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NYCC 2019: Harley Quinn Animated Series Leaves its Mark

An exclusive NYCC 2019 screening shows everyone’s favorite Super Villain sidekick, Harley Quinn, finally step into her own spotlight.

At Madison Square Garden, DC held a panel to give fans a first look at several of their new upcoming shows. One episode that really stood out was the pilot of the new Harley Quinn animated series, starring Kaley Cuoco as the titular character. 

 

The Plot

Harley Quinn is upset by the lack of trust her partner, The Joker (Alan Tudyk), is giving her and that he is not letting her take charge. After a run-in with the Dark Knight (Diedrich Bader), Quinn is used as a distraction by the Joker to provide himself an escape. Harley is sent to Arkham Asylum, again, and is faced with evaluating her life and relationship with the Clown Prince.

The Cast

The cast did a tremendous job bringing the world of Gotham to life. It was easy to tell that Cuoco was having fun flexing her acting muscles and diving into the character. Her voice gave the right balance of delusion and childlike wonderment, making you invest in the villain. She is flanked by two veteran actors, who provide a great base to work off of, Lake Bell (who plays Poison Ivy) and Tudyk’s Joker. Both bring their own uniqueness and flair to their respective characters. Bader held his own as Batman, demonstrating his consistency as the anchor to all the surrounding madness. The two biggest surprises were Christopher Meloni as Commissioner Jim Gordon and J.B. Smooth as Frank, one of Poison Ivy’s plants. The two of them, hands down, got the best laughs and were always a joy to watch on screen. 

The Vision

The Harley Quinn writers made a strong choice in their tone and style, and they were rewarded with an entertaining product. The show is very, very, adult. Curses are littered throughout the episode, which was established early on when Harley shouts the “F-word” within the first few lines of dialogue. This was consistently reinforced with a beheading that led to a ventriloquist joke and an obscene amount of blood and guts. The writing team also does a fantastic job examining the characters and exploring the mental illnesses some of the characters possess. This led to multiple home runs in terms of character study and relationship dissection. 

The animation style did not leave much to the imagination. Any type of fighting or killing was shown in its full glory, as you are forced to sit with every drop of blood or exploding body part/organ. The character designs also present a great mix of homage and revamping. The costumes and looks of each character speak to their individual personalities while effectively reinforcing the tone. Plus, the emotions and expressions of each character complement the strength and talent of the voice-over cast. 

The Takeaway

Harley Quinn is a phenomenal ride, providing the loyal, adult DC fan base with a fun product accompanied by excellent storytelling and growth. It truly made me eager and excited to follow the show and root for Harley’s rise to the top in Gotham’s criminal underworld.

With all the wide variety of content, Harley Quinn is another reason to subscribe to DC Universe for its November 29th release. If you enjoy adult animation and wished Suicide Squad was better, this is the show for you. 

 

About Bassam Kaado

Bassam Kaado is a writer based in New York City that dabbles in screenplays, comic books, poetry, and articles covering various aspect of entertainment. In addition, he is an actor, rapper, and director. You can following Bassam @bkaado on Twitter and Instagram.

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