What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the DC Universe’s Harley Quinn “Riddle U”! The Harley Quinn season two premiere last week was a dark yet still hilarious entry back into this world. Same sense of humor, same brand of violence, but a whole new frontier to not only explore, but also tear down! With this being the second episode of the season, it was just as important that they pressed forward with the same level of entertainment and momentum that they hit the ground with in the premiere.
For Harley’s first move after deciding to take back Gotham, this one turned out to be pretty straightforward in contrast to what she went through taking down Penguin. Harley & Ivy go undercover as college students to take down Riddler, who’s made himself dean of the local university with sinister plans for students. From the minute I saw this was a thing, my excitement rose because so much can go wrong with these two trying to fit in at college. Obviously the first problem would be their age. The second problem of course is the fact that Harley is always a wild card when thrown into this kind of environment. Then you have someone like Ivy who just doesn’t assimilate into that scene very well. Aside from this, you really only had to take one look at the two to realize how bad they screwed up before stepping foot on the campus!
It was the perfect recipe for an enjoyable experience infiltrating a college campus. This isn’t to say that things got too crazy between them, but it was nice that almost every step of the way they kept running into close calls. This was probably one of those times where it would have served them better understanding what they were getting themselves into, but that’s just not something you expect from Harley. Instead it was a plan which simply relied on following base instincts.
This episode could also have easily been just Harley and Ivy, but I’m glad that they found a way to include the rest of the crew in what unfolded whether directly or indirectly. Let’s start with Clayface. This guy right here could have made us cringe with little effort for where he decided to place himself on this mission, but at the end of the day it was a brilliant move for the hilarity which came out of this role he took on. I mean, did anyone really think Clayface would pass up on the opportunity of a lifetime to play as a college girl? I didn’t think so. For once he put himself inside of a body which matched his personality and need to be in the spotlight. Surprisingly this worked very well when also able to get Harley and Ivy places they couldn’t have gotten to on their own. That said, this leaves us with Psycho and Shark. These two were a comical duo. They had nothing to do with the mission, but this didn’t stop them from finding something else productive to do.
With what they unleashed in this second season, it would be a waste not to find ways to explore this New Gotham. Those two were a perfect tour of a couple territories, and what made it so fun was the fact that they were not at all prepared for the kind of danger they could run into just picking up a single item. Yet with that said, this didn’t stop them from going to some extremes to beat the odds. I hated that we couldn’t see some of what they had to do to survive the experience, but at the very least it is good to know that these two are capable when push comes to shove.
What I loved most about this episode was the way they introduced us to Barbara Gordon in this animated world. I must say that aside from the very last second of that one Teen Titans animated movie, I have not been very impressed with the way that most dance around the use of Barbara. She’s there, she’s the commissioner’s daughter, and it is expected that if he is around that so is she finding some way to involve herself. This episode served as a unique origin to the character for the fact that it jumped her straight to a version where she wears her most current costume. I couldn’t argue with it since for the most part it was comic accurate.
Overall, DC Universe’s Harley Quinn “Riddle U” was a fun episode which proved that the shenanigans are far from stale going into this second season. While not as action-packed as the first episode, they reminded us once more that there can be a balance to even a show like this. Aside from that, an excellent comic accuracy, exploration of New Gotham, and use of the crew putting them in their element.