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Harley Quinn Makes The Court Of Owls So Much Weirder Than The Comics

Harley Quinn Makes The Court Of Owls So Much Weirder Than The Comics Image
  • Posted on 04th Aug, 2022 13:28 PM

Harley Quinn season 3 delivered a blistering satire of the comics' Court of Owls, turning the sinister secret society into a strange sex cult!

style="text-align: center;">Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Harley Quinn season 3.

The Court of Owls are normally presented as a serious secret society, but Harley Quinn season 3 transformed them into a weird sex cult. This is par for the course for the HBO Max animated series, which revels in dark humor and presenting twisted takes on DC Comics' multiverse. In adapting the Court of Owls, however, Harley Quinn offered up an episode that went even further than the Herogasm episode of The Boys.

Created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, The Court of Owls were a secret sect made up of the richest families in Gotham City. They were believed to have ruled from the shadows since the city's founding, but were so good at covering their tracks that even Batman was unable to find evidence of their existence beyond a few questionable accounts. The Court of Owls served as the main villains of the first two story arcs of Snyder and Capullo's run on the monthly Batman comic book and quickly became one of the most popular new additions to the Gotham City mythos. They also went on to play a part in the story of Gotham season 2 and will feature prominently in the upcoming Gotham Knights series.


Related: Harley Quinn Season 3 Cast & Character Guide

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn sought out the Court of Owls in Harley Quinn season 3, episode 4, "A Thief, A Mole, An Orgy," after someone abducted Frank the Plant from Ivy's lab and left behind evidence pointing to the Court of Owls. The two had little trouble infiltrating the Court's next secret meeting, but soon came to regret it. Far from a Machiavellian organization with a vested interest in thwarting Ivy's plans to terraform Gotham City, the Court of Owls were revealed to be a glorified country club that was more interested in kinky sex in intricate masks than world domination. The depravity on display sickened even the hardly prudish Harley and Ivy, successfully making the already odd secret society even weirder than the comic source material.

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Why Harley Quinn's Take on the Court of Owls Works So Well

Harley Quinn's take on the Court of Owls borrowed heavily from films like Eyes Wide Shut which present a less than impressed view of exclusive organizations. Conspiracy theories abound regarding such groups as the Hellfire Club and the secret satanic roles they allegedly play in shaping society. This conceit seems rather implausible, even when limited to a single city as in the case of the Court of the Owls, and it is far more likely that such groups are more concerned with fund-raising than hell-raising.

Beyond satirizing the idea of sinister secret societies ruling a city with its take on the Court of Owls, Harley Quinn also pokes fun at the idea that the Court is as exclusive as they claim. The Joker is revealed to have been a member and Bruce Wayne and Catwoman are both among the attendees, though they leave before the orgy begins in earnest. Most amusingly, the show's Tom Hardy parody Bane attends the party, wearing a Court of Owls mask over his regular luchador mask. Through an avalanche of satire, Harley Quinn successfully ridicules one of DC's most nefarious yet inadvertently comical organizations.

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Harley Quinn season 3 airs Thursdays on HBO Max.

More: Even Harley Quinn's Nightwing Can't Escape His Worst Comic Story

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