Harley Quinn

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Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn with Joker on the cover of Batman: Harley Quinn.
Art by Alex Ross.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman: The Animated Series
"Joker's Favor"
First comic appearanceThe Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993)
Created byPaul Dini
Bruce Timm
Voiced byArleen Sorkin (most media)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Grey DeLisle (Lego Batman: The Videogame)
Meghan Strange (Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
Janyse Jaud (Batman Black and White motion comics)
Tara Strong (Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Batman: Arkham Origins, Infinite Crisis)
Laura Bailey (Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes)
In-story information
Alter egoDr. Harleen Frances Quinzel
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Secret Six
Suicide Squad
Abilities
  • Immunity to most poisons and toxins due to Poison Ivy's injections
  • Trained in the field of psychiatry
  • Talented gymnast
  • Metahuman agility
  • Enhanced strength
  • High intelligence
  • Above average martial arts skills
  • Total disregard for human life (apart from Joker & Poison Ivy)
 
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Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn with Joker on the cover of Batman: Harley Quinn.
Art by Alex Ross.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman: The Animated Series
"Joker's Favor"
First comic appearanceThe Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993)
Created byPaul Dini
Bruce Timm
Voiced byArleen Sorkin (most media)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Grey DeLisle (Lego Batman: The Videogame)
Meghan Strange (Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
Janyse Jaud (Batman Black and White motion comics)
Tara Strong (Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Batman: Arkham Origins, Infinite Crisis)
Laura Bailey (Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes)
In-story information
Alter egoDr. Harleen Frances Quinzel
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Secret Six
Suicide Squad
Abilities
  • Immunity to most poisons and toxins due to Poison Ivy's injections
  • Trained in the field of psychiatry
  • Talented gymnast
  • Metahuman agility
  • Enhanced strength
  • High intelligence
  • Above average martial arts skills
  • Total disregard for human life (apart from Joker & Poison Ivy)

Harley Quinn is a fictional character, a super villain in the DC Universe. The character was introduced on September 11, 1992, in Batman: The Animated Series and later adapted into DC Comics' Batman comic books, first appearing in The Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993). As suggested by her name (a play on the word "harlequin"), she is clad in the manner of a traditional harlequin jester. The character is a frequent accomplice and girlfriend of Batman's nemesis the Joker, and is also close to the supervillain Poison Ivy, from whom she gained her immunity to poisons and toxins.

The character was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and was originally voiced by Arleen Sorkin in Batman: The Animated Series and its tie-ins. The character was voiced by Hynden Walch in The Batman animated series. In the Birds of Prey series, she was portrayed by actress Mia Sara (and Sherilyn Fenn in an unaired version of the pilot episode). Throughout her animated depictions, she is shown to speak with a pronounced Brooklyn accent.

IGN's 2009 list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked Harley Quinn as #45.[1] She was ranked 16th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.[2]

Appearances in Batman: The Animated Series[edit]

Introduction[edit]

Harley Quinn, as she appears in the DC Animated Universe.

Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Favor",[3] as what was originally supposed to be the animated equivalent of a walk-on role; a number of police officers were to be taken hostage by someone jumping out of a cake, and it was decided that to have the Joker do so himself would be too bizarre (although he ended up doing so anyway). Dini thus created a female sidekick for the Joker. Arleen Sorkin, a former star of the soap opera Days of Our Lives, appeared in a dream sequence on that series in which she wore a jester costume; Dini used this scene as an inspiration for Quinn.[4] Having been friends with Sorkin since college, he incorporated aspects of her personality into the character.[5]

The 1994 graphic novel Mad Love recounts the character's origin. Told in the style and continuity of Batman: The Animated Series and written and drawn by Dini and Timm, the comic book describes Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, M.D. as an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist who falls for the Joker and becomes his accomplice and on-off sidekick. The story received wide praise[6] and won the Eisner and Harvey Awards for Best Single Issue Comic of the Year. The New Batman Adventures series adapted Mad Love as the episode of the same name in 1999, making it the second "animated style" comic book adapted for the series. (The other was Holiday Knights.)

She becomes fascinated with the Joker while interning at Arkham, and volunteers to analyze him. She falls hopelessly in love nearly instantly with the Joker during their sessions, and she helps him escape from the asylum more than once. When the Joker is returned to Arkham after a battle with Batman, the sight of her badly injured patient drives Harleen insane, leading her to quit her psychiatrist job and don a jester costume to become Harley Quinn, the Joker's sidekick. She later becomes fast friends with Poison Ivy, who injects her with an antitoxin which gives her super-human strength, agility, and immunity to toxins.

Expanded role[edit]

After Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, Harley makes several other animated appearances. She appears as one of the four main female characters of the web cartoon Gotham Girls. She also made guest appearances in other cartoons in the DC animated universe, appearing in the Justice League episode "Wild Cards" (alongside the Joker) and the Static Shock episode "Hard as Nails" (alongside Poison Ivy).

