Review: Harley Quinn “Batman’s Back Man”


OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

After the show does a little ribbing at the audience, Bruce Wayne awakens from his months long coma to see Gotham in ruins, but while the drive to fight crime still burns within him, his body is still way out of commission. Luckily other heroes have risen in his place, such as Batgirl (who turns out is voiced by Briana Cuoco, Kaley Cucuo’s sister) and the Revolutionary War-themed “Macaroni”. Bruce’s return as Batman begins to kindle hope in Gotham’s citizens, but Alfred refuses to let go back into the fray until he’s all healed. In protest, Batman tries proving he’s ready by getting an Iron Man-type suit made by Lucius Fox to assist where his recovering body can’t.

Meanwhile, the Injustice League is down to just Two-Face and Bane, yet somehow Bane is kept at the bottom of the totem pole, even still having to sit in the folding chair. But once word of Batman’s return reaches them, Two-Face agrees to team up (though very clearly not acknowledging it publicly. Bane later runs into Batman in the metal suit, but easily overpowers the Dark Knight once he points out that Two-Face is still clearly running things. He leaves the battered bat to be killed by Two-Face’s goons, only for him to be saved by both Batgirl and the Macaroni, who is revealed to be Alfred. Batman learns to rely on his allies and tells Jim Gordon to trust Batgirl, not pointing out (or just not knowing) that she’s Jim’s daughter. And Two-Face sends Bane to…a hole? Which Bane apparently likes?

OUR TAKE

Harley takes a back seat this week to give us a fully Batman episode…which weirdly feels pretty natural. I mean, I’ve liked this portrayal of Batman in this series so far, which is helped by him being voiced by Diedrich Bader, reprising the role from the fan favorite “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” series. Though here, he’s more the adult in the room amongst the other characters, which is an interesting reversal of how parody superhero shows would portray a Batman type character (see Black Saturn from “Supermansion”). Though even with that dynamic established, it’s just as fun to see that this Bruce can be just as much of a goober as everyone else, most especially in how overeager he is to get back in the field. Also gotta give some credits for the genuinely surprising Alfred twist. If he had been a more British identity like “The Limey” or “Britman”, it would have given it away immediately, but they didn’t!

We also check in with the remaining two Injustice-ers, Bane and Two-Face. I’ve pointed out how this Two-Face seems rather flavorless compared to how the series has handled the other Bat Villains and taken their respective quirks to interesting comedic takes, but this Two-Face just comes off as “generic gangster” instead of the guy with two personalities that they could do quite a bit with. The reason for that became clear with this episode, as he is the only remaining villain who can work off of Bane as the straight man to both Bane’s exaggerated brutishness and lack of confidence. I’ve really dug how funny they’ve made Bane in this show, which this episode did a lot to add to while also making him legitimately threatening, but that still leaves Two-Face as the odd face out, so I’m not super looking forward to seeing him be the sole remaining bad guy. Though I’m sure he’ll be handled well enough, based on this show’s progress.

Lastly, the little framing device at the beginning with the two fanboys was a little worrisome at first, but I ultimately ended up enjoying it. This sort of ribbing is right up this show’s alley and pokes at stuff that I don’t think I have yet to see in official material, like the infamous and mythic “Snyder Cut” of the 2017 Justice League film. The reception to this gag seems to be pretty mixed across the board amongst fans who want that cut, with some being pissed and others seeing is as validation. Either way, it’s all in good fun and another sign that this show might just be the best original series on DC Universe. Though it’s good to see Harley will be back next week.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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