Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn
Harley.jpg
Real NameHarleen Francis Quinzel
AliasHarley Quinn
Cupid of Crime
Height5'4
Weight115 lbs
AbilitiesTalented gymnast

Superb agility and strength

Trained in psychoanalysis
Team AffiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Secret Six
Base of OperationsGotham City

Harley Quinn is a character found in the DC Universe. She was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, and first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series. Quinn is often portrayed as Joker's girlfriend, and also has close ties to Poison Ivy. The name Harley Quinn is a play on the term "harlequin," which refers to a comical character in commedia dell'arte (Italian: "the comedy of art") and the harlequinade, usually masked, dressed in multicolored, diamond-patterned tights, and carrying a wooden stick or wand.

Contents

Becoming Harley

Harleen Quinzel started out as a psychiatric intern at Arkham Asylum. She got the job despite not being highly intellectual or motivated. During college, Harleen received wonderful grades, but only because she would seduce her professors into giving her high marks. While at Arkham, Harleen became fascinated with The Joker, eventually volunteering the analyze him privately. After a few sessions, she fell in love with the Joker instantly. Harleen would eventually help the Joker escape from Arkham, and would do so on more than one occasion. The authorities found out about her actions and revoked Harleen's license, placing her in a cell within Arkham. Later on, after an earthquake hits Gotham City, she would escape from the facility and become Harley Quinn, the jester lookalike who served as the Joker's sidekick.

Comic Development

The first appearance of Harley Quinn in comic books came in Batman: Harley Quinn #1 (October 1999). This version of Harley, when compared to her animated counterpart, is far more dangerous and psychotic. A Harley Quinn series would run from 2001-2004, spanning 38 issues.

The cover of Batman: Harley Quinn #1

In Batman #663, Harley would aid the Joker as he planned to kill off all of his former henchman. However, it is soon revealed that the entire operation is a joke, with the real intention and laugh was going to come from Harley's death. Finding this out, she shoots Joker in the shoulder to stop him. Later on, in Detective Comics #831, Harley spends her time in Arkham Asylum where she claims she has changed her ways. Continuously asking for parole, Harley is rejected by Bruce Wayne, a member of the medical board at the facility. She is eventually kidnapped by the new female Ventriloquist, Sugar. She wants Harley to aid her as a sidekick, but Harley rejects the offer. Afterwards, she helps Batman track down and catch Sugar. Impressed by her actions and attitude, Bruce Wayne grants Harley the parole she wanted.

In Countdown #43, Harley decides to call it quits after briefly working with the Secret Six. She now works at the Athenian Women's Shelter, which is revealed to be a secret training facility for Granny Goddess. Harley eventually teams up with Holly Robinson, a former Catwoman stand-in. The two track Granny to the planet Apokolips, where they finally subdue and capture the dangerous criminal. Thankful for her actions, the Goddess Thalia (whom was a prisoner of Granny), grants Harley new superhuman like abilities, along with a powerful hammer. However, upon returning the Earth, the powers and weapon are lost.

Joker Love

Harley's relationship with the Joker is very unique and peculiar. Even though she adores him to no end, the Joker oftentimes would treat Harley terribly. There are times when he not only yells and scream at Harley, but also beats her to within an inch of her life. The Joker also abandons her at times when she becomes too annoying. Still, through all this, Harley believes that this is just part of the way he expresses his love towards her. The Joker does show a more sensitive side towards Harley, and is always able to reel her back in by his side using his great charm and personality.

However, one quote by the Joker found in the comics seems to sum up the relationship perfectly; "I've noticed some changes coming over me since you came into my life. I've been reminded what it was like to be part of a couple. To care for someone who cares for me. It's the first time in recent memory I've had those feelings...And I hate having those feelings!"

Poisonous Relationship

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy together.

After the Joker tires of Harley Quinn, he lures her into a rocket ship that he launches into the air. It landed in Robinson Park, being discovered by Poison Ivy. After taking Harley back to her hideout and aiding her back to life, Ivy contemplates killing her. Harley seems indifferent about the prospect, and this leads to her spilling her guts out to Ivy about her rough life. Ivy begins to feel a connection with Harley, as they both have been deemed as cast-offs in the world. Ivy then injects Harley with a substance that gives her an immunity to almost all toxins, while also granting her access to strength and speed otherwise thought impossible.

