On the wings of hype, Any DC comics fan knows about the power couple that is Harley Quinn and the Joker. No-one in their right mind would call that relationship healthy, of course, but hey, everybody needs someone to love. Harley and Mistah J have become a genuinely iconic duo ever since her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series. That’s right, she started off as a sidekick character on Sunday morning cartoon and look at her now!
Modern-day Harley is a far cry from her old self, and that’s just one of many reasons to love her. Here are some more!
1. First Appearance
You may have heard this one, but Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman the Animated Series (BtAS) in 1995. Before that, no-one’s ever heard of this quirky character in the comics. I don’t know if it was Arleen Sorkin’s tantalizing voice, Harley’s naughty nature, or her tight suit that made the character so famous, but here we are. Today she’s one of the most iconic and recognizable DC characters, probably, on the same level as Batman and Superman.
2. Origin Story
Her origin story has been written and rewritten, but the core aspects of it never change. Harleen Quinzel was a talented psychiatrist who fell in love with one of her patients. A very dangerous psychopathic killer – the Joker. It’s an incredibly twisted love story that ends in Harleen ditching her career just to be with her Puddin’. She wanted to fix the Joker but instead got trapped in an abusive relationship.
3. Adorable Pets
The Penguin has his birds, Catwoman has cats, Batman has bats, but what about Harley? Her pets are just a ruthless and insane as their mistress – naturally, they’re two adorable hyenas! Joker is their daddy, but he didn’t know that hyenas live in a matriarchy, which is why Bud and Lou love their mommy so much. BTW, their names are a reference to an iconic comedian duo Abbot and Costello.
Ever since Harley appeared on the screen wearing that red and black harlequin suit, DC’s been trying to one-up her costume design. So far, I’m going to have to give the win to Margot Robbie’s incarnation, but the comic book versions aren’t that far behind. No matter what she’s wearing (or not wearing), the readers will instantly recognize Harley.
5. She’s Not a Sidekick Anymore
Long gone are the days when Harley was just a silly sidekick with a dirty mind. I mean, she’s a smart girl with a Ph.D. in psychology, of course, she’d dump the Joker sooner or later. That’s precisely what happened in her New 52 run. In the world full of abusive relationships, even something as trivial as comic book bravery could help someone break free.
6. Moral Compass
Unlike the Joker, Harley isn’t a chaotic evil character and even has a softer, friendly side that we can see with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. The Joker’s all about creating chaos and trying to get Batman’s attention, but Harleen has some lines she’s not willing to cross. At some point, she even starts cooperating with Batman, making her more of an anti-hero rather than a pure villain. And these are the kinds of layers that we’re hoping to see in the upcoming Birds of Prey movie.