She appeared in World's Finest: The Batman/Superman Movie as a rival and foil for Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves; each takes an immediate dislike for the other, at one point fighting brutally with each other as Lex Luthor and the Joker have a business meeting. In the film's climax, Harley tied Graves as a human shield to a combat robot set to confront Superman and Batman, but Graves is rescued by the two heroes without suffering any harm (other than the damage Harley had inflicted on her beforehand).

The animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker takes place in the future, long after the events in Batman: The Animated Series. It includes a flashback scene with Harley falling down a deep pit during a battle with Batgirl. At the end of the movie, a pair of twin juvenile girls who model themselves on the Joker are released on bail to their grandmother, who angrily berates them—to which they answer: "Oh, shut up, Nana Harley!"

Comic book publication history[edit]

The character proved so popular that she was eventually added to the Batman comic book canon (although she had already appeared in the Elseworlds Batman: Thrillkiller and Batman: Thrillkiller '62 in 1997). The comic book version of Quinn, like the comic book version of the Joker, is more dangerously violent and less humorously quirky than the animated series version. Despite her noticeably more violent demeanor, Harley does show mercy and compassion from time to time; she notably stops Poison Ivy from killing Batman, instead convincing her to leave the hero hanging bound and gagged from a large statue. Batman is later untied by Batgirl.

Quinn's DC Universe comic book origin, revealed in Batman: Harley Quinn (October 1999), is largely an adaptation of her animated origin from the Mad Love graphic novel.

A Harley Quinn ongoing series[7] was published monthly by DC Comics for 38 issues from 2001 to 2003. Creators who contributed to the title included Karl Kesel, Terry Dodson, A.J. Lieberman, and Mike Huddleston. The series dealt with her going solo, eventually starting a gang and then fleeing Gotham for the city of Metropolis with her friend Poison Ivy. Quinn dies, only to be resurrected and return to Gotham. The series ends with Harley turning herself in to Arkham Asylum, having finally understood that she needs help. We also learn in issue #8 of the comic that Harley had a relationship in college with fellow psychiatry major Guy Kopski whose suicide started her obsession with the Joker. Harley later appears in the Jeph Loeb series Hush. She is next seen in a Villains United Infinite Crisis special, where she is one of the many villains who escape from Arkham (although she is knocked unconscious the moment she escapes).

In the One Year Later continuity, Harley Quinn is an inmate at Arkham, glimpsed briefly in Detective Comics #823.

Harley next appeared in Batman #663, in which she helps the Joker with a plan to kill all his former henchmen, unaware that the "punch line" to the scheme is her own death. Upon realizing this, she shoots him in the shoulder.

Harley resurfaces in Detective Comics #831, written by Paul Dini. Harley has spent the last year applying for parole, only to see her request systematically rejected by Bruce Wayne, the layman member of Arkham's medical commission. She is kidnapped by Peyton Riley, the new female Ventriloquist, who offers her a job; Harley turns the job down out of respect for the memory of Arnold Wesker, the original Ventriloquist, who attempted to cheer her up during her first week in Arkham while the Joker was still on the loose. She then helps Batman and Commissioner Gordon foil the impostor's plans. Although Riley escapes, Bruce Wayne is impressed with Harley's effort at redemption, and agrees with granting her parole.

In Birds of Prey #105, Harley Quinn is revealed as the sixth member of the Secret Six. In issue #108, upon hearing that Oracle has sent the Russian authorities footage of teammate Deadshot murdering the Six's employer as payback for double-crossing them, Harley asks, "Is it a bad time to say 'I quit'?", thus leaving the team.

In Countdown #43, Harley appears to have reformed and is shown to be residing in an Amazon-run women's shelter. Having abandoned her jester costume and clown make-up, she now only wears an Amazonian stola or chiton. She befriends the former Catwoman replacement Holly Robinson, and then succeeds in persuading her to join her at the shelter, where she is working as an assistant. They are both brought to Themiscyra by "Athena" (really Granny Goodness) and begin Amazon training. Holly and Harley then meet the real Athena, and encounter Mary Marvel. The group reveal Granny's deception, and Holly, Harley, and Mary follow her as she retreats to Apokolips. Mary finds the Olympian gods, whom Granny had been holding prisoner, and the group frees them. Harley is granted powers by Thalia as a reward. Upon returning to Earth, the powers vanish, and Harley and Holly return to Gotham City.

