Review

Harley Quinn – DC Universe Series Review

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HARLEY QUINN

Studio: DC Universe, Warner Bros. Animation
Air Date: Debuts Nov. 29, 2019 on DC Universe, new episodes air weekly every Friday.


Description: Harley Quinn puts everyone’s favorite Gotham villainess front and center as Harley has finally broken things off with the Joker and attempts to make it on her own as the criminal Queenpin of Gotham City. Voicing the title role of Harley Quinn, Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) leads an all-star comedic voice cast which includes Lake Bell (Bless This Mess), Alan Tudyk (Doom Patrol), Tony Hale (Veep), Ron Funches (Powerless), JB Smoove (Spiderman: Far From Home), Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Diedrich Bader (Veep), Chris Meloni (Happy!), Jim Rash (Community), Wanda Sykes (Black-ish) and so many more. Harley Quinn is produced by Ehsugadee Productions in association with Warner Bros. Animation, with executive producers Kaley Cuoco, Sam Register, Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Dean Lorey.


Watch the trailer in the player above!


Harley Quinn Series Review
By James Harvey

Fun, wacky and gleefully absurd, Harley Quinn perfectly captures what has made the Harlequin of Crime one of DC Comics’ most popular characters today, even if it leans a little too heavy on the foul language and gratuitous violence on occasion. Factoring in every DC Comics animated product to date, be it a series or movie, Harley Quinn is easily one of the most slapstick, dirtiest, craziest releases ever and, thankfully, it works … for the most part. There’s a lot of pressure on this series, it being the first real original animated title for the DC Universe streaming service, but Harley Quinn and her merry crew of ne’r-do-wells prove they are definitely up to the challenge.

The series kicks off with Harley Quinn finally breaking things off with the Joker for the last time, following the Clown Prince again leaving her behind to take the fall for their latest violent (and quite gruesome) caper. Determined to emancipate herself from the Joker’s shadow, Harley sets out to become the criminal Queenpin of Gotham City and to finally nab a spot in the Legion of Doom. She’s not alone in her surprisingly empowering-feeling journey, joined primarily by Poison Ivy and her sentient house plant Frank, along with a who’s who of some of DC Comics’ biggest bad guys.

Please note this review focuses primarily on the first episode, “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” but also includes spoiler-free references to Episodes #2 – 13.

Pulling inspiration from everything – including Batman: The Animated Series and her assorted comic books, specifically from DC Comics’ The New 52 and Rebirth eras – and then tossing it in a blender, Harley Quinn gleefully revels in farcical, almost campy world it’s created for itself. The foul language is near constant, sometimes excessively so, and the violence is something akin to Looney Tunes, just usually accompanied with a plenty of blood. The body count in the first episode alone is in the low double digits, easy. And while this all seems absolutely out of control and chaotic (and rightfully so), Harley Quinn‘s title character serves as a suitable anchor throughout all the chaos. While she’s responsible for a fair chunk of it, granted, her character helps the viewer make sense of just how bonkers the world she inhabits actually is.

Like the character she voices, Kaley Cuoco just breaks out as Harley Quinn. Not only does she sound perfect as this iteration of the fan-favorite character, but she also gives one heck of a performance. Just be warned, don’t expect her to sound like Arleen Sorkin (Batman: The Animated Series or Tara Strong (the Batman: Arkham series), Cuoco does her own unique take. She brings the right amount of unbridled life to the role, and easily commands as the series’ lead. By her side is Lake Bell, perfectly cast as Poison Ivy, Harley’s partner on this madcap journey. Ivy is such a crucial part to this series that maybe they should’ve considered calling it Harley & Ivy. These two, who make an excellent comedic duo, lead an absolutely incredible cast, which includes Diedrich Bader back under the cowl as Batman, Chris Meloni as a crazed, obsessed Commissioner Gordon, and Alan Tudyk as The Joker and Clayface. And that’s honestly a fraction of this series’ amazing and hilarious supporting cast. The series itself is led by creators Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Dean Lorey, all of whom worked together on the short-lived DC Comics-based NBC Sitcom Powerless. Every member of the show’s cast and crew seem to all be on the same page on what type of crazy cartoon this is, and it shows (rest assured, in a good way).

