‘Harley Quinn’ Manages The Best Batman Story In Years

Harley Quinn is a niche show. Yet, it is still being talked about heavily online and praised. It is a raunchy, R-rated animated series that plays heavily into comic book homages, tropes, and Easter eggs. So many jokes will fly over the heads of non-comic geeks that don’t understand the ins and outs of the comic characters, their relationships, and certain storylines. Yet Harley Quinn still manages to both satirize and honor these characters and stories at the same time. It seems like a tall task on paper, yet the stories in this show pull it off so seamlessly that it is a pleasure to watch.

This week’s new episode picks up where the last one left off. Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) torture Bruce Wayne (Diedrich Bader) to get him to reveal the location of Ivy’s plant. Of course, Bruce doesn’t cave because he’s Batman. But they don’t know that yet, so they dive into Bruce’s mind to try and find answers. What they discover is that Bruce is reliving his parents’ death over and over again, which forms the entire depressing basis for his personality.

The amazing thing about this episode is that it critiques Batman’s origin as a focal point of his stories. At one point, Harley mocks the fact that they see Bruce’s parents get killed so many times, which is a meta commentary on the fact that it’s been depicted a lot in media. Yet, it’s also important because it really does form Batman’s entire character. And when Harley learns of Bruce’s secret identity, she puts her psychological skills to use by giving Bruce’s inner child a therapy session. It’s an incredible Batman story that also feels odd being told in such a ridiculous show. But that’s the greatness about Harley Quinn. It manages to be both mockingly hilarious and profoundly poignant at the same time.

Harley Quinn streams Thursdays on HBOMax.

Harley Quinn is a niche show. Yet, it is still being talked about heavily online and praised. It is aCOMICONRead More

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