From her debut in Batman: The Animated Series to her first live-action appearance in Suicide Squad, Batman and Harley Quinn have quite a history. Their latest animated adventure together, DC's animated one-off Batman and Harley Quinn, takes their dynamic to a whole new level.
Batman and Harley Quinn brings the two characters together to stop Poison Ivy from turning people into human/plant hybrids. While it's great to hear Kevin Conroy voicing Bruce Wayne again, it’s Harley who truly breaks new ground in this animated movie, reshaping the usual relationship between her and Batman.
The movie centers more on a grounded Harley Quinn, as her days as an unhinged villain are gone — and it works! Here's why...
Harley Quinn Forms An Unlikely Relationship With Nightwing
The first notable change in Batman and Harley Quinn is the dynamic between Harley Quinn and Nightwing. It all begins with Nightwing being assigned to find Harley Quinn to obtain information regarding Poison Ivy. He finds Harley working an honest job while hiding in plain sight, living in the slums to avoid the grid.
After a classic alleyway brawl (and getting knocked out), Nightwing finds himself in Harley’s bedroom. From there, Harley and Nightwing begin an unlikely relationship. Throughout the story, Nightwing counters the cold shoulder that Batman gives Harley; Dick Grayson sees the true human being that she once was.
Although Harley tells Nightwing their hookup was just a one-time thing, it sparks a friendship that neither of them expected. The film deserves a watch for their friendship alone.
She Brings Light To The Dark Knight
Harley Quinn's unlikely partnership with Batman and Nightwing is the center of the story. Her outgoing personality doesn’t click with Batman, but he cracks a smile or two nonetheless. From her delightful singing to farting in the Batmobile, Harley Quinn's company was what the two heroes needed. Their "odd couple" chemistry is reminiscent of the lighthearted humor from the Adam West era.
We Get To See Harley Without Any Reference To The Joker
What made this animated movie work so well, in a subtle way, is that Joker's name is never mentioned by Batman nor Harley Quinn; she's her own, independent character here. Even though we get references to her past, she's focused on her new life as a superhero. We’ve seen this heroic Harley Quinn recently in the hit fighting game Injustice 2, and it worked very well.
Harley Quinn doesn’t just tag along for the ride in Batman and Harley Quinn. She establishes herself as a part of the team. With no Joker in sight, Harley proves that heroism is in her blood. Batman and Harley Quinn shows that Harley Quinn is capable of becoming a member of the Bat Family. Who knows, maybe we'll even see this new heroic Harley in the DCEU soon.
Batman and Harley Quinn is available now on digital platforms. The DVD will be released on August 29, 2017.
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