DC Universe exclusive
November 29, 2019
Episode 1 – Til Death To Us Part
The inaugural episode of season one of Harley Quinn adult animated starts out very adult with a captain aboard a yacht, pile of money in the background, saying he is going to celebrate a favorite past time, “f**king the poor!” Then Harley Quinn jumps onto the scene and calls everybody involved, “pieces of shit” and drops a MF bomb. The captain on the boat rips off his bloody mask face and tells the shocked passengers that he’s a “+1” – there along with Harley — and he’s really … The Joker!
Best two minute opening to an adult comic series ever.This is all it took for me to go hunting for my credit card to sign up for DC Universe. I just don’t see many adult comic shows like this. Maybe there are tons out there, but certainly not done with classic characters like The Joker. I mean, the Joker portrayed here is full on mental. Might even be crazier than Joaquin Phoenix in the feature film that raked in over a $1 billion.
Within the next five minutes Harley and The Joker start killing on the boat and Batman intervenes to take out the criminal duo only to have The Joker sacrifice Harley to Batman while he escapes in a submarine. I’ll stop with the story there, as these episodes move by very fast and the 22 minutes of run time, including the end credits goes by very fast.
Animation is excellent, dialogue and voice acting are all on point. The story, despite it’s short length, even has a good character arc and sets up the series well. We get to know who Harley Quinn is — a sarcastic, mallet swinging woman who is scorned repeatedly by her boyfriend, The Joker, who doesn’t really love her, he’s abusive and Harley doesn’t want to believe it.
The Joker, also known as “Mr. J” by Harley and they each exchange lovey dovey names (“pudding”) with each other.
We also get to know Harley’s green botanical friend, Poison Ivy, that has some of the funniest straight comic lines in the episode. She’s the sidekick friend character that I’d love to see get a show of her own. She lives in an loft at the top of a building full of plants, including a talking one that also throws in some juicy one-liners. Poison Ivy realizes Joker is bad for Harley and goes to great length to try and convince her.
Can the upcoming Harley Quinn movie mine even a fraction of the humor and action in this animated film? Sure hope so. The humor is such an important part of this to me.
“I can’t spend my whole life bashing goons!” — Harley Quinn
Will Margot Robbie be able to mine this fast talking, quippy version? I didn’t see the movie Suicide Squad yet, but have read that she was a standout performer in that movie. Also haven’t seen the Birds of Prey TV show (yet), but that’s available for streaming on DC Universe too.
The only drawbacks to this episode for me was wondering if the frenetic, funny pace could be maintained. The whole Joker vs. Harley romance gone bad can’t sustain an entire series, can it? Don’t know. I’m not taking away any points from this episode, though, because it’s a brilliant start to the series.
Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️