If you couldn’t tell by the cover, Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: Legion of Bats! continues to make Harley and Ivy’s relationship the focal point of the series. This issue is exactly what it says on the tin, with about the entire first half being devoted to the two going on a shopping date together. It’s as saccharine as ever, with constant displays of affection and conversations about how much they love each other. They even have an extended montage of trying on outfits. There’s not much to say here except that once again if this is the kind of light, fluffy content you’re looking for, then look no further.
Shae Beagle’s art is very fitting for the writing style and tone. It’s cartoonish, but specifically in such a way that everyone’s faces are emphasized with giant eyes and mouths. That puppy dog look works when the comic spends a good chunk of its time having its two protagonists making goo-goo eyes at each other. The fluid and bubbly linework also helps sell the romance, with Harley and Ivy almost melting into one another as they embrace.
If there’s one source of conflict during this portion of the story, its the continuation of Harley’s struggle with being a hero while her girlfriend is a villain. Like I said in my previous review, this was her primary personal drama in the last season of the show, and I can’t imagine that we’re going to see it resolved in a meaningful way in a spin-off comic. It’s similar to the problem that I thought Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour had, where it feels the need to readdress the conflicts of the previous season, but is forced to spin its wheels on the matter because something that important can only be resolved in the next season. I imagine Ivy’s subplot of forming the Ladies and Nonbinaries of Doom will run into the same issue.
This issue, however, does get a chance to kick off its own plot, separate from the show. Nightwing and Batgirl investigate an attack by Lady Firefly, leading them to uncover a conspiracy by Black Mask. It’s a fun sequence, with good banter between Nightwing and Batgirl as they race off to help. The fight itself is exciting and well drawn, even if it doesn’t last very long. Beagle effectively keeps the action flowing from panel to panel, and Lee Loughridge’s colors really make good use of Lady Firefly’s flames to build drama.
The whole sequence is fairly simple and straightforward so that it can fit easily within this issue, but gives just enough hints as to the larger story to pique your interest. My only complaint is that it’s not made very clear how they know where to go or why they think the information on the victim’s sister is relevant. It’s almost like there are a couple panels of context missing.
The comic manages to tie the Black Mask plotline into Harley and Ivy’s story at the end, so I’m hoping we get to see more of it moving forward. It’s low stakes enough that this series can meaningfully focus on it without stepping on the toes of the show. That’s where I think these spinoffs shine. Have it be set in the world of the source material, but make the focus be on an original story/conflict so that it doesn’t struggle to be a part of the show’s plot while not meaningfully affecting it.
- You want more cute scenes of Harley and Ivy being a couple
- Crime-fighting action is something you think this comic could use more of
- You like your comics simple, sweet, and irreverent
Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: Legion of Bats! #2 splits its time between light romance and setting up the main plot for the series. For the most part it succeeds. It continues to struggle with handling the show’s conflicts without being allowed to resolve them, but when it gets to focus on its own story it manages to be sweet while still providing a fun adventure for the characters.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.