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DC Universe's Harley Quinn: First Trailer Reveals Vulgar, Violent Animated Series

This cartoon definitely isn't for kids.

At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, DC Universe drew back the curtain on its animated Harley Quinn series — a hard-R romp revolved around the eponymous off-the-rails rule-breaker in the aftermath of her break-up with the Joker — via the reveal of a fresh trailer.

Harley Quinn, voiced by The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco, endeavors to carve her own path of chaos and crime in the streets of Gotham without the shadow of her former flame (Firefly's Alan Tudyk) looming overhead. To do so, she crosses paths with major DC Comics players like Poison Ivy (Children's Hospital actress Lake Bell) and Catwoman (The Twilight Zone star Sanaa Lathan), as well as her New 52 pals Sy Borgman, Bernie, and Big Tony. Her ultimate goal? Become a member of the supervillain alliance known as the Legion of Doom. 

With hammers swinging, money falling, drinks clinking, punches and kicks and jabs flying, plus plenty of expletives being tossed around, the Harley Quinn trailer proves that anyone who tunes into the series will see the up-and-coming criminal Queenpin of Gotham City in a brand-new way. And, while they're at it, they'll get to catch Harley taking down famed DC comics vigilantes like Aquaman and Batman (Veep's Diedrich Bader), the crown jewel of Gotham and one of the biggest causes of Harley's headaches. 

Harley Quinn also features the voices of Rahul Kohli as Scarecrow, Tony Hale as Doctor Psycho, and Chris Meloni as Commissioner James Gordon. Rounding out the roster are Jason Alexander as Sy Borgman, Wanda Sykes as Tsarita (a.k.a. Queen of Fables), Ron Funches as Nanaue (a.k.a. King Shark), J. B. Smoove as Phil the Plant, Giancarlo Esposito as Lex Luthor, and Tom Kenny as Clayface's Hand. This kind of line-up, filled with funny actors and familiar names, will add a ton of sass and laughs to all the violence, helping balance the scales so audiences can giggle while watching bombastic gun fights and sordid smackdowns.

Though this isn't the first of Harley Quinn that we've seen (a fourth-wall-breaking teaser dropped during New York Comic-Con in October of 2018), it is the punchiest. The animated series clearly aims to inject a shot of adrenaline into viewers' veins with each episode. By the looks of this trailer, it seems Harley Quinn will only get wilder as the first season rolls out. 

Lead voice actress Cuoco, DC Universe's Harley Quinn, has teased that viewers are in for an R-rated ride when the show premieres. Writing in the caption of the Harley Quinn trailer she shared to her Instagram page, Cuoco said, "This show is gonna blow your minds! Way [too] much fun!!! (and a tad R-rated) #harleyquinn coming soon! @thedcuniverse #yesnormanproductions also the [Joker] has an emoji but Harley doesn't!!? She's gonna be pissed!"

The raunchy Harley Quinn animated series certainly feels like a shock to the DC system, but it actually comes after a few other legitimately R-rated animated projects based on DC Comics characters. Director Jay Oliva's 2017 feature Justice League Dark, based on the comic run by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin, rocked the R rating. So too did Sam Liu's Gotham by Gaslight, based on the comic book stories of the same name by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola. And let's not forget about Batman: The Killing Joke — a film whose source material features one of the most controversial moments in Batman history.

The most recent R-rated animated flick to come from Warner Bros. actually includes the Cupid of Crime herself. 2018's Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, directed by Sam Liu, sees Amanda Waller (voiced by Vanessa Williams) assembling a brand-new Task Force X roster, with Harley Quinn (voice actress extraordinaire Tara Strong) and co. hunting down Steel Maxum (Greg Grunberg) and snagging the coveted "Get Out of Hell Free" card. 

So, while DC Universe's upcoming Harley Quinn show is certainly going to drop some jaws and widen some eyes, it succeeds a handful of other adult-aimed animated flicks that exist in the same comic book realm. Perhaps reception to the new series will be so strong that it motivates Warner Bros. Animation to greenlight additional series in the same vein as Harley Quinn — maybe even some focused on groups like the Suicide Squad or the Birds of Prey, both of which have had Harley on board. 

She may be 2D, but the animated Harley's personality pops off the screen with panache — and we're keen on seeing what misadventures she'll get up to when Harley Quinn premieres on DC Universe... at some point in time.