Dr. Harleen Quinzel a.k.a. Harley Quinn has been a staple of DC lore for years and while she has made appearances in various animated shows, animated movies and live-action ones (including the upcoming Birds of Prey), she is one comical character who hasn’t had her own series and it left many always wondering ‘why?’. Well, now we finally have just that in the form of the adult animated series Harley Quinn. Voiced by Kaley Cuoco, the series follows Harley’s adventures after her break-up with Joker and her need to be inducted into the Legion of Doom.
On Quinn’s journey, she realizes that every great villain needs a crew and so, Quinn convinces her friend Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) and her talking plant Frank (J.B. Smoove) to help her rally some troops which include Clayface (Alan Tudyk), King Shark (Ron Funches) and Doctor Psycho (Tony Hale). With her group of bad guys assembled, Harley tries her best to pull of various heists, thefts and a plethora of other things to get noticed by the LoD. While her friend Ivy thinks all of this is a mistake and that Harley is way too good for the LoD, Harley feels the opposite. She believes that being a part of the LoD will make her a more legitimate villain and something she wants to be a part of, even if her former flame Joker is also a part of it.
While I don’t want to go into too much detail about the series as only a few episodes have been released, I can say that I’ve seen the entire first season and was steadily laughing though all 13 episodes. However, despite the series being funny, it doesn’t shy away from touching on serious subject matter, mainly the abusive relationship between Harley and Joker. There was a point in time where some people ‘shipped’ the duo together (and some still may), but it has always been a toxic relationship that included both physical and mental abuse. So, it’s good to see the series taking the same path as the current comic book run where Harley is separate from the man who claims to have “made” her.
Perhaps it’s something that Quinn needs to be reminded of from time-to-time, mostly by Ivy – but as soon as Harley begins to see her own self-worth and remember her accomplishments were all made sans Joker, that is when the series truly begins to take off. The kinship between Harley and Ivy is one of the show’s best attributes and Cuoco’s and Bell’s chemistry and line delivery with one another is great.
The series does a great job in proving something that all us Harley fans have known since her inception: Harley Quinn is much more than her relationship with Joker. She is her own entity that is at her best when she’s rolling solo, far away from the Clown Prince of Gotham. A total badass, Quinn leads her band of villainous misfits with ease and proves that she’s not only worthy of this solo animated series, but one of the best characters created in general.
With a plethora of easily quotable one-liners, relatable character moments, a fun voice cast and even cameos from some of DC’s most famous superheroes and villains, Harley Quinn is one of the best adult animated series out right now. Be sure to check it out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
Harley Quinn is available to stream through DC Universe and on Adult Swim (in Canada) Sundays at 10:00 PM/EST.