Based on just the first episode alone, this show holds a lot of promise, especially given its sense of unpredictability. While we know Harley’s set goal for the season, to step out of the Joker’s spotlight and join the Legion of Doom, we have no idea how that show is going to get there. It feels like anything can happen, and that’s the excitement you need a series like this to project. Things are going be unpredictable and it’s going to be fun, and that’s exactly the right impression Harley Quinn needs to give. The first episode sets all this up nicely, and it’s legitimately entertaining, even if it starts off a little bit wobbly.

Essentially, Harley Quinn‘s first episode is a solid foundation to start a new on, but there are some potential cracks at the base. While the over-the-top foul language and violence do actually elicit some laughs, it can get occasionally get excessive and distracting, especially given how light-hearted the show tends to be. The same can be somewhat said about the violence, too, but the show’s target audience likely won’t have an issue with it for the most part. However, the novelty of it all is in danger of wearing off quickly if the show leans into them too much. Be prepared for lots of blood, people biting things, getting bludgeoned, shot, set on fire and … well, the list goes on. But, honestly, it’s part of the draw and it’s perfectly suited to how comically insane Harley’s world is. There’s plenty of great gags, jokes and amazing performances, and, like the title character, Harley Quinn is smarter than it lets on, so prepared for some legitimate surprises.

Character designs in Harley Quinn are fantastic and are clearly inspired by DC Comics’ recent comic book output. Once she does away with the Batman: The Animated Series-created jester look, Harley dons a costume that’s ripped right from the character’s The New 52 rebooted look. It looks first-rate, though, as does the entire cast, thanks to the fantastic work by character designer Shane Glines (Justice League Action, Batman: The Animated Series) and animator Jennifer Coyle (DC Super Hero Girls, The Spectacular Spider-Man). The design for the frazzled, unhinged Commissioner Gordon is a personal favorite. For the rest of the cast, everyone is immediately identifiable with slight exaggerations or tweaks made to make them fit seamlessly into the show’s twistedly cartoonish style. Batman’s design, based on his armored-inspired look from The New 52, is perhaps a shade too busy, though.

The animation does right by the character designs, too, for the most part. Like the recent season of Young Justice: Outsiders, budgetary and resources constraints are pretty evident. Movements aren’t as smooth as they should be, and big action pieces are usually jerky and choppy, or lack the ‘oomph’ they should have. However, during the less action-intensive scenes, everything looks fine. Characters are expressive, thanks to the stellar design work, and aren’t as stiff as they are during some of the show’s bigger moments. It’s a mixed bag to be sure, but honestly, the roughness of the animation from time to time actually kind of adds to the show’s charm.

And while this review is focused on just the first episode, its worth noting that the remaining episodes in this first 13-episode are just as good, if not better. The story takes on a surprisingly serial nature, with just enough progression week-to-week mixed in with the new subplots and B-stories that pop up a long the way. And not only that, and akin to the likes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold or Justice League Action, this series actually pulls deep from the DC Comics lore and lovingly embraces it, though not without putting it through the ringer once or twice. There’s also a host of reoccurring characters and gags that are ridiculously hilarious and 13th episode cliffhanger that is guaranteed to surprise the heck out of the audience.

Harley Quinn, all things considered, is another win for the DC Universe streaming service. It’s a fun, crazy series littered with blood, gore and violence, but it’s also oddly upbeat and even positive. Harley is making her way in the world after breaking free of The Joker, but this world just happens to be a chaotic mess (it is Gotham City, after all). The over-the-top language and violence will be deterrents for some viewers looking, and it’s easy to understand why. It does sometimes feels a little too superfluous. However, those looking for some more adult-oriented animated adventures of their favorite Gotham City denizens will find plenty to like here. Cuoco, giving it her absolute all, leads an incredibly talented cast of actors, and the material they have to work with it pretty clever for the most part. Like the title character herself, Harley Quinn is leading DC Comics into uncharted animated territory and it’ll be intriguing to see where it goes. Recommended!

