The streaming service DC Universe is about to unleash one of its most bizarre and funniest original series yet. The adult animated series Harley Quinn comes to the app on November 29. During New York Comic-Con, executive producers Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker talked to us about the upcoming show and bringing something exceptionally funny–and violent–to DCU.
The new animated series follows Harley Quinn–voiced by Kaley Cuoco–who was once Joker’s right-hand woman. Now, she’s on her own and working with bestie Poison Ivy–voiced by Lake Bell. Harley sees things from a very different perspective than other people, which causes her to have some delusional moments during the series. However, Halpern and Schumacker turn the tragedy that was once her life into comedy, and sometimes, it goes a bit far.
“I think we made sure to be really respectful towards the characters… The heroes,” Schumacker explained to GameSpot. “They’re seen through Harley’s eyes, so they’re a little bit buzzkill. But I also think like the show doesn’t punch down. [I’ve] seen a lot of people lately been like, ‘Whoa, what can you make fun of?’ Everything’s PC.’ I think that’s false, and you can tell when you’re punching down versus punching up, which I think is much better. And also just makes for smarter comedy. And so I think the show never punches down. Well maybe not never, but most, almost never.”
One of the characters that gets a lot of laughs is the Batman villain Kite Man, who has a large part in the series. “There’s so much Kite Man in the show,” Schumacker explained. “His role just grows larger and larger and larger as the show goes on. I know he’s got like a really tragic backstory in the Tom King [Batman] run, but he’s just inherently funny because he doesn’t have any powers. He just has a kite.
“To us it was like we love those characters that have this like unearned sense of confidence and so we just played that up. We sort of played him as this guy who is crazy… Like the stand in for like dudes who you see who have made a career out of just being confident. It was a perfect juxtaposition of Harley who is like trying to ascend the levels of Gotham’s major super villains and constantly like second guessing and working so hard. And then this dude to just assume that he already is the top of the food chain.”
Halpern went on to explain that there is a redemption arc for the character throughout Season 1. “He starts off, [and] he’s kind of a douche, hits on Ivy all the time,” he explained. “You know, and his heart’s in the right place, but he’s not a… His shtick has not aged well let’s say.”
Speaking of not aging well, Kite Man has a few inappropriate and hilarious moments coming down the line, which Schumacker detailed. “He does [something] very inappropriately after someone’s wife dies,” he explained. “They say, ‘Oh my God! My wife!’ He [impersonates Borat and replies] ‘My wife!’ And it’s really inappropriate in that moment.”
You can see more and more Kite Man in the upcoming Harley Quinn animated series, coming to DC Universe on November 29. Also, check out our impressions of a clip shown at NYCC and the first episode in the video above.