learned that those who used to be harmful but are pretty mellow and chill now end up at the Arkham Home for Criminally Insane Retirees, whereas the worst of the worst end up being tossed within the city of Bludhaven and given free reign. We see Harley and Red Tool attempting to fight against the villains, but being overtaken. I wont spoil too much about the issue but I will say I love the way Tieri isnt afraid to get weird with not only character design but the story as a whole and we really get to see some pop culture callbacks to post apocalyptic movies like Mad Max. It was interesting seeing that Thunderdome like structure where Harley and Red Tool fight against the Bane Twins.
Also this comic series wouldn’t be what it is without the amazing art of Inaki Miranda who effortlessly manages to switch up styles depending on the where we are in the story. I simply love the realistic and more natural approach he takes during the opening of the book for the news footage. He allows the characters to look more realistic and more natural lending credibility to the already quirky and silly news footage. He then changes styles again when it comes to Harley recounting the last days of her relationship with the Joker which he takes a much smoother, simpler, and muted look. The artwork during the flashbacks are much flatter and less detailed than the other artwork in the book and it lends itself to a nice noirsh style that almost reminds me of old black and white films. Miranda then effortlessly manages to switch to the artwork that we see during the majority of the book which features a more cartoony, silly, and expressive style than the other styles that he employs throughout the other portions of the book.
Overall, the Old Lady Harley series has thus far been extremely entertaining and provided me with more than a few good laughs. Tieri and Miranda work together seamlessly each elevating the work of the other and pushing this book into a very entertaining space. Tieri has crafted quite possibly one of my favorite versions of Harley because shes got all the old quirks that you love from Harley, but shes also got the tired and jaded attitude of age. Old Lady Harley is full of charm, wit, nerve, and the stone cold fed-upness of an old lady who just wants to be left the hell alone.
The Verdict: 8.5/10