Review by Ian Keogh
Harley vs. Apokalips seems one hell of a big idea, but as an opening statement for taking over Harley’s adventures Sam Humphries makes it work, which is just as well, as he’s in charge of Harley’s destiny for the next four volumes. There’s a certain leeway needed for Harley’s solo stories. Look too deeply for logic and the bigger point flies by. Is it logical that Granny Goodness of Apokalips decides Harley is needed to fill out her Female Furies? Absolutely not, but it gets Harley to Apokalips, allows hilarious scenes with the malign Granny living up to her name for once by baking cookies, and unleashes Harley on a world where degradation, subjugation and casual death is a way of life. Oh, and she’s equipped with a neat new hammer.
To begin with Harley loves her new role, but then discovers that it’s not all Granny’s special cookies. John Timms is a full-on detail artist, delivering one madcap action page after another, and there’s a high work ethic, especially on pages where Harley has an internal monologue requiring the sight of multiple squabbling Harleys. Alisson Borges on the following two-parter is also good, but doesn’t have the madcap approach of Timms.
When Harley returns to Earth, it’s to discover her Coney Island hideout has been earmarked for demolition as she’s not been keeping up her mortgage payments. The solution is to head out and kill Lord Death Man for the price on his head. Does it go to plan? Well, it turns out no-one can kill Lord Death Man, which is why the bounty on him is so high. Oh yes, Harley has also brought a new friend back from Apokalips.
This collection is a lot of fun overall, but the biggest scare is DC resequencing the publication order of the original comics, making it seem as if Humphries has left Harley to Christopher Sebela. That’s not the case. Humphries is back for Harley Destroys the Universe, while DC recognised Sebela, who’s good elsewhere, wasn’t a fit for Harley. He nails her nutty personality, but then opts for a Batman villain that only Grant Morrison has been able to convince with as a threat. It leaves the great art of Mirka Andolfo as the star turn.