Harley Quinn S02E01 “New Gotham” Review

Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and the gang are back and as delightfully bonkers as ever in a brand new season of adult animated series Harley Quinn, which proved to be a surprise standout hit for streaming service DC Universe last year. The series features a brilliant voice ensemble combined with hilarious quips and surprisingly colourful violence, which proved a winning combination. Thankfully, “New Gotham” doesn’t disappoint, setting the second season up with a whole new Gotham to explore, complete with classic villains!

Following the defeat of the Joker and the disappearance of Batman, Gotham has been reduced to a pretty chaotic, post-apocalyptic nightmare. Even the president has announced that it’s beyond saving and no longer part of the USA! Without the Joker around, there’s a frenzy over the resulting power vacuum, so classic villains – Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Bane and Two-Face, join forces to become ‘The Injustice League’ and claim what’s left. But surely Harley and co should take up the mantle considering they toppled the Clown Prince of Crime? Meanwhile Gordon tries to hold it together and pick up the pieces in the wake of Batman’s vanishing act.

“New Gotham” is a brilliantly paced episode which wastes no time in establishing an anarchic new World order for the second season, which appears to be chaotic heaven for Harley and the gang! That’s until her favourite sushi chef runs out of fresh fish of course, leading Ivy to push Harley in the right direction and take control of Gotham by attempting to recruit the city’s henchmen. But this is Harley, so instead of rallying them to her cause, she inspires the henchman to follow her own path and rebel against their villainous leaders, causing an uprising in Gotham!

Yes it’s all a bit chaotic, but like Birds of Prey, it’s refreshing to see a different side of the Gotham than we’re used to. The intriguing power play pitting Harley against some of Bat’s classic rogue gallery will undoubtedly set up some great moments too. Plus there’s also more absolutely hilarious Bane gags which never fail to make me laugh. (Make sure you look out for him in a chair, it’s probably the highlight of the episode!)

Hilarious gags and ultra violence aside (King Shark gets pretty nasty in this one, trust me) the real heart of the show is the core relationship between Harley, Ivy and the crew, and I’m glad to say that this continues in the season opener. Lake Bell’s Poison Ivy remains one of the real standouts of the show, and I’m intrigued to see how they’ll be exploring more of her relationship with Harley. Ron Funche’s King Shark is another highlight, along with the awful but hilarious portrayal of Commissioner Gordon from Christopher Meloni.

Verdict

“New Gotham” marks a colourful return to the brilliantly bonkers world of Harley Quinn, setting up an exciting power struggle between Harley and the Injustice League. The show is just so enjoyable, providing a much needed 30 minutes of escapism! I genuinely can’t wait to see more, particularly with the introduction of some exciting Bat heroes…

Rating

Nicola Austin

Lover of all things Marvel, DC, Game of Thrones, Disney, Pokemon and Studio Ghibli. Favourite superhero is Ms Marvel closely followed by Spider-Man.

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