Image by way of Warner Media

If there have been a DC Comics competitors for “Character We’re Least Likely to See Get a Kinder, Gentler Makeover,” each hero and villain in your complete eighty-plus 12 months historical past of the corporate would in all probability are available in a distant second to Batman’s longtime arch-nemesis, The Joker. But the creators of HBO Max’s Harley Quinn are recognized for taking part in the wild playing cards. And their reimagining of Gotham’s clown prince of crime could also be one of many maddest takes but.

While Harley Quinn could lean into a few of the title character’s canon parts, comparable to her break-up with the Joker, and her romance along with her fellow “kind of a villain but actually not so much” companion, Poison Ivy, the collection isn’t afraid to discover some extra whimsical interpretations of the title character’s mates and foes. Thus we get a sweetheart, cardigan-wearing model of King Shark, a Nightwing with abandonment points, and a Commissioner Gordon who’s one cotter pin shy of utterly unhinged. It’s no surprise producers Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey selected a means left (or is it proper?) -of-center model of Gotham’s most terrifying legal.

“We started to feel with the Joker, ‘What can we do that we haven’t seen before with him?’” Halpern instructed Variety. “He’s such a larger-than-life character, and his dynamic with Harley is so specific, that if we kept him as ‘the Joker who she dumped,’ the character would just constantly want to get his vengeance. So this was a chance for us to go anywhere we want.”

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And go they do. But to not the edgiest of edges ever lorded over. Instead, the Quinn-verse model of the Joker has wrestled with some points, specifically being turned”regular” after being soaked in chemical substances solely to return to legal madness in a while in season two. And throughout his time as a daily joe, he met somebody, fell in love, turned a stepdad, and even took up meditation.

But he leaves all that behind when he turns into The Joker once more, proper? Turns out not a lot. Even although he returns to his lifetime of legal madness, this Joker legit fell in love along with his straitlaced household life and determined to embrace it as properly. According to Halpern:

“In the same way that Harley is in a good relationship now, we thought, ‘What are the effects of a good relationship on the Joker?’ This is a person who has only ever advocated for himself his entire life. He’s the most narcissistic manchild possible, and now there are other human beings that he loves, and wants to advocate for. How does that change, and what does that look like?”

— Justin Halpern

It’s all going to come back to a head with right now’s episode, whereby The Joker decides to… run for mayor so he can get his children right into a Spanish twin language program in school. Holy Parent Teacher Association, Batman! Who knew the Joker might sink so low?

Harley Quinn is at the moment streaming on HBO Max.

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