A parent might be forgiven for thinking the kids are just watching a Batman cartoon if they saw the kids catching Harley Quinn, DC Universe’s next animated offering featuring the girlfriend of Batman’s greatest arch nemesis, but this is no ordinary cartoon, not by a long shot.
The new trailer debuted on Tuesday, and stars Harley Quinn (voiced by Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory) as she suddenly realizes that the Joker (voiced by Alan Tudyk) never loved her. She then teams up with Poison Ivy to create the ultimate group of villains to compete with the Joker, and chaos of the sort we’ve come to expect from Harley, ensues. So the protagonist of this new series is basically a sociopath with a sort of hero worship of a psychopath, Joker.
Surprisingly, there’s more profanity in the first minute of this official trailer, than the entire Justice League (2017) movie.
I have frequently enjoyed cartoons billed for adults such as South Park, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Venture Brothers as much as the next consenting grown-up, and I wouldn’t recommend them for kids in any way. They also don’t pretend to be for kids in the first place and they’re on cable. Adult-themed network cartoons such as Family Guy air later in the evening for a reason – most little kids are in bed by the time they air, or at least close to it. A large amount of adult cartoons are on Cartoon Network’s aptly named Adult Swim, aired late at night.
The issue here is that this cartoon is dressed up like nearly every all-ages Batman cartoon that came before it, and yet it’s more inappropriate for kids than the Dark Knight trilogy. And seeing cartoon versions of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman is going to be a draw for most kids. At least South Park and other adult cartoons are their own thing. The Harley Quinn toon would be comparable with a foul mouthed version of Animaniacs (which I would check out). Not to mention the character of Harley is the OPPOSITE of a good role model. At least with Deadpool, you knew he was working with the good guys, not the villains.
Now before you point to Justice League: Gods & Monsters or Batman: The Killing Joke, because both of those are merely part of the trend DC has been on in recent years. I mean, really, your defense is a cartoon where Batman has sex with Batgirl before she gets crippled. DC animation has revealed itself to be fundamentally broken already, and this latest cartoon may just be more evidence of it.
If you’re somehow unfamiliar with Harley, the character was first conceived by the writers of Batman: The Animated Series, but her popularity was so high that DC adapted the character into the comic verse, during the event of the Batman: Cataclysm story arc. Since then she’s been featured in many of her own comics as well as the Suicide Squad.
The voice cast of Harley Quinn also includes Lake Bell (Wet Hot American Summer) as Poison Ivy; Rahul Kohli (iZombie) as Scarecrow; Sanaa Lathan (The Twilight Zone) as Catwoman; Diedrich Bader (Veep) as Batman; Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Veep) as Doctor Psycho; and Chris Meloni (Happy) as Commissioner Gordon.
Thedebuts on DC Universe on Nov. 29.