We're only two weeks into the release of the Harley Quinn animated series, which has brought an outlandish and hilarious take on the DC Universe to television screens. The adult-oriented series might largely revolve around its titular character (played by Kaley Cuoco), but it features cameos from a pretty wide array of DC heroes and villains. In the midst of the second episode of the series, fans were treated to one of the show's best, most self-aware portrayals yet -- James Adomian's take on Bane. Spoilers for the second episode of Harley Quinn, "A High Bar", below! Only look if you want to know!
The episode shows the fallout of Harley breaking up with The Joker (Alan Tudyk), which leads the latter to be a sort of laughing stock among Gotham and the Legion of Doom. In the series' opening scene, The Joker overhears a conversation between Bane and Scarecrow (Rahul Kohli), where they remark that Joker seems worse for wear after the break-up. Throughout this scene, Bane is seen drinking from a coffee mug that says "caffeine is my reckoning", and speaks in a way that is clearly an homage to Tom Hardy's portrayal of the character in The Dark Knight Rises.
The 2012 film is then alluded to again with a flashback sequence to Bane taking part in a trivia night, where the question of "Who has won the most games at Gotham Stadium?" is asked. Bane incorrectly guesses the Dallas Cowboys, and upon learning that he's wrong, remarks that he's "going to blow up Gotham Stadium". This, of course, is a tongue-in-cheek reference to one of The Dark Knight Rises' most iconic scenes, in which Bane does exactly that. As the episode goes along, Bane continues to evoke a similar energy to Hardy's portrayal of the character, albeit with much more hilarious results.
While making Bane funny certainly isn't a new concept, as Gail Simone brilliantly did so across her Secret Six run, Harley Quinn's take on the character definitely defies what general audiences are expecting.
"What we do with the Bane is far afield of past representations of Bane," co-creator Patrick Schumacker said in an interview with CBR. "We really focus in on Bane's softer side, his easily wounded side. He's the butt of a lot of jokes at the Legion of Doom. Joker kind of bullies him. So really just seeing a vast collection of villains that the show is able to portray. I mean, they gave us the entire sandbox to play with."
New episodes of Harley Quinn debut Fridays on DC Universe.