Here's a little overview on the show, "The Batman" and its version of Harley Quinn in her debut episode, Two of a Kind, with some thoughts and observations of mine. A whole slew of pics at the bottom!

"The Batman" is the latest animated incarnation of the Bats Universe.

This radical and stylish looking series has done a great many new things with the established Batman Universe, earning raves from the critics but mixed reactions from fans.

Of particular controversy, is the often radically different interpretation of the key villains - both in design and story background.

So what about its Harley Quinn?

She didn't show up until the fourth season, but when she did, it was a killer!

True to form with this show, this Harley was quite a different Harley to the one we're familiar with.

Getting her psychology degree on the Internet, with her classic good looks and propensity to exploit, she became a popular and famous phone-in psychologist on her own show: Heart-2-Heart with Harley. Like most trash television talk shows, it's really not that much about helping people as entertaining the audience. The Joker becomes her biggest fan as he watches her show, stating: "Pop psychology at its worst! That girl's theories are unfounded, her professional manner's a joke and her training, if any, is shoddy at best. I love this show! "

After her producers threaten to pull the plug on her show, she gets billionaire Bruce Wayne to make an appearance and proceeds to humiliate him by bringing in one of his past dates, what she thinks will make good television. Mistah J is enjoying the show and phones in with his own opinion. Unfortunately, the producers are not so impressed and Harley's show is axed - live on air!.
Punch and Judy, Joker's henchmen in this series, have just been arrested and he decides Harley is perfect for his new assistant, being vulnerable and on the edge now. So he makes a house call, showing up with a balloon and saying: "I'm your number one fan - I'm Mister J!"

the batman hq
Harley, ever the opportunist, sees the possibility of restarting her career, certain a whackjob like The Joker will give her enough material to make her a sensation once more - and gain her the respect she craves. Mistah J isn't as keen, but he's impressed by Harley's savvy and smooth adaption to his lifestyle, controlling his hyenas with a mere: SIT.

But of course, Mistah J is always the manipulator and as he begins to wax lyrical about his woes, he hardly seems to be serious - the next time we see them, Harley is in the chair spilling her troubles to Joker.

The two have found a kinship. Joker asks her out and Harley hesitates, worrying about her reputation - so Joker provides her with a disguise, which is where we see Harley donning her new costume and assuming her new identity as Harley Quinn!

What follows is a wonderfully playful date, a montage of Joker and Harley causing mayhem and loving it, set to a rousing country tune 'Settin' the Woods on Fire', sung by Joker and Harley. All I can say is if this Joker took me out on a date like that, I'd be putty in his hands!

Unfortunately for Harley, the network execs have already got another show lined up in her slot - and it's an analysis of her descent from fraudulent pop psychiatrist to criminal madness! She and Joker waste no time in making their feelings known by crashing the show, but naturally, Batman shows up and thwarts them.

The episode ends with Joker making an escape and leaving Harley to the clutches of the cops. She's disillusioned with her puddin', but as she gets into the police car, one of her arresting officers sits on a whoopee cushion - with a note: "Dear Harley - keep on smilin'! Love, Mr. J".
Harley begins to laugh hysterically and The Joker's laughter can be heard rising up to join hers.


Harley VS Harley

First of all - this isn't "Harley Quinn" in the same way that The Joker of this show is not The Joker. It's a new interpretation of the character.

The most striking difference between this Harley and our usual Harley is her look - in keeping with the very angular, kooky and streamlined look of this show, this Harley seems more nutty and bizarre with her very lean body, oversized head and exaggerated eyes. It's a fantastic look!  She looks amazing and it really suits the overall mood of the show. The costume is more a checkerboard design and the diamonds are gone, but we've still got her trademark red and black.

The second is, her origin story. We all know how she came to be within B:TAS, and a very similar one was given her in mainstream, but this is quite a diversion.

People generally seem to think this is where the differences end, but I disagree. I think, again in keeping with her new origin, this Harley is a little more hard and calculating, far more experienced and less naieve. Her descent into madness happens far quicker and she more willingly snaps - I mean, it took months as Joker's psychiatrist at Arkham. Here it only takes one night. This Harley is a little meaner too and far less a people pleaser and doormat. She's got a thing for Mistah J, but it's not the same obsessive love as her other counterparts (well, yet anyway). She's quite a bit more assertive, although Joker is still very much the boss, and doesn't really become Harley because of Joker, but because she was on the edge anyway. Joker just gave her the little nudge she needed, not to mention the support. In B:TAS and mainstream, her reason for turning to crime was Joker. Here, it is her lust for revenge! This is a different Harley in many ways - still very kooky and nuts, but somehow also more grown-up and her world revolves more around herself and less around others (like Mistah J!)

People also say Hynden Walch gives an almost Arleen-like performance. I disagree strongly! This talented voice actress gives this new Harley a perfectly suited timbre, still with that Jersey twang (and even more exaggerated) but again with quite a bit more savvy and calculation than Arleen's almost innocent and playful tones. It's also more maniacal. It's a great vocal performance and again really suits this new interpretation of our beloved HQ.