Harley often refers to Poison Ivy as "Red", due to her fiery-red hair. The two work together often, in both the comics and Batman: The Animated Series. Unlike most team-ups between villains where cooperation is based around obtaining money or another certain goal, Harley and Ivy seemed to have a genuine friendship. Even after returning to the Joker's side, Harley found comfort in Ivy, who became like an older sister that she would come calling to when trouble started.

Skills & Abilities

While she doesn't have any powers or superhuman abilities, Harley is still a very capable villain. Being a well-trained gymnast, Harley is very agile and quick, oftentimes able to get the jump on her opposition. She is also a good hand-to-hand fighter, and is dangerous with many types of weapons and firearms.

Harley is also immune to most toxins, thanks to the injections given to her by Poison Ivy. These injections also gave her enhanced strength and speed, as well as the ability to breathe underwater.

Other Media Appearances

Television

Harley Quinn made her debut in Batman: The Animated Series, during the episode Joker's Favor. It first aired on September 11, 1992. The character was originally intended to be used as a guest character for that episode alone, but Quinn would become a main antagonist throughout the series. Voiced by Arleen Sorkin, the character displayed many of the quirky traits found in Arleen herself. In the show, Harley would work with the Joker as the duo tried to bring down Batman while causing havoc within Gotham City.

Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey

She would later appear in The New Batman Adventures, where she would once again become a central figure. Quinn was featured in six episodes, which was more than any other villain in the series. Also, unlike a number of other characters who received drastic changes to their appearance, Harley retained the same look and design. One of the most famous episodes of the series, titled Mad Love, detailed the complex relationship between Harley and the Joker.

Harley Quinn in The Batman

In 2002, the character would be portrayed by actress Mia Sara in the live-acion series, Birds of Prey. In it, Harleen is a psychiatrist that uses her connections to the criminal underworld in an effort to get revenge against the new Gotham for what they did to the Joker. She also wears a black suit with red trimming, which is quite a contrast to her appearance in the earlier animated series.

Harley would also be seen in The Batman series, which debuted in 2004. Appearing in the series' fourth season, Harley was voiced by Hynden Walch. Going by Harleen Quinzell, she was the host of a show called Heart to Heart with Harley that featured Harley giving advice to callers. After the show was cancelled following an attack on guest Bruce Wayne, Harley teamed up with the Joker, who was a fan of the show. In the series, Harley was much more cynical and evil than her earlier depictions.

She is seen in a brief cameo in Arrow, voiced by Tara Strong.

Film

Leading up to the release of Batman & Robin, a script was in the process of being written for a fifth Batman movie, titled "Batman Triumphant. Harley Quinn was rumored to be one of the villains, featured alongside Scarecrow and Man-Bat. In the movie, she was going to be the daughter of the Joker, not his sidekick and love-interest. However, following poor reviews for Batman & Robin, the movie idea was canned.

Quinn also made a cameo appearance in Justice League: The New Frontier.

Harley Quinn made her first live action appearance in Suicide Squad (2016), portrayed by Margot Robbie. Her acting received acclaim despite the film's negative reviews.

Video Games

Quinn in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
The Lego Batman version of Harley Quinn.

Harley Quinn has been included in many different video games over the years. She has appeared in The Adventures of Batman & Robin. In the SNES version, Harley only made a cameo appearance. However, on the Sega Genesis version, Harley was a boss in the game. Harley would then appear in Batman Vengeance, where she would be up to her usual antics as she tried to stop Batman from catching the Joker.

More recently, Harley has appeared as a playable character in Lego Batman: The Video Game. In it, she has the ability to jump extremely high and weilds a giant hammer that she uses to defeat foes. Along with appearing in DC Universe Online, Harley was a featured character in the game Batman: Arkham Asylum. She aided the Joker as they take over Arkham, releasing prisoners as they try to defeat Batman. Her look in the game has changed drastically, as she seems more mature and adult-like when compared to her animated counterpart.

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Last edited by cwf97 on 2 October 2017 at 09:05
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