Harley Quinn S02E05 “Batman’s Back Man” Review

Batman’s back baby! In a surprisingly bold move, Harley and co. take a back seat in the latest episode of the adult animated DC Universe show, marking the return of Bruce Wayne (Diedrich Bader) with a Bat-centric episode which will surely delight fans of the The Dark Knight. Opening with a hilariously meta swipe at toxic fanboy culture (just look at those t-shirts!) Harley Quinn continues it’s irreverent take on pop culture in “Batman’s Back Man”. Also if you read my review last week, you’ll know how happy I am that Bane’s back, complete with his tiny plastic chair!

Bruce Wayne has finally awoken from his coma following his showdown with the Joker to find two new heroes have risen up and taken his mantle, protecting Gotham city. Meanwhile Two-Face (Andrew Daly) attempts to partner up with Bane (James Adomian) following the Penguin and Mr Freeze’s demise and the disappearance of The Riddler (Jim Rash). As Gotham’s residents start uprising following the announcement that Batman is finally back, can the two villains decide on their new branding in time to take him and the new heroes down?

There’s so much for fans of the Bat family to enjoy in this episode; the writers delve into the hilarious Bruce and Alfred dynamic, the billionaire gets a brand new suit and characters finally converge (and fangirl out!) to bring together some exciting plotlines. And yes, the new armoured Batsuit from Lucius Fox, complete with an AI named “Monica” and plenty of gadgets, parodies Marvel’s billionaire philanthropist Tony Stark/Iron Man in a big and hilarious way!

I absolutely loved how the writers perfectly brought to life Bruce and Alfred’s relationship in this episode, as the butler mocks Bruce as he can’t even put his “socky wockies” on without help! The stroppy billionaire is not happy that Batgirl and the hilarious ‘Macaroni’ have teamed up in his absence, but I think he’s jealous of Barb’s popularity on social media and with Gotham’s residents. Much like Lego Batman, I love how self referential and deprecating the humour is in this show!

Following her exciting origins tale earlier this season, it’s great to see Batgirl in action here as a fully fledged, kick ass hero. She’s genuinely just so likeable, with Tara Strong and the writers capturing the character so perfectly. Her initial meeting with Batman is absolutely hilarious and heartwarming as she fan girls out.

Meanwhile following the threat of an uprising following Batman’s announcement, Two Face begrudgingly teams up with the only other member of The Injustice League seemingly left – the ever adorable Bane. It was genuinely hilarious to see how happy he was to finally progress from his plastic chair to a proper seat at the table! The two villains bickering about branding plans, with Bane wanting a Twins style look, was almost the highlight of the episode, as the writers continue to give us a hilarious insight into the more mundane aspects of villainy.

Culminating in a fantastically action packed showdown, kicking off with the ever familiar Bane vs Batman battle, the episode rounds out with a resoundingly violent and ever hilarious scene as Batman and Bane argue over the Two Faces campaign. Closing with an intriguing set up as Batman partners partners Barb up with her dad, becoming Gotham’s main hero while he heals.

Verdict

With the exciting final reveal, I’m so intrigued to see how Barbs’ relationship with Harley and Ivy will come into play in future episodes, as presumably there’s going to be a power play over Gotham. Or is this how the Gotham City Sirens will form as they team up to take down Bane and Two Face? Either way, I genuinely can’t wait to see what the writers have in store following another excellent episode of Harley Quinn. Loved the hilarious closing dig to Twitter trolls who say certain actors should smile more – touché DC Universe, touché!

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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