We Can Do It! Harley Quinn

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every week to learn about a new super lady! 

Who:

Harley Quinn

Nicknames/Aliases:

Dr. Harleen Quinzel (Technically her alias is Harley Quinn)

Skills:

Immunity to toxins, advanced agility, pretty good at kicking butt.

Origin Story:

Harley Quinn’s history is pretty interesting.  Unlike her other Batman counterparts, she was created specifically for the 90’s Batman: The Animated Series cartoon by the legendary Bruce Timm and Paul Dini.  She first appeared in the episode “Joker’s Favor” as The Joker’s female counterpart and sidekick, complete with a black and red jester outfit.  She went on to appear and star in a handful of episodes after her 1992 premiere.  Oh, and something kinda cool for the Hush Comics family, her original air date was September 11th, 1992; so Sherif is officially 5 years older than Harley!  Anyway, when Harley was just a wee little Harleen, her father went to jail for fraud, her brother was a low-life and her mother was a typical mom in Brooklyn—worrying about her kids.  Harleen grew up and went to work at the Arkham Asylum.  Chronicled in the book and episode of the same name, “Mad Love”, Harleen becomes the psychiatrist to The Joker himself.  She winds up doing the same thing all mad girls do and falls in love with the cook.  She then becomes Harley Quinn, murderess and adorable villain of Gotham.  Harley has since spent the last 21 years being in the most abusive relationship in DC with the jester.  She loves him very much and is by his side always, as long as he lets her.  The Joker doesn’t like it if she steals his thunder, though.  Currently, in Harley’s comic series, they a broken up.  She battles between loving Mr. J and hating Mr. J., and probably always will.

Why is she important?:

Why is Harley Quinn important?  It may sound really odd, considering she is known for being The Joker’s girlfriend, Poison Ivy’s tease, and let’s face it, she’s a villain.  BUT, she is important.   For starters, she was introduced in a 90’s Saturday morning cartoon and now she is one of the most recognizable women in the DC Universe.  She has her very own comic series now.  A comic series!  From a cartoon!  She is cosplayed by women at, like, every convention and it now almost seems odd if she isn’t featured in anything Batman related.  Since her creation she has also grown a lot.  Sure she still likes to murder.  Who doesn’t?  Ok, that part may not be true, but in recent years, Harley has gained a sense of justice.  She certainly can go off the handle, but she believes in the helpless getting their way.  She loves animals and the elderly and will literally kill for them.  I can’t talk about her without talking about her relationship.  Is it healthy?  No!  Do we all recognize that?  Uh, yes?  Here’s the thing, we all would like to think that we will always see straight when it comes to love. Harley proves that we all wear love goggles when we fall for someone, especially if they are the wrong person.  Even Harley knows The Joker is wrong for her.  Sometimes, she can’t help herself when it come to him, and sometimes, she takes care of herself.  Harley Quinn is relatable because most of us know what its like to love the wrong person.  Now, she is in recovery from that relationship.  She is living in Coney Island and trying to make her life work, without the attachment of her ex-flame.  It will really be the day when readers can think of Harley as a strong, independent, and slightly crazy murderess than just “The Joker’s girlfriend.”

What she means to me:

Harley Quinn has been one of those characters I have been always oddly attracted to.  Was I supposed to like Batgirl?  Well, yeah.  And I did.  But for some strange reason I really liked Harley.  She was cute.  And even though she was psychotic, I liked it when she was on the screen.  She may have been always trying to ruin Batman’s day, but there is something still in her that is good.  She tries.  She tries to please the ones she cares about.  In her weird little way she cares about both The Joker and The Batman.  I really liked seeing this bubbly and adorable little woman try to make her life work the best way she knew how.  As an adult, I see all the deep aspects to her.  Now, every month, I enjoy reading her story as a woman who is trying yet again, but this time trying for herself, and proving that Harley Quinn is just as important as any man she was trying to please in the past.

 

photos belong to DC Comics

written by Adrian Puryear

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