Let's talk about Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn is one of the most charismatic and popular villains in the Batman universe. Her unique style, her overwhelming personality and her incredible charisma have made this girl who was only created to appear in one scene, already have a long career in the DC universe, totally independently. Today, we all have our own favorite Harley Quinn, but what were her beginnings in the Batman lore? We will tell you below.
Harley Quinn was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and first appeared in the twenty-second episode of Batman: The Animated Series, "Joker's Favor" in September 1992, subsequently becoming a recurring villain in the series.
She is mainly known for being the girlfriend of the Joker, whom she helps in his crazy plans. Although sometimes she is also alone or accompanied by Poison Ivy or Deadshot. Dini said that pairing Harley with a female character as strong as Ivy seemed natural to her given the character and socio-affective shortcomings of the villain.
Her creation was a last-minute idea proposed by Dini to modify a scene in an episode. They would make a change to a scene where the titular antagonist was coming out of a birthday cake. Because the situation was strange for the Joker, they proposed to put her in the cake, but in the end, they decided to leave the Joker because they thought it would be funnier if he popped out of the desert. Since she was already created, Harley Quinn had a prominent role where she faced a couple of policemen and Batman himself instead of the original scene that she was originally intended for.
Her becoming a recurring character was discussed quite a bit because giving Joker a "girlfriend" could make him too human and they needed to keep the criminal as serious and threatening as possible. Finally, they decided that Harley Quinn would reappear in the thirty-fourth episode of the series, called "The Laughing Fish", since Joker needed a crew with a "funny and sycophantic" audience.
A year later she was introduced canonically into the comics universe in the twelfth edition of The Batman Adventures, and since then she has appeared in numerous works in the Batman universe and has starred in 3 solo stories.
Harley Quinn Origins
At first, Harley Quinn was Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel who worked as a psychiatrist in Arkham asylum (Gotham City). She just had the Joker as a patient, and between sessions she fell in love with him. That's when she took on the name Harley Quinn, which sounds like "harlequin," and became a supervillain controlled by the Joker. She is often dressed in a tight red and black harlequin jumpsuit, though she has varied her wardrobe over time.
Her main outfit is based on the costume of a traditional harlequin, although the designers removed the baroque accessories (such as diamonds) from the classic harlequin outfits, to make her easier to animate.
In more recent versions, her appearance changed drastically after the Joker threw her into acid and little by little the character evolved into an anti-heroine, who broke ties with the Joker and moved to Coney Island (New York).
Something that is not usually known is that Harley Quinn has Jewish origin since her parents were practicing Jews, and also, contrary to what it may seem, she is a really intelligent person, even describing her as a "genius" on several occasions.
Another of Harley Quinn's strengths is that she is immune to a wide variety of poisons and diseases thanks to a serum she received from Poison Ivy.
In addition, she has great agility, given that she was a great Olympic-level gymnast in her teens (she got a scholarship for this activity to study psychiatry) and her skills rival those of Catwoman and Nightwing. Because of this she performs dangerous acrobatic jumps with very little effort and uses them in her fights often. Harley Quinn also has intelligence, strength, incredible speed and the expert handling of different weapons. The weapons she uses the most are: her mallet, a basebat, firearms and ‘cupcake’s’ bomb.
Thanks to her carefree and outgoing nature, she has a tendency to team up with diverse people. In 1993 the character had a major turn in her development when she met Poison Ivy, who encouraged her to end her abusive relationship with the Joker. This crucial moment in her life was used to give her an episode that she starred in without her partner, which the creators found challenging. After this story was well received, she gained weight individually until she starred in stories by herself.
The canonical introduction of Harley Quinn to the comics was in Batman Adventures. In the twelfth installment titled "Batgirl: Day One" created by Kelley Puckett and Mike Parobeck. In this issue Harley Quinn appears for the first time crashing a costume party.
A year later, DC released the graphic novel "Mad Love" a special in the Batman Adventures series that illustrated Harley Quinn's background. In Mad love they describe Harley Quinn as a psychiatrist with parental and psychological problems, in addition to having self-destructive tendencies which make her be at the mercy of the Joker and abandon her professional career to become an eccentric criminal.
The creators based Harley Quinn and Joker's abusive relationship on a friend's personal story. Dini said that Mad Love “is not a story about the victim, but a warning about what happens when someone loves recklessly, obsessively and for too long. Through the tragicomic experiences of Harley Quinn we see ourselves in a circus mirror, distorted and all too willing to play dumb for someone we'd be so much better off without."
Mad Love won the Eisner Award, and due to its popularity, Harley Quinn was given more of a solo spot.
The rest of her story is known to all. Today, Harley Quinn is a very successful character who has won our hearts with her crazy attitude and her eternal smile. Later we will continue talking about this passionate character and how he will try to gain control of Gotham City within Batman Miniature Game in the most crazy and fun way that exists. Do not miss out!