Harley Quinn Season 3 Might Dig Into the Realities of Gotham Being a Failed Police State

Jim Gordon murdering a bunch of criminals with a Gatling gun.
Jim Gordon murdering a bunch of criminals with a Gatling gun.
Screenshot: DC Universe/HBO Max

With its upcoming move to HBO Max, the R-rated Harley Quinn series’ third season has a chance to both continue telling one of the most heartfelt (though gory) stories about its titular antiheroine and her gang of villain goons and potentially hit even harder than DC Universe might have allowed.


Though it’s not clear just when Harley Quinn’s creative team will actually begin production, co-creators Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern already have a couple of solid-ass ideas as to where to take things that won’t just be another swear-filled rehash of what the show’s already done. In a recent interview with Deadline, the pair explained how—after exploring what it means to get out of a toxic relationship, and then following that up with a Harley-centric arc about how one goes about seeking out what it is they truly want in a romantic partner—they envision Harley Quinn taking a moment to pivot to Harleen’s newest (and arguably most appropriate) love interest: Poison Ivy.

“We spent two years digging into Harley, and Ivy was her own character, but her stories were told mostly in relation to Harley,” Halpern said. “So, I think in this third season, it’d be interesting to flip that, and dig deeper into Ivy and her life, and tell some stories through her point of view.”

Beyond Ivy, though, Schumacker and Halpern both see big opportunities to shine more light on Harley Quinn’s higher-profile supporting characters like Jim Gordon, particularly given how the GCPD’s rampant corruption smacks very heavily of the kinds of real-world police brutality that’s dominated the news cycle for the past few years especially. In addition to Schumacker’s belief that they’ve got an opportunity to ape some of the recent demonstrations of police being completely out of touch with (and having lost the trust of) their communities, in Gordon, Halpern sees a chance to question how a cop reconciles with the idea that their organization has completely let a city down.

“It’s like having Gordon deal with the reality of, policing in Gotham has completely failed, and him realizing, ‘What is this new system that we need to put in, in order to effectively police Gotham,’ and is he even capable of it,” Halpern explained. “Because the system is so fucked up. Gotham’s a terrible place to live. I mean, if you think of all of the cities in comic book lore, can you think of a worse major city to live in than Gotham?”

With the covid-19 pandemic still giving the industry an organizational pummeling, it’s not exactly clear when Harley Quinn might end up debuting, but Halpern and Schumacker hope to see it premiere at some point in 2021 on HBO Max.


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Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.



Mega-City-One seems like a worse place to live than Gotham.

But, I mean, really, any city in the D.C. Universe seems like a bad place to be with walking psychotic weapons of mass destruction and evil aliens or robots blowing shit up every week.

The U.S. Government should be bankrupt from all the rebuilding they’ve had to do.