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DC Universe's 'Harley Quinn': How to Go From Lackey to Supervillian

Season 1, Ep. 57

DC Universe’s Harley Quinn doesn’t give a f**k about offending people as the first scene demonstrates by showing a yacht full of billionaires robbed and ripped apart. The show is meant to shock audiences. But it also serves as a great example of how R-rated comic book material can allow for an intelligent subversion of tropes and dark humor that reveals why we connect to these broken characters. 


Harley herself shines in every episode in both success and failure as she strives to go from the Joker’s lackey to the first modern female supervillian. It sounds simple enough but the show reveals an actual truth of comics - female supervillians are non-existent with our only example suffering a face worse than Arkham.  A crew for Harley is assembled to help her become noticed by the Legion of Doom, leading to hijnx that are often hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t already seen the show although we try on this episode. 


The mature content in animated DC films seems like an intentional way to set themselves apart from Marvel’s relatively kid-friendly animation. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, scheduled for release on May 5, 2020, has a R-rated trailer that imagines a worse case scenario for Earth where heroes lose and die to Darkseid’s army. Marvel wins in Hollywood but struggles to reach the high bar set by DC’s animated films and shows. Harley Quinn is another example of DC getting it right. Come find out why for the next 47 minutes and don’t forget to follow us on @thelowkeypod.


Episode Breakdown

1:33 - Overall impressions

6:30 - Best moments in the show

13:12 - Talking the show creators

16:16 - Subverting classic characterizations of heroes and villians

19:44 - Worst comic book movies of all-time

24:13 - Is the show entirely in Harley’s head?

27:50 - A tangent to Scrooged (1988) courtesy of Carol Kane

29:52 - Final thoughts on the show

33:20 - Keith and Aaron convince Tim to watch Netflix’s ‘Love Is Blind’

39:55 - Keith asks about a neighbor problem



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