Harley Quinn: Another Sharkley Adventure

The team up nobody asked for…

Whatever you might expect from the Harley Quinn cartoon, you’ll probably be wrong. The show is utterly unpredictable, and they take full advantage of not being connected to any wider continuity. Currently, Ivy’s big plans for her next act of eco-terror are on hold with her friend/test subject Frank being missing. Last time, they discovered that Frank had been captured by, of all people. Bruce Wayne, although they somehow still haven’t managed to figure out Bruce is Batman. Or maybe they have. It’s hard to tell on this show at times. They are taking steps to try and rescue Frank, while King Shark has his own issues in “Another Sharkley Adventure.”

The show opens with, amusingly, Harley watching a show. The talk show that keeps popping up here, Tawny, has a very different take on Bat-villain Ratcatcher, who clearly is nothing at all like either version that was in The Suicide Squad movie. Ivy is still probing the mystical force known as the Green to try and find Frank, but is both not having much success and wearing herself out. Harley is remarkably solicitous about Ivy’s health (their relationship is the closest thing to a healthy one on this series), and then pushes Selina for more information about Bruce. Harley hatches a plan, but ends up having to go it alone when everyone else has various excuses to not come along.

Down in the Batcave, this version of Bruce continues to be a kind of pathetic joke, moping around in a hoodie and playing a guitar (since when did he do that?). Both Batgirl and Nightwing try and rouse him out of his semi-stupor into action, and Batgirl lays out a good case that an old foe is back. Bruce doesn’t want to hear it, and slouches off. Harley gets set to go on her new job, and we learn that King Shark has to go home to attend to a few duties following the passing of his father. Harley uses some unique blackmail to get a tiny bit of support from Selina, and sets off.

At the gala she’s sneaking into, Harley does some recon, Bruce gets pestered by paparazzi, and there’s an unexpected Looney Tunes cameo. Down in the land of the shark people (if it has a name, I’ve never gotten it), King Shark attends a funeral and an official ceremony. His brother (also never given a name, listed in the credits as Brother Prince Shark), takes the throne, and then shares his plan with King Shark, who is startled to say the least.

Harley’s infiltration goes a bit off the rails when she runs into Batgirl. They have both hero/villain tension and sort-of friendship issues, which they work through by both arguing and actually physically fighting. Their beating on each other gets interrupted when they run into a new arrival that they’re too distracted to deal with properly. Under the sea, King Shark (are we still going to call him that if he’s relinquished the crown?) tries to talk his brother out of his plan, and we get another villain guest star as Ocean Master makes an appearance and reveals his part in things.

Harley and Batgirl end up captives of yet another villain, and there’s some unusual monologuing. Then, Harley talks her way out of the mess and leaves Batgirl behind. Trying to go on with her original plan, Harley gets a visit from her conscience, and their discussion is entertaining. Finally, Harley talks herself into going back to help, frees Batgirl, and kills off yet another Bat-foe. This show has a really high mortality rate. I’m amazed Bane is still alive. King Shark finally takes action to stand up for his people, and a bloody fight ensues. Things are going to get a lot more complicated for King Shark after this mess ends, and Ocean Master will need to replace part of his costume.

Bruce is acting utterly unlike himself, and ends up being easy prey for Harley. There are a few more bits that make him look like even more of a joke, and then Selina takes off, wanting no part of this, but not for any reasons that work for any other incarnations of her character. I suspect next episode isn’t going to go well for Bruce.

What I Liked: I enjoy a lot of the humor on this show. Ron Funches as King Shark is always entertaining. He’s often overshadowed by the others, especially Alan Tudyk as Clayface and/or the Joker, so it was nice to give him some time in the spotlight. The Looney Tunes cameo was entertaining. Even if he didn’t actually do anything, I always enjoy seeing Nightwing.

What I Didn’t: Even if Batgirl failed to convince Batman to help her, there’s no real reason Nightwing wouldn’t have. I don’t much care for this portrayal of either Bruce or Selina. If they keep killing Batman’s Rogues, they’re going to run out of potential guest stars.

It was an ok episode. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. Hopefully Bruce snaps out of things, at least a little, next time around.

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