Next week, after drawing lots of early praise via screenings at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con earlier this year, the adult-oriented animated series Harley Quinn will finally land on the DC Universe streaming series. Harley, who's risen to become one of the most popular characters in DC Comics since her inception, was born in animation, but seeing her triumphant return to the format where she originated isn't the only reason to tune in.
This time around, just months before she's set for more live-action mayhem in Birds of Prey, we're getting a more mature, irreverent Harley Quinn (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) who's eager to break free of her ties to the Joker and launch a criminal mastermind career of her own. With a little help from her best pal Poison Ivy (Lake Bell), Harley's out to recruit her own team of bad guys, and because this series is leaning hard into the comedy behind the character, hilarity will ensue.
With just days to go before everyone can see the series premiere, reviews are starting to pour in, and it looks like the solid buzz the show built with its con appearances over the last few months will continue right up to its first episode. According to critics, Harley Quinn is reason enough to shill out for a DC Universe.
Here's the critical rundown:
"But for now, DC Universe has landed itself a must-see series: Harley Quinn, a very R-Rated animated series that successfully takes the piss out of the entire Batman mythos, conjuring up a hilarious, irreverent piece of pop entertainment," Chris Evangelista of Slashfilm wrote.
"As Harley’s profile’s grown larger across Warner Bros.’ brand, the concept of who Harley is has only grown more complicated and sometimes difficult to follow (in a good way). What this new series does most effectively is synthesize a huge chunk of the big Harley ideas into a concise jumping-off point for newcomers that’ll also delight longterm fans," Charles Pulliam-Moore of io9 wrote.
"Harley Quinn is shaping up to be another worthy addition to the slowly growing DC Universe library. While the show's more R-rated elements feel superfluous, the wacky humor and the deep portrayal of Harley and her relationship with Poison Ivy is more than enough to justify a watch. If you've ever wondered what an adults-only version of Batman: The Brave and the Bold might be like, this is your show," Jesse Schedeen of IGN said.
"All of the familiar draws of DC animated hit are here—the snappy dialogue, the bold (and quasi-gruesome) action—but what makes this series uniquely appealing is that it’s a perfectly viable starting point for old and new fans alike," Shannon Miller of The AV Club noted. "Because as Harley herself would be quick to tell you, this is her brand new origin story—and this time she’s writing it herself."
"Overall, Harley Quinn is as violent as they come. But, it’s also very silly and highly entertaining," Merrill Barr of Forbes wrote. "Is it going to be a break-out phenomenon? No. But does it hit every mark it’s shooting for with pinpoint precision? 100%."
"The 13-episode first season, which premieres on DC Universe later this month, does right by its titular character (and all of the corners of DC Comics that it touches) with a season of television that's absurd, authentic, and genuinely hilarious," Jenna Anderson of ComicBook wrote.
So, if you were looking for a reason to get excited about Harley Quinn's arrival, these reviews should be help you along. If you were already excited for the series, you probably won't be able to press play fast enough.
Harley Quinn arrives November 29 on DC Universe.