Harley Quinn is available on the DC Universe streaming service, with new episodes debuting every Friday. Continue below for additional images!



Click on the thumbnails for a closer look!


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The World’s Finest Reviews “Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season,” “Teen Titans: The Complete Series” Blu-ray Releases

The World’s Finest has published reviews for the Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season and Teen Titans: The Complete Series Blu-ray titles from Warner Archive, both of which are available for order now through WB Shop and most digital retailers. In short, both titles come highly recommended to own!

Briefly, Warner Archive’s Blu-ray release of Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season is simply excellent, offering up the best presentation available for the new season of Young Justice, and including some genuinely interesting bonus content. In fact, this might very well be Warner Archive’s best Young Justice release date. For Teen Titans: The Complete Series, not only is the entire animated series presented in stylish HD available on Blu-ray, but the set also ports they key bonus content from the original DVD releases. It’s a fantastic collection, even with some of its minor issues. To read the complete reviews, click on the images below.


Teen Titans: The Complete Series


Young Justice: Outsiders - The Complete Third Season

Warner Archive and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment describes the collections as follows:

Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season (Nov. 26)
Our heroes have survived the schemes of the Light and saved the Earth from the Reach Invasion – but the worst has yet to come. Now someone is kidnapping teens and transforming them into super-powered weapons! Meta-Human trafficking is a terrifying threat to a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy. Now Nightwing, Superboy, Miss Martian, Tigress, Aqualad and Black Lightning will need help from a new group of young heroes to save the world from the war games of Super-Villains controlling the system from the inside. What’s needed … is a team of Outsiders.

Teen Titans: The Complete Series (Dec. 3)
It’s a full plate of crime-fighting and chaos as Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy go up against killer villains such as Brother Blood, Mad Mod and their archenemy Slade. Get ready for all the big battles and unbreakable bonds that make these friends the unstoppable Teen Titans!

The Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season and Teen Titans: The Complete Series Blu-ray collections, released through Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s specialty label Warner Archive, are available for order now through WB Shop and most digital retailers. And for more Young Justice videos, images, reviews and content, keep checking out the The World’s Finest Young Justice subsite! Keep checking back for select updates for Teen Titans right here, as well. Stay tuned for further news and content from Young Justice right here at The World’s Finest

Discuss Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season at The DC Animation Forum!

Discuss Teen Titans: The Complete Series at The DC Animation Forum!

The World’s Finest also recently reviewed the Harley Quinn DC Universe animated series debut, which can be found here, and Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond, a massive hardcover tome that, in short, is basically a must-own for fans. Click here to check out the review!

You can also share your thoughts on social media via The World’s Finest Twitter and Facebook pages!

The World’s Finest “Batman Beyond: The Complete Series – Deluxe Limited Edition” Blu-ray Set Review

The World’s Finest has published its review of the Batman Beyond: The Complete Series – Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray release, now available for purchase through traditional and digital retail outlets. In short, if you want to watch the best possible presentation of Batman Beyond, this hefty Blu-ray collection is your ticket. The HD remaster is genuinely stunning, bursting with details and amazing colors. Even the “smart rezzed” episodes look solid, considering the circumstances. Plus, the included bonus content is absolutely staggering, and the exclusive extended featurettes are both fantastic – especially the nearly hour-long creatives roundtable discussion. To read the complete review, click on the image below.

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment describes the collection as follows:

The extraordinary Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition package features approximately 1,500 minutes of entertainment spread over four Blu-ray discs, plus the two bonus discs of enhanced content. In addition to a newly-remastered Blu-ray presentation of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, there are 15 featurettes on the bonus discs, highlighted by two new inside looks at the beloved television series, led by Nostalgic Tomorrow, a gathering of Batman Beyond production talent and cast led by executive producer Bruce Timm and actors Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle, the voices of Batman and Terry McGinnis, respectively. The bonus discs also spotlight four episodes with audio commentary from Timm and select members of the production team.

