Harley Quinn #30 Review

Writers:  Tini Howard and Nicole Maines
Art and Colors: Sweeney Boo and Mindy Lee
Letters:  Steve Wands and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher:  DC Comics
Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023

Harley has accidentally stolen the Vorpal Fish from Captain Carrot on Earth-26, preventing him from stopping Backseid (Earth-26’s version of Darkseid).  As a result, Earth-26 has been rendered nearly lifeless.  Harley wants to return the Vorpal Fish to Captain Carrot but needs to find a way to get to Earth-26, and there ain’t no bus, train or plane that’s gonna be able to take here there!   What a crisis (no pun intended)!  Will Zatanna be able to help her in Harley Quinn #30?  And why have good old Bud and Lou (her pet hyenas) suddenly gotten all spooky and cosmic?

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The Story

Between the last multi-part Harley story (where The Harley who Laughs was jumping across the multiverse, murdering Harleys on different Earths) to this current multi-part story, Harley has become “Patient Zero” for multiverse calamities.   And you know what?  As much as I love more grounded Harley stories, Harley getting cosmic the last few issues has been a blast too. Harley has somehow gotten the ability to “grab” objects from other Earths, which set off the current storyline, as she pulled the Vorpal Fish (an all-powerful weapon from Earth-26) while fighting Two-Face and his gang.

In Harley Quinn #30, Harley’s desperate to return the Vorpal Fish back to Earth-26 after Earth-48’s Lady Quark visited her, threatening to destroy Earth-Prime if Harley doesn’t set things right and “butt out” of the multiverse after that. Harley’s quest had her meeting with Zatanna last issue and this issue we get a great appearance by Doctor Fate (Khalid Nassour), who gives Harley advice that leads her to figure out how to get to Earth-26, and you won’t believe how she does it! All the scenes with Harley this issue are so much fun and I love how Bud and Lou unwittingly become involved in her quest too.

My only gripe with the story so far is that Harley’s power to pull objects from other Earths hasn’t happened since the first part of the story and hasn’t been mentioned since.   It’s like it was just a huge red herring to kick off the story then it was forgotten.  I’d love to see her be able to channel the ability and use it whenever she needs it.  It’s a great new power set for her to have. As fun as Harley’s sections of the book are, Earth-26 is shown in a much more somber way.  Normally a comical setting, with anthropomorphic creatures and situations that parody Earth-Prime, we see a darker version of it here, both before and after tragedy occurs.  It’s a bit bizarre to see Captain Carrot in a tragic setting, but it works. Overall, it’s another great chapter of the story, with a great cliffhanger that may result in Poison Ivy getting involved too. There’s a relatively amusing backup story written by Nicole Maines and drawn by Mindy Lee that has Harley dreaming about rescuing Poison Ivy in a “Sleeping Beauty” style tale.

The Art

Sweeney Boo’s art on Harley Quinn #30 is gorgeous throughout the book, a dazzling mix of cartoony styles and Jack Kirby-style detailed linework that amplifies the story through the eye-popping visuals.
Mindy Lee’s art on the backup story is lovely too, reminiscent of Jill Thompson’s work, giving the story a fantasy and mythic feel.

Final Thoughts

Harley Quinn #30 is a wild ride from the first page to the last, tossing Harley into a cosmic situation out of her comfort zone as we watch her figure out a way to get to Earth-26, running into some hilarious moments along the way.   The issue ends with a great cliffhanger that promises to pull Poison Ivy into the fray.  Recommended.


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