“The following trailer contains explicit language, adult themes, and violence, and may not be suitable for all viewers.” From this opening title screen, you can tell from the trailer that Harley Quinn ain’t your average DC adaptation. Gone are any shackles from the title character’s family friendly origins in Batman: The Animated Series or PG-13 necessities from Suicide Squad (even if we see both lewks referenced). Now, Harley Quinn (voiced by an enthusiastically game Kaley Cuoco, also a producer) gets to be fully herself. And in the new, full trailer for the animated show, we see HQ smash her way through a bonkers landscape filled with cuss words, violence, pitch-black comedy — and even some inspiringly feminist philosophies on independence. The thing ain’t scored to Aretha Franklin‘s freedom-crying “Think” for nothing, ya know?
In the world of Harley Quinn, the title character has had it up to here with her miserable boyfriend the Joker (voiced ferociously by Alan Tudyk). So she breaks things off with him and sets off to find her own identity as a villain. Alongside best friend Poison Ivy (Lake Bell, one of our great screwball comedians), Quinn will assert her dominance, meet new cohorts, try to join the Legion of Doom, and smash the hell out of a whole lotta people.
Now, I normally find “performative edginess” as a tone choice to be, in a word, dumb. And that tone choice’s dumbness was certainly inherent in the aforementioned Suicide Squad — to this day, one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had in a movie theatre. And yet, despite all of its blustery swear words, blood splatter, and insistence on edge, the Harley Quinn trailer delights the hell outta me. I love its choice to lean into comedy (assisted by a cast of incredible comics like James Adomian, Ron Funches, Andy Daly, Wanda Sykes, and many, many more), its choice to borrow underrated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold‘s aesthetics, and its choice to emancipate a much-beloved character. Some of the jokes may fall a touch flat, and some of the blood looks a touch “added way later,” but I for one find Harley Quinn‘s trailer to promise a fresh take on the character.
Check out the full trailer and synopsis for Harley Quinn below. The show begins streaming on DC Universe November 29. For more on DC Universe, here’s our take on why Titans has the best Batman and Superman depiction in years.
Harley Quinn has finally broken things off once and for all with the Joker and attempts to make it on her own as the criminal Queenpin of Gotham City in this half-hour adult animated action-comedy series. The series features Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and a whole cast of heroes and villains, old and new, from the DC Universe.