Collectibles within the stunning packaging include an exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko POP, and four beautifully-designed lenticular art cards produced especially for Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series Limited Edition. This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 50,000.

The Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray collection is now available for purchase through traditional and digital retail outlets. Stay tuned for further updates and content from Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Limited Edition right here at The World’s Finest

Plus, check out the Batman Beyond subsite right here at The World’s Finest for a wealth of content, including extensive interviews, reviews, images, videos, special easter eggs, exclusive content and so much more. Also, click here for a review of last year’s Batman: The Complete Animated Series – Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray collection.

Clicl here to discuss the Batman Beyond: The Complete Series – Deluxe Limited Edition at The DC Animation Forum!

The World’s Finest also recently reviewed Batman: The Definitive History of the Dark Knight in Comics, Film, and Beyond, a massive hardcover tome that, in short, is basically a must-own for fans. Click here to check out the review!

You can also share your thoughts on social media via The World’s Finest Twitter and Facebook pages!

The World’s Finest Reviews “Wonder Woman: Bloodlines,” New Clips, Images

The World’s Finest has published its review of DC Universe Movie’s Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, now available to own on digital and physical media, including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack. In short, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is an enjoyable trip through Amazonian Princess’ massive world. Both the movie and the characters look great, and the cast is on point. The story might not bring anything new to the table, and the dialogue is pretty ham-fisted at times, but it’s still a worthwhile journey with a satisfying destination. To read the complete review, click on the image below. New clips and images follow.


The World's Finest reviews Wonder Woman: Bloodlines

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment also provided a new clips and images from Wonder Woman: Bloodlines. The first clip features the birth of a powerful villain with the creation of Silver Swan (voiced by Marie Avgeropoulos of The 100 fame), the second a battle between the two. Check out the clips in the player below, followed by three images.

















Warner Bros. Home Entertainment describes Wonder Woman: Bloodlines as follows:

In Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, Amazon princess Diana of Themyscira chooses to save fighter pilot Steve Trevor and return him to his home in America – setting in motion one of Wonder Woman’s most captivating chapters. Fulfilling the role of both ambassador as well as protector, Diana soon earns the name Wonder Woman from the gracious people of Earth. Equally strong in body, heart and will, she makes it her mission to help a troubled young girl enlisted by a deadly organization known as Villainy, Inc., whose criminal members have their sights set on invading Themyscira, Diana’s paradise home. Prepare for a thrilling quest packed with brutal battles, mysterious mythology and endless wonder!

Check out the Wonder Woman: Bloodlines subsite here at The World’s Finest for additional videos, images and content. Stay tuned for additional updates on Wonder Woman: Bloodlines right here at The World’s Finest. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is available now on Digital, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Discuss Wonder Woman: Bloodlines at The DC Animation Forum!

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The World’s Finest Reviews “Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans”

The World’s Finest has published its review of the DC Animated Movie Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans, now available to own on physical and digital media. In short, Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans a goofy, enjoyable romp that 2003 Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! fans will undoubtedly enjoy. The movie is not just a welcome addition to both of these series, it’s also a love letter and tribute to the history of the DC Comics super team. To read the complete review, click on the image below.

The World's Finest reviews Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment describes Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans as follows:

In Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans, the comedic modern-day quintet takes on their 2003 counterparts when villains from each of their worlds join forces to pit the two Titan teams against each other. They’ll need to set aside their differences and work together to combat Trigon, Hexagon, Santa Claus (that’s right, Santa!) and time itself in order to save the universe.

Stay tuned for further select coverage on this Teen Titans Go! animated feature right here at The World’s Finest! Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans is now available on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD. Click the link below for more!

Discuss this news at The DC Animation Forum!

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