Harley Quinn Comic Makes The HBO Show’s Trippiest Scene More Tragic


Warning! Spoilers ahead for Harley Quinn: The Animated Series – The Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour #5!

The comic that is possibly giving fans a sneak peek of the upcoming third season of HBO Max’s Harley Quinn series just revisited the episode when Harley’s friends enter her mind, except now it’s Poison Ivy exploring her own memories – and it’s more tragic. But while it’s just as trippy as the episode, it becomes even more poignant.

In the TV series, Dr. Psycho uses his telepathic powers to transfer himself and his friends out of their now-unconscious bodies into Harley’s mind after she suffers a paralyzing identity crisis. The comic, meanwhile, sees Poison Ivy zone out while she’s in the middle of a conversation and undergo a similar type of experience in Harley Quinn: The Animated Series – The Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour #5 by writer Tee Franklin, artist Max Sarin, colorist Marissa Louise and letterer Taylor Esposito.

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Poison Ivy is also having her own kind of crisis much like Harley was in the TV show. Rather than contending with multiple personalities, Ives is struggling with how her past has negatively impacted her relationship with Harley to the point where she could lose her. Luckily, Poison Ivy doesn’t face her demons alone. She’s accompanied by Harley’s alter ego Harleen Quinzel and her foul-mouth giant mutated Venus flytrap named Frank. Together in Ivy’s mind, they witness how much her father tormented her as a child. Ivy doesn’t stand idly by, however. She first comforts her younger self and then terrorizes her cruel abuser before Frank beats her father to a bloody pulp. Although this sounds like a happy ending, Ivy doesn’t experience the same epiphany as Harley does during her own self-exploration.

In the TV show, the flawed Harley comes across a glitched memory of her origin story and eventually visits a place known as Repressed Memory Island. There, Harley learns that she voluntarily chose to jump into the chemicals that transformed her into her villainous persona, contrary to her original belief that Joker had pushed her. This realization empowers Harley’s character during a time when she is trying to find a new identity for herself post-Joker. The repressed memory is a gift to Harley because it proves she chose her own destiny rather than it being chosen for her by her abuser. This eventually helps Harley get over Joker and the trauma she sustained. Without this discovery, her journey would have been much more difficult.

Poison Ivy’s journey, meanwhile, doesn’t disprove her past. There isn’t some repressed memory that she could uncover that would miraculously reveal that everything isn’t as bad as she thinks. Her father is still a colossal jerk, and she did suffer exceedingly as a result. And even though Poison Ivy comforts her past self in her  mind, she doesn’t actually time travel back in time and help an actual person. But what she does gain from the experience is hope – hope that her relationship with Harley Quinn can survive her past trauma that causes her to shut Harley out. When her father tries to take hope away from her, Poison Ivy just sics Frank on him. Everything now depends on Poison Ivy herself. Her past is still very much as messed up as it always was, so she actually needs to overcome those demons if she wants to save her relationship with Harley Quinn.

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