Another big difference is her interaction with Joker. There is quite a different dynamic at work here - less D/s. This Joker is openly admiring of her new look, whistling loudly and panting enthusiastically. He's quite gallant as he offers her his hand and dances with her and they are very cozy as they unleash mayhem. He's more playful with her and looks to be really enjoying himself through their little date number, and encourages her shamelessly. Of course, the other Joker from regular continuity - who can be a harmless prankster when he feels like it - I has such moments with Harley as well, as we have seen. But this Joker seems less reluctant about it and more relaxed with it. Joker even steals her a diamond as a Valentine's gift and when she is too distracted by her anger at the network to notice it - he actually asks her what she wants! And then helps her fulfil it!! I like that this interpretation of Joker allows for us to have this glimpse.  It's a VERY different dynamic, but it really works in this context

To be honest, I don't understand why people are insisting this is so much like the original Harley, that the voice is pretty much identical, etc? and that they're glad and relieved about that. Quite frankly, for a show that diverges from the source material so much like The Batman, I WANT to see a new and different Harley. Not an inferior Harley, just a zesty new twist on a classic flavour - and I feel we've got her! It discredits Hynden's talents, Dini's skills and the overall approach of the show to claim satisfaction she's pretty much the same as B:TAS or mainstream Harley. She's not, and this new version is awesome! I've always said you can't improve on perfect, so you just gotta go in a different direction, and that's what we see with The Batman's Harley Quinn.

Definitely my favourite moment of this episode was the date montage. The song works beautifully with the wonderful scenes of maniacal trouble the two unleash and Richardson's voice work is so fabulous as he belts out the country classic. Plus I'm always a sucker for Joker and Harley cuddling!

This Joker refers to himself as Mr. J in this show, but of course we hear that Harley classic, and the other, "Puddin'", from her lips as well, not to mention the iconic: "Call me Harley - everyone does!" Another cute thing is Harley's little rhyming slogans:  "We want the juice, Bruce!"; "What's your query, deary?"; "What's cookin', good lookin'?" to name a few. It's so over the top and fun!

Now, this is a great episode overall and for that we can thank someone we thank a lot when it comes to awesome Harley & Joker action - Paul Dini! Yes, it was Mr. D who wrote this episode, making this his third Harley origin story!

He's done a fantastic job of adapting his baby into something new and different, yet still recognisable and lovable as HQ, to suit this new series.  The trick, of course, was to recreate her in a new way whilst retaining the general essence and vibe of the Harley Quinn we're used to - and I think he succeeded!

It is well worth a look, whatever your opinion of the show!



The Joker: Pop psychology at its worst! That girl's theories are unfounded, her professional manner's a joke and her training, if any, is shoddy at best. I love this show! The girl is more screwloose than me!

Harley: Everyone who has an online degree in psychology, please raise your hand! (raises hers)

Jimmy Herbert, Network Bigwig: This show is supposed to help people - you've turned it into a circus!
Harley: (gleeful) I KNOW!

Joker: (on phone) Evening Harley, Mr. J here, frequent watcher, frequent caller! Great show tonight!
Harley: Mr. J, my favourite caller!

Joker: Oh the poor kid - yanked in mid show - she'll be an emotional wreck. (devious) Someone should take advantage of that!

Harley: Face it, Harley. No one's ever going to take you seriously as a psychologist. They just can't see past my playful exterior!

Joker: I'm your number one fan! I'm? Mr. J.

Joker: I must admit, I'm surprised you'd want to hang out. Most ladies would find my lifestyle? eccentric.

Joker: Oh. So, you're stringing old Mr. J along just to write some tell all book?
Harley: I'll split the profits with you fifty-fifty.
Joker: (laughs) You've got moxie! ... I feed moxie to the hyenas.

Joker: There are worse names? I know. I've been called them.
Harley: Guess we got a few things in common, huh?

Joker: You know what two sad sacks like us need? A night on the town!
Harley: I don't know? that seems awfully unprofessional.
Joker: You can consider it research for your book!
Harley: But what if?
Joker: You're seen associating with a certified criminal whackjob?

Harley: Has anyone ever survived a night out with you?
Joker: There's a first time for everything!

Batman: Joker's a psychopath!
Harley: Better than what you are? a third wheel!

Harley: That's what I want! To get back at those jerks! I was trying to help people, and now I'm a bad guy?
The Joker: More of an accomplice, actually.

Harley: (to the network executives) So, you didn't like my show? Well, try this one! (calls the hyenas) When animals attack people I hate! It's a comedy!

Joker: You ordering me around? Don't go too far. I've indulged you only because it amused me!
Harley: Y-y-yes sir!
Joker: Hee hee, you little imp! I could never stay mad at you!
Harley: (gleeful) Eeeeee!

Settin' the Woods on Fire!

Comb your hair and paint and powder
You act proud and I'll act prouder
You sing loud and I'll sing louder
Tonight we're settin' the woods on fire

You're my gal and I'm your fella
Dress up in your frock of yeller
I'll look swell but you'll look sweller
Settin' the woods on fire

We'll take in all the honky tonks
Tonight we're having fun
We'll show the folks a brand new dance
That never has been done - HA!

I don't care who thinks we're silly
You'll be daffy and I'll be dilly
We'll order up two bowls of chilli
Settin' the woods on fire!

La la la la, etc?

Joker & Harley:
I don't care who thinks we're silly
You'll be daffy and I'll be dilly
We'll order up two bowls of chilli
Settin' the woods on fire!