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The Joker Actually Has a Progressive Platform for Mayor on ‘Harley Quinn’

the joker is a progressive mayoral candidate?

HBO Max’s Harley Quinn season three has been really intriguing in terms of how it continues to develop the relationships between the characters. Harley and Ivy’s relationship has been compelling, but another character who has gotten some interesting development is Joker (Alan Tudyk).

In season two of Harley Quinn, it was revealed that Joker didn’t die in an explosion as it appeared, but lost his memories, met the nurse Bethany (previously Justina Machado, currently Krizia Bajos), fell in love with her, and became a sitcom dad—with a twist. He has taken an involved role in the raising of his two step-children, Sofia and Benicio. Joker actually got character development and has been made more interesting for the first time in decades.

Last week’s episode, “Joker: The Killing Vote,” shows Joker running for Mayor—not for evil means, but because he wants his son Benicio to go to a dual language program in order to gain more pride in his Latino heritage. However, he’s blocked by his most challenging arch-enemy, Princess Carolyn—I mean Debbie (voiced by Amy Sedaris). Debbie uses her connections to get her kids into the program, so Joker decides he will be the ultimate connection.

For those who haven’t been watching, currently running for Mayor is Commissioner Gordon (Christopher Meloni) with Two-Face (Andy Daly) as his campaign manager. Joker is seen as a wild card, until he gets popular. He robs a bank to give the money to the people of Gotham. He announces that he is a socialist and is trying to give Gotham universal healthcare. Now … I never thought I’d say this post-2005, but Joker is laying down facts.

When Two-Face kidnaps Benicio in order to force Joker to drop out of the race, despite being enthralled by the celebrity attention, Joker goes to rescue the boy and does agree to the demands. Gordon realizes that Two-Face kidnapping a kid is especially heinous (I laughed hard at that) and rescues the father and son. Gordon concedes to Joker, who then announces he is disbanding the Gotham Police Department. Joker is ACAB, too?

Joker is elected as Harley and Ivy return from New Orleans, and it is kind of epic.

For the last few decades, Joker has been an iconic yet repetitive character. This change to him is compelling because it doesn’t erase him being a shithead and abusive to Harley, but it does show him capable of real kindness and the love of another person. Will it last? We don’t know, but it sets up stakes for him turning into a full villain again, which is interesting. Also, now that he is mayor, how will this impact his relationship with Bruce Wayne/Batman?

I’m actually interested in Joker’s storyline and where it goes. Good writing really can do anything.

(featured image: HBO Max)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.