In this week's issue of the Harley Quinn comic series, DC tells a post-apocalyptic future tale titled "Old Lady Harley," paying homage to Marvel's own acclaimed series, Old Man Logan. But in Harley's case, she may be the cause of the grim future all by herself.
Everyone knows that Harley Quinn's Coney Island gang of Harleys needs their fearless leader, and in the latest issue, readers find out just how much! In recent weeks in DC comics, Harley has been struggling with the loss of a friend, even leaving her Coney Island home to work as a bounty hunter in Manhattan, leaving her Gang of Harleys to take care of the place themselves. That vacancy led Penguin to set what felt like every criminal in Gotham on Coney, and nearly destroyed it. Thankfully, Harley returned in the nick of time to make her beloved home safe once again.
Just when Harley is home with her gang, and it looks like everything is going to go back to normal, the glimpse of the future shows how important Harley really is.
Harley Quinn #42 opens with another homage to Mad Max: Fury Road, as an older Harley with a mostly-shaved-head is strapped to the front of a car being driven by Red Tool (Harley's close friend and Deadpool stand-in). As it turns out, she's being brought back to Coney Island having left thirty years prior again putting Coach in charge.
Since then, she's been doing... something (we never get to find out what), and the Gang of Harleys has fractured after Coach's untimely death. Now, they have divided the boroughs among themselves, their warring (and various enemies) creating a post-apocalyptic wasteland that was once Brooklyn. Oops.
Now, in the manner of Old Man Logan, the landscape is split into spaces run by various familiar faces from the Harley Gang, and overrun by the descendants of the original characters - including Pengant and Goat People (instead of Venom T-rexes and a family of hillbilly Hulks...). Harley is back to deal with the leaders, who are about to duke it out, battle-royale style, for the entirety of New York City.
Of course, "Old Lady Harley" lacks the gravity of "Old Man Logan" for obvious reasons. Writer Frank Tieri isn't trying to create a serious look at a post-apocalyptic future here, simply have some fun with an issue between larger arcs. It's also Harley Quinn we're talking about here, meaning the odds of anything resembling a serious story were slim to begin with.
So as Marvel continues to expand its future story with a similarly bleak Old Man Hawkeye comic, Harley Quinn is turning to Goat-People trying to eat eyebrows, puns and references every few pages, and her own inimitable style to create an issue that is pure fun, with some solid ass-kicking to round things out.
Harley Quinn #42 is available now from DC Comics.