Nearly 30 years following her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series, creators Justin Halpern, Dean Lorey, and Patrick Schumacker have transformed Harley Quinn from an exploited sidekick into a deviser of her journey in the Harley Quinn animated series.
The animated comedy series follows Harley Quinn as she discovers her worth as a woman and an individual. Following her breakup with the Joker, Harley spends the majority of the first season proving to herself, and by extension the villains of Gotham, that she can be a leader rather than a sidekick. She assembles a crew of irreverent villains; King Shark, Clayface, Dr. Psycho, Frank the Plant, and of course, his creator, Poison Ivy. With her crew and newfound lover Ivy, Harley is determined to shatter the glass ceiling of the Legion of Doom. In the second season, following the destruction of order in Gotham and the fall of the Joker, Harley resolves on taking over Gotham only to realize in the third season that she is destined for things greater than the Legion, and perhaps something that exceeds villainy…
The Harley Quinn animated series imitates sitcom tropes in a remarkably creative and humbling manner, setting itself apart from many animated series within and beyond DC. Ironically said, it has been described as a funhouse mirror reflection of the DC universe. The familiar icons we’ve grown to look up to or fear, are shed in a new, ironic light. What is typically taken seriously is mocked, making room for overlooked characters and personalities to take center stage. Clayface uses villainy as a means to practice his acting, with the hopes of becoming a star. Bane, typically perceived as one of Batman's toughest enemies, is illustrated as a soft loner whose trigger is grammatical mistakes. Likewise, Bruce Wayne is, simply put, characterized as a farce man-child.
Despite its absurd yet relatable humor, the Harley Quinn animated series addresses many of the real-world situations facing young women and individuals today. It’s a show about humbling our idols, women supporting each other in male-dominated spaces, a brutally honest and queer love story, and a journey of someone reclaiming their agency following an abusive relationship.
Watch the Season 1 Trailer Here!
*Explicit Content Warning*
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