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Harley Quinn 2×02 “Riddle U” Review

The No Mans Land storyline continues in “Riddle U” as Harley attempts to cross more Gotham villains off her hitlist, following the surprise murder of Penguin in season opener “New Gotham”. With the exciting addition of a young Barbara Gordon, “Riddle U” teases an intriguing possibility for the Gotham City Sirens in the larger season narrative.

With the newly formed Injustice League taking over four distinct sections of New New Gotham, Harley, Ivy and the gang have their sights on the member who controls the water and power supply – the Riddler! But it turns out that all the electricity and clean water is being kept secure under the Riddler University campus, so Harley and Ivy don their disguises as students Heather Witherby and Isadore Staplebunkin and head back to college! Meanwhile, King Shark and Dr. Psycho head into Two Face territory to try and retrieve a water purifier.

Harley Quinn continues to be a bonkers but utterly fun ride, with sassy, self-deprecating humour at the forefront. Knowingly self-referential, the writers continue to lovingly poke fun at the franchise (yes I’m looking at you Gordon!) whilst excitingly introducing more of the characters we know and love. Focusing primarily on Harley and Ivy’s quest to take down The Riddler, “Riddle U” actually serves as a brilliant origins tale for Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl. Thanks to the team up with the two anti-heroes, the young student is inspired to don a familiar looking costume, and with the tease of Catwoman in the season two promo, there’s a very exciting prospect of a Gotham City Sirens inspired arc.

Establishing the four distinct zones ruled by each member of The Injustice League sets up a clear narrative structure for this season, with King Shark and Dr Psycho’s side mission further exploring New New Gotham. Their hilarious (but coincidentally pretty pointless!) quest takes them through both Two Face and Bane territory, as they take on goons a plenty with their comical Mad Max inspired death car. It’s nice to see these often overlooked characters get their own chance to shine in this subplot, along with Clayface’s utterly hilarious turn as Stephanie, who even Harley admits is his best character work to date!

Verdict

“Riddle U” is another fantastic outing full of laugh out loud gags, gore and great character development as Harley and the gang continue on their warpath to take over New New Gotham. I genuinely hope we see more of Barbs in the series as I really did enjoy her dynamic with Harley and Ivy, plus that final reveal was far too exciting! The writers are really building on the brilliant first series by laying out a clear ‘villain of the week’ style episodic structure, whilst also adding to the impressive character roster, laying the groundwork for an exciting second series. Also yay for a small Kite Man cameo!

Rating

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