Title: Old Lady Harley (2018-) #1
Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Cover: Mauricet, Paul Mounts
Publication Date: October 24, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “After liberating New York City from her now-feral Gang of Harleys, poor Harley wants nothing more than to slip back into retirement in her coastal (and heavily guarded) paradise. But the Laughing Boys Gang has another idea—they’ll follow her to the ends of the Earth, to drag her back to their leader! It can’t actually be…him! Right?! He couldn’t possibly still be alive, could he? After all…Harley killed him herself with her bare hands! Should she turn to President Power Girl for help? Or flee to the 51st state, Atlantis? Step into an insane vision of a future DC Universe we all better hope we don’t live to see!”
Old Lady Harley (2018-) #1 is set in a post apocalyptic world where the Legend of Doom has taken over Mexico and Atlantis is the 51st state, and Harley on the run from none other than the Joker himself. Well, maybe, but definitely from those creepy Laughing Boys. In need of a little backup, Harley heads to the only city that can offer Harley help: Gotham. But even Gotham is different in this new reality.
Old Lady Harley (2018-) #1 promises plenty of laughs in this first issue, with a string of one-liners and puns. Frank Tieri crafts Old Lady Harley with a Mad Max meets Logan kind of vibe, with a tattered cape, shaved head, and a baseball bat instead of her trusty mallet. Harley, though living in a wasteland, is surprising up-to-date on current pop culture references, keeping that Harley spark alive in the beloved anti-hero. Making Red Tool her sidekick this issue adds to the humor, as Tieri’s puns know no end this issue. While Tieri carves out the Old Lady Harley character, he gives equal attention to the plot. In the debut issue, he presents the possibility of a living Joker along with a mysterious Batman and an oddly orderly Gotham. The world of Old Lady Harley may be new, but Tieri connects to tried and true Harley storylines to bring the issue together. It’s hard to say where this story will take readers, as the Harley antics are already on full throttle, but Old Lady Harley appears to be up for any challenge and Red Tool is just along for the ride.
Inaki Miranda takes the classic Harley Quinn look, ages it and beats it up a bit to create Old Lady Harley. The setting varies between battered, wasteland deserts and shiny, kind of sterile Gotham. Both are somewhat familiar, yet completely reinvented. As for the villains, the Laughing Boys are Joker-esqu characters, but without the thrills and frills of the classic Joker. Right now they resemble a deranged group of circus clowns in their underwear, but its kind of working for them. No matter how you dice it, Miranda’s world reflects the tired, anti-hero herself: a bit rough around the edges, but with plenty of fight left in it.
The Bottom Line
Old Lady Harley (2018-) #1 riffs on everything under the pop culture umbrella, but it’s not all laughs for our anti-hero. Frank Tieri lays the groundwork for the series, full of classic Harley quick wit and new twists to the Harley storyline. Inaki Miranda artwork impresses this first issue, creating the post-apocalyptic world of Old Lady Harley.