‘Harley Quinn’ Is Top Tier Storytelling

by Frank Martin

Although the first two seasons of Harley Quinn were very high caliber, the current third season is on another level entirely. It taps into so many different characters and their emotional hangups that it’s very good at breaking them down. It addresses Nightwing’s (Harvey Guillen) insecurities and, of course, Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy’s (Lake Bell) struggling relationship.

Its most recent episode saw Bruce Wayne (Diedrich Bader) use one of Poison Ivy’s plants (J.B. Smoove) to bring back his dead parents. They came back as zombies, which Bruce hoped he could fix over time. Unfortunately, he actually brought back the entire city of Gotham as zombies. When isolated from the Harley Quinn universe and tone, this is a premise that could have been an amazing comic, much like Harley Quinn‘s other episodes. It cuts deep into the heart of the Batman mythos and that Bruce sometimes goes too far.

Meanwhile, the Harlivy relationship comes to a huge climax as Ivy seeks to take over Gotham and turn it into a plant haven. The problem is that she’s trying to do this by using the zombies Bruce created.

The difference between them comes down to the fact that Ivy is still being villainous while Harley is seeking redemption. They aren’t on the same page and yet try to make the relationship work despite this. Ivy’s character arc of trying to find a balance between being a cold-hearted villain and compassionate girlfriend is just great storytelling. Add that to the fact that the show has some truly ridiculous comedic moments and zany one-liners that marks it as one of the best animated adaptation of the universe in recent years. And that’s even with an episode featuring regurgitating zombies that turn Gotham citizens into tree people. The show truly embraces comic book lunacy and logic to such a crazy degree that it’s actually entertaining.

Harley Quinn is now streaming on HBOMax.

%d bloggers like this: