One of the new hit series on the DC Universe web-streaming service is the animated Harley Quinn, featuring the voice of Kaley Cuoco as the Clown Princess of Crime herself. After a hit first season, the second season premiered on April 3, 2020, and fans are excited to see where this season will go with its characters.
With friends Poison Ivy, King Shark, Clayface, Sy Borgman, and Doctor Psycho, Harley Quinn is poised to take over New Gotham after the season one finale revealed the Justice League were gone, Joker (supposedly) turned normal, and Batman is missing. Here are five DC storylines we think the show should use in its second season, and five it shouldn’t.
10 SHOULDN’T: HEROES IN CRISIS
Some love Tom King’s mini-series on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some hate it. With Quinn as one of the story’s central figures, it shows her pair up with Booster Gold to try and discover whether it was her or him that massacred a lot of traumatized heroes. While this story does a great service to Quinn, it doesn’t fit the mold for the type of comedic plots the series is putting out there. The Crisis story is much too serious and important to make into a joking matter, so this contemporary tale would be the least favorable adaptation.
9 SHOULD: NO MAN’S LAND
Since the April 3, 2020 series premiere, it’s clear the writers are taking creative license to do their own version of the 1999 Batman storyline, “No Man’s Land.” In the story, Gotham City suffers a 7.6 earthquake, the U.S. government clears most citizenry and cuts off Gotham City from anyone leaving or entering, thus finding most villains competing to run Gotham. The tie-in comics written by Paul Dini, collected under Batman: Harley Quinn, even shows a buried Harley being rescued by Poison Ivy, followed by Quinn telling Ivy of her history with Mistah J, somewhat mirroring the season 2 premiere of the DC Universe series.
8 SHOULDN’T: DIE LAUGHING (REBIRTH)
The latest incarnation of Harley Quinn may have superstar team Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti writing and doing the art, and it serves as an obvious inspiration for the show; but it’s simply too far-fetched – even for an animated series. Conner and Palmiotti may have made famous the humor Quinn is known for, but most of this story arc is too absurd. It includes the pivotal turn of Quinn moving to Coney Island and battling zombies, as well as introducing the Gang of Harleys – but we’re nowhere near wanting to see the end of Harley’s circle of friends including Clayface, King Shark, and Doctor Psycho.
7 SHOULD: HARLEY’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK
This set of stories sees Quinn teaming up in each issue with a different superhero or anti-hero, such as Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, Zatanna, and Lobo. While the TV series focuses more on Quinn and her circle of friends, it would be great to see an episode or two of her unlikely teaming up with some hero. The stories also show the great, twisted past of Quinn. The first issue showing a young Quinn dressing like Wonder Woman and hanging one of the bullying classmates with the lasso of truth is especially the kind of story that would fit well in the series.
6 SHOULDN’T: HARLEY QUINN AND POWER GIRL
While we all love Superman’s cousin, Power Girl (who doesn’t!?), this mini-series just goes too much off the beaten path for the DC Universe series. This comic finds Quinn in other extraterrestrial worlds with the odd couple facing off against alien races. Having her go to space in this season would be a bit too much to fit the theme of this season’s storyline. Nevertheless, it would still be a wonderful addition to have Power Girl make an appearance in the animated series as the two’s chemistry would be interesting to see.
5 SHOULD: BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES #10
This is a close cut to an already established animated series (Batman: The Animated Series), but the story is so good it would be great to see the DC Universe showrunners do their own version of it. In it, Quinn decides to write a tell-all book about her misadventures with Joker and seeing how the Joker hates the idea, he sets out to kill her. Since Batman is out of town, it’s soon up to Nightwing and Robin to try and protect Quinn. This story would especially be humorous with Quinn’s unwanted nemesis Robin (Jacob Tremblay) being in on the action!
4 SHOULDN’T: HARLEY QUINN AND BATMAN
This comic series is a sequel to the 2017 animated film Batman and Harley Quinn. In the book, Quinn teams up with Ivy to take on Batman but the two butt heads and Quinn soon finds herself trying to prove that she can stand on her own. At this point in the TV series, adapting this comic would be a bit too derivative, as the series has already executed this type of storyline in season one. Nevertheless, it’s always a good time when Quinn has to team up with Batman in any situation!
3 SHOULD: HARLEY QUINN #10 (2001)
Since it’s been teased that Barbara Gordon will be making an appearance this season, it would be wonderful to see Harley impersonating Batgirl as she did in this 2001 story. In the issue, Quinn decides to hide away from the many villains coming after her by disguising herself as Batgirl; and when Batman and the Bat-family find out, they are not too pleased. It would be great to see Quinn taking on characters such as Robin, Nightwing, and other Bat members who haven’t made an appearance in the series yet – ahem, Red Hood!
2 SHOULDN’T: HARLEY QUINN AND POISON IVY (2019)
The most recent title featuring the two besties and lovers was not nearly as good as it could’ve been. It picks up from the aftermath of Heroes in Crisis, finding Quinn and Ivy going on a road trip to discover Ivy’s newfound connection to the Green, all the while dodging the pursuit of the Floronic Man and other villains. The 6-issue run focuses more on Quinn’s and Ivy’s relationship in the same vein of Thelma and Louise – with more of a romance, but the TV series has become more about Quinn and her entire crew. While it will be a welcome sight to see the two’s relationship further develop this season, the season shouldn’t focus primarily on just that aspect.
1 SHOULD: GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
This beloved 2009 series by Paul Dini and Guillem March sees the big three female Gotham City villains – Catwoman, Quinn, and Ivy – team up even though they’re not known for playing nice with others. The series sees these three forming an unlikely bond, with action-packed and emotional scenes to boot. With Catwoman showing up in the TV series this season, even though it may not take up a lot of the episodes, it would be a great opportunity to see the three of them team up, paying homage to the 26-issue run.
Harley Quinn on the DC Universe is already a beloved animated series. Some Harley tales would be perfect to adapt, though some should be avoided.