Warning: SPOILERS for Harley Quinn #45 ahead
Harley Quinn is in need of a vacation. Ever since she kissed Gotham goodbye, her hands have been full with managing her tiny Coney Island corner of the DC Universe. Now it's time to take a break. And where better for a woman who enjoys pummeling people just a bit too much to unwind than the fiery fighting pits of Apokolips?
Harley doesn't immediately jet off for the Fourth World in this week's Harley Quinn #45, but she does seize the opportunity when it comes up. And who can blame her? Since arriving in Brooklyn, Harley's life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. She's made new friends, found work and pass-times, and even started her own vigilante gang of do-gooders. But when she went toe-to-toe with New York City's corrupt mayor, her boyfriend Mason got killed.
Since then, Harley's been pushing her friends away, worried that anyone who get too close will end up just like Mason. So she calls it quits, declaring: "I ain't the world-famous Harley Quinn no more!"
Cut to the beach, where Harley is soaking up the sun until - BOOM! A Boom Tube, the chosen mode of interstellar travel for New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips opens up on shore to release two fearsome Female Furies. They're looking for Harley, hell-bent on bringing her back to Apokolips and Granny Goodness for some undisclosed but surely no-good plan. And when they ask so nicely (and drug her so deeply), how can Harley refuse?
When Harley comes to, Granny Goodness is there with freshly baked cookies and a proposition - Granny will help her snuff out those "icky feelings" holding her back, but only if Harley joins the Female Furies. First, she must prove her mettle in Granny's Sinister Snarl - a wild labyrinth where she must defeat a legion of "Darkseid's most fearsome parademons." Harley, of course, proves more than up to the task. After all, she's knocked out Superman in a fair fight.
Victorious, Harley is crowned "Hammer Harleen," armed with a magical hammer from Granny's maniac menagerie, clothed in a new set of Apokoliptan armor, and made the newest member of the Female Furies. It's a role that Harley relishes more than she probably should, but for a woman who's been looking to let off some steam, battling in the fighting pits of Apokolips is one heck of a way to let loose. Soon, however, Granny comes calling, asking that Harley hunt down a prisoner who escaped and stole a vital item. Begrudgingly, Hammer Harleen forgoes her Hellfire Hamburger and tracks down this escapee, Petite Tina - a woman revealed to be neither small nor dainty, and instead is a large ogre protecting the Lowlies of Apokolips from being terrorized by the likes of Granny's Furies!
At the start of this issue, Harley is on a phone call with her mother, who reminds her daughter that she's always loved "teaching jerkfaces a lesson," reminding her she's been doing it since she was a little kid. And mother knows best, because Harley is exactly the sort of person who always sticks up for the little guy, the downtrodden, the put-upon. Why? Because Harley more than anyone knows what it's like to be pushed around and kicked when you're down.
Once Harley learns the truth about Apokolips and witnesses first hand the abuses endured by the Lowlies, you better believe she'll be ready to teach a few more jerkfaces a good, hard lesson.