Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #177 by Drew Barth
wrote last week about the Jurassic League and the ways in which those designs and characters reminded me of toy tie-ins from the 90s. And that just led me to the Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: The Eat, Bang! Kill Tour and how that tie-in series reminded me of the animated Batman series from the 90s as well. What Tee Franklin, Max Sarin, Erich Owen, Marissa Louise, and Taylor Esposito made starts as bridge between the second and third season of the Harley Quinn animated series, but we’re also given one of the most in-depth character studies of Poison Ivy and her relationships in comics.
From its first page, The Eat, Bang! Kill Tour is season two-and-a-half of the Harley Quinn animated series. We’re starting right at the car chase between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy and Commissioner Gordon and the entire Gotham City Police Department the second season ended on and immediately into the fallout from Poison Ivy and Kite-Man’s botched wedding. Even if this is a Harley Quinn series, this is a story about Poison Ivy and everything that has been mentally following her throughout the animated series. We see the doubts, regrets, and ultimate acceptance of herself all the while her and Harley drive from Gotham to Blüdhaven to Detroit and annoy any hero or villain in their vicinity. And while Gordon tries to drag them back to Gothamn.
What makes The Eat, Bang! Kill Tour work, though, is the efforts from Franklin, Sarin, Owen, Louise, and Esposito. The whole series feels less like a tie-in for a cartoon than a love letter for every single character we see. But no more so than for Poison Ivy. While this is Harley’s series, this is Ivy’s story. As we’re going directly from the animated series, we get a bit of Ivy’s internal struggles with her insecurities and the doubts about whether or not she’s made the right choice in staying with Harley, but that becomes the main through-line of this comic. Her growth from the continual doubt or the ways in which she lashes out as a result of those doubts only lets that eventual moment of self acceptance shine all the brighter. And that all of this is her pushing herself to do them with Harley, that this isn’t a journey to take alone, really helps to make that point of self-acceptance stick.
If The Eat, Bang! Kill Tour does anything, it makes me want that third season of Harley Quinn to come even sooner. But as a comic that ties into the series, this one does something many don’t and that’s it helps to really expand the world and the characters of the series. It isn’t simply another episode or something that slots in-between adventures, it’s a continuation, and the rest of the animated series will pick up from that point. And I do really hope that all of the character work we saw in this comic series will follow into its animated counterparts.
Get excited. Get tied.
Drew Barth (Episode 331, 485, & 510) resides in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.
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