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HBO Max’s ‘Harley Quinn’ cartoon is a dumber, gorier ‘Birds of Prey’

If they are not resold Harley Quinn The first time Bane walks into a scene, the show may not be for you.

The animated series hosted by HBO Max is actually over The escapades after breaking up with Quinn, the Joker’s former lieutenant-slash-love-interest in rediscovering life as a decoupled woman. But Bane’s portrayal is something very special: the large, huge animal speaks in a tense wail clear meant as a slap on Tom Hardy’s ridiculous voice The dark knight rises.

In a show that already features a comic book version of Gotham City and its signature villain gallery, Bane stands out. He̵

7;s a huge, vengeful thug who is also the Legion of Doom’s perennial doormat. He may not be the brightest, but it is increasingly being shown to have great emotional depth. His biggest nemesis is possibly the cashier at the frozen yogurt shop (who doesn’t work on Wednesdays).

There is a dichotomy in Bane’s portrayal – evil and vicious, but also very lovable – that is symbolic Harley Quinn as a whole. It’s one of the most violent, gory, and profane examples of animated television you’ll ever see, but it also leaves room to delve deep into the compromises that come with any relationship, the nature of love, and the elimination of toxic influences from the world own life.

HBO Max's 'Harley Quinn' cartoon is the sillier, prettier 'Birds of Prey' you didn't know you needed

In that way, it’s not that far from another Harley Quinn story, the rare 2020 cinematic gem birds of prey. Both the film and the TV show explore an unfounded vision of Quinn’s life after Joker. But where the film is realized as a free vent session about the new single life with punk rock aesthetics, the TV series aims at an absurd comedy with a sincere heart.

It starts at the beginning of the end, and the Joker (Alan Tudyk) finally takes a step too far in his chronic abuse of Harley (Kaley Cuoco). Soon after, she bonds with Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) and forms a shaky friendship marked by a shared sense of independence and opposing temperaments. Ivy is cool, collected, and got her shit together. Harley … is the opposite of that.

The strain between the two women in these early episodes is as palpable as is the foundation of general beliefs that make them work so well together. The reference to “early episodes” is crucial here as the Harley / Ivy relationship – just like everyone else on the show – is not static at all.

Harley Quinn has an ongoing story to tell. Characters come and go, live and die. Friends become enemies and enemies, friends. As you meander through the 26 episodes over two seasons, you’ll be emotionally investing in the arcs of Batman verse characters you’ve never even imagined.

We ridicule Kite Man because we do love Kite man.

Bane, whom I love so much, isn’t even a key player here. Harley is the emotional core of the show, but her friends and co-workers are barely a grade. Ivy is of course the boss among them, but the “crew” Harley gathers at the beginning of the first season – including Doctor Psycho (Tony Hale), Clayface (again Tudyk), King Shark (Ron Funches) and finally Sy Borgman (Jason) Alexander ) – are all realized with a rich inner life as the story unfolds.

Like some of the best superhero fictions out there – I think of things like birds of prey and Umbrella Academy, but also Matt Fraction’s epic run of Hawk Eye Comics – Harley Quinn is based on a familiar reality. This is a show where super powered hijinx often stand alongside the human drama that is going on.

We don’t love King Shark because he’s a gigantic, two-legged shark man with dagger teeth and an insatiable thirst for blood. We love him because as the group’s social media and style guru, he is full of wit and insight. He’s as goofy as any other character in this take on Gotham, but his completely absurd and impossible combination of human and shark is also the show’s recurring voice.

Harley Quinn leans into the absurdity so much that everything feels normal very quickly. Kite Man (Matt Oberg), who really first existed in the comics, is introduced as the joke it always was. The running gag of his basic existence, however, is offset by our growing appreciation for who he is and what it represents in the context of the ongoing story.

Finally, the realization strikes like lightning: We mock Kite Man because we love Kite man.

The difficult thing for me when I preach the good word of Harley Quinn goes into details. Some of the best pieces in the series – both funny and heartfelt – rely on heavily spoiling an ongoing story. I can’t say how [Character X] shows up in Season 2 and what its arrival means because so much of the groundwork has been laid in the lead up to this reveal.

HBO Max's 'Harley Quinn' cartoon is the sillier, prettier 'Birds of Prey' you didn't know you needed

I can Say this absurd vision of Gotham City goes way beyond Batman’s long list of enemies. The Caped Crusader himself (Diedrich Bader) appears, as does Robin (Jacob Tremblay), Commissioner Jim Gordon (Chris Meloni) and Superman (James Wolk).

The remaining occupation will continue to be stacked. In two seasons you’ll also hear the voices of Wanda Sykes, Sanaa Lathan, Rachel Dratch, Alfred Molina, Jim Rash, Andy Daly, Briana Cuoco, Giancarlo Esposito, Wayne Knight, Will Sasso, and a ridiculous cast of others. Playing “Name that Voice Actor” quickly becomes a fun exercise while watching.

I cannot speak highly enough of this Harley Quinn. This is surely one of the best reasons to have an HBO Max subscription now, even if only two seasons are planned. When you’ve watched and loved birds of prey Early 2020 and if you long for more, this show is for you. If all you want to do is laugh hysterically this show is for you too.

What if you crave intersectional entertainment that includes a modern take on life and love, but still not afraid to make you laugh at slapstick comedy and youthful puns? Hey you guessed it: Harley Quinn is definitely for you.

You can stream from both seasons of the year Harley Quinn anytime on HBO max.

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