Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Inaki Miranda
Published by DC Comics
Frank Tieri does it again with his MAD Magazine Harley Quinn riff in a Mad Max future with Old Lady Harley #3.
By cranking the green lime vs. apple Skittle debate up to an ultra-violent 11, this hilarious send-off of the DC Universe in a post-apocalyptic has us in stitches as Harley and Red Tool find themselves facing off against a rogues gallery that includes Four-Face, General Cold, Queen Snake and many more.
Meanwhile, Joker’s remaining Droogs watch from afar.
With their boss long gone, what else have they got to do?
The location is a literal Thunder-Dome in Blüdhaven for The Blud Bowl, with our heroes facing the dreaded spawn of Bane, The Bane Twins. In true fourth-wall breaking style, Amanda Connor wonders on the cover, “…Maybe it’ll boost sales…?”
Harley is subjected to the twins’ patented Bat-Breaker move over the old knee, while Red Tool has availed himself of the merch booth and is covered head-to-toe in The Bane Twins paraphernalia. An older and skinnier Papa Bane is her only relief as news from Killer Croc and Catwoman arrive on the scene.
Barbara Gordon reveals her future self as the all-watching O.R.A.C.L.E. computer. She lives on in the cloud (or something) and tells Harley something readers have suspected, that The Joker’s death by the hands of Lobo is not 100% confirmed and our team gets beamed to the Las Vegas to ask Lobo the details.
For those that like Elseworlds stories to be funny, this is certainly the book for you. Obviously the time jump makes for great alternate versions of our favorite DC characters, my favorite from this book has to be Four-Face! Tieri’s signature comedy toes the line between being too broad at times and also ties in the delicious easter eggs for longtime fans of both Harley Quinn and classic DC lore.
This book is a perfect 3 x 3 mix of Old Man Logan, Deadpool, and Frank’s own run on Harley makes for a great read, but if you are hopping into this 5 issue run late in the game you’d be acting like this Red Tool guy, out of context and confused.
As we approach the series’ penultimate issue, one might ask, “Why is it so easy to teleport in the future? Convenient plot device? A per-issue chance to reboot and sneak in a Willy Wonka reference?” The delightful answer is probably “both, neither and who cares”.
One feels like a Red Tool themselves while trying to offer an academic treatise on the virtues of Old Lady Harley, so one must take a different approach and recommend this book as one is the funniest to hit the stands in 2018, and hopefully The Bane Twins cover plea worked and we’ll get a second volume. I mean, jeepers, how many Old Man Logan volumes started with a new number one? If the shoe fits, Puddin’, don’t go messin’ with a good thing!
Shout out to artist Inaki Miranda who has a style appropriate to both the Mad Max and the Matrix pages, and great acting on the faces. The top notch art team pulls it all the jokes together.