Harley Quinn joins forces with Poison Ivy and Catwoman in the series Gotham City Sirens. Having moved in with Pamela Isley at the Riddler's apartment, she meets up with Catwoman, who offers for the three of them to live and work together. A new villain who tried to take down Selina Kyle named Boneblaster breaks into the apartment, and the three of them have to move after they defeat him. Later, after a chance encounter with Hush, the Joker attempts to kill her, apparently out of jealousy. Quinn is rescued by Ivy and Catwoman, and it is later revealed that her attacker wasn't the real Joker, but one of his old henchmen impersonating him.

Gotham City Sirens #7 establishes that she was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, into a Jewish-Catholic family. Her father is a con artist who is still in jail. Her brother, Barry, is a slob with dreams of rock stardom, and her mother, Sharon, wants her to stop the "villain and hero stuff". It is stated that the reason why Harley chose to become a psychologist in the first place was to try and understand her own broken family.

On a certain instance Harley attempted to steal from Two-Face and the Riddler, but was caught and they were not happy. Later, Poison Ivy discovers Harley bound and gagged in a closet, and Ivy removes the gag and unties her.

Following a number of adventures with Catwoman and Ivy, Harley betrays them and breaks into Arkham with the goal of killing the Joker for abusing her as often as he did. However, Harley ultimately chooses to instead release Joker from his cell, and together the two orchestrate a violent takeover of the facility that results in most of the guards and staff members either being killed or taken hostage by the inmates.[8] Harley and the Joker are eventually defeated by Batman and Catwoman, and Harley is last seen being wheeled away while bound in a straitjacket and muzzle.[9] Shortly after this, Poison Ivy breaks into Harley's cell and attempts to kill her for her betrayal, but instead offers to free her if she helps kill Catwoman, who had left both of her fellow Sirens behind in Arkham. Harley agrees, and the two set out to trap Catwoman.[10] During the ensuing fight, Catwoman says that she saw good in them and only wanted to help. Just as Batman is about to arrest them, Catwoman helps the two of them escape.[11]

Following DC's 2011 relaunch of all its titles, Harley Quinn's costume and appearance is fully revamped, with a skimpier costume, bleached skin and altered hair color (half-red and half-black, like the jester cap of her previous incarnation, rather than fully blonde), consistent with her new origin.[12] After a falling out with the Joker, she goes into a murderous frenzy, directed towards people responsible for the Joker's imprisonment. Captured by Black Canary, she is forcibly inducted into the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller.[13] However, when she discovers that the Joker is rumored to be dead, it takes a further toll in her already addled mind, and betraying the Suicide Squad, she puts their safety and secrecy at risk by turning herself into the Gotham Police Department in a plot to gain access to the skinned face of the Joker.[14] Her plan apparently pays off, and she manages to recover the face, though in a further psychotic episode, Harley captures and ties up Deadshot and places the skinned face of the Joker over Deadshot's face, so that she can carry on a "conversation" with her dead lover. Deadshot lures Harley in close, shooting and severely injuring her during the conversation.[15] After the Joker returns to Gotham, he forces her to disguise herself in his old Red Hood costume and trick Batman into coming to the chemical plant where they first met. Batman then falls into a tank and demands Harley to tell him where Joker is. But she only replies, in tears, that he's not "her Joker" anymore.[16]

On July 16, 2013, DC announced that a rebooted Harley Quinn comic book series would begin publication in November 2013.[17][18]

Controversy[edit]

On September 5, 2013, DC Comics announced a contest for fans and artists, "Break into comics with Harley Quinn!"[19] Specifically, DC asked contestants to draw Harley in four different suicide scenarios. This contest drew controversy not only because it was announced close to National Suicide Prevention Week, but because some artists did not like the sexualized portrayal of Harley in the fourth scenario (in which Harley attempts suicide while naked in her bath tub).[20][21]

Other versions[edit]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Mia Sara portraying Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey.

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

Harley Quinn appears in several video games based upon the animated series.

Harley Quinn with Warden Sharp in Batman: Arkham Asylum.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 100 Comic Book hero". 2009.  "Harley Quinn is Number 45". IGN. News Corporation. 
  2. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 19. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0. 
  3. ^ "Joker's Favor" (episode #7, original airdate: September 11, 1992)
  4. ^ Jankiewicz, Pat. "Quinn-tessentials. Arleen Sorkin gets a kick out of being the Joker's wench". Starlog magazine. 
  5. ^ Dini, Paul; Chip, Kidd (1998). Batman Animated. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-06-107327-4. 
  6. ^ "Mad Love". 
  7. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 297. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Written by Karl Kesel and drawn by Terry Dodson, the double-sized first issue dealt with Harley's twisted relationship with the Joker." 
  8. ^ Gotham City Sirens #20-23
  9. ^ Gotham City Sirens #24 (June 2011)
  10. ^ Gotham City Sirens #25 (July 2011)
  11. ^ Gotham City Sirens #26 (August 2011)
  12. ^ Suicide Squad #3 (November 2011)
  13. ^ Suicide Squad #1 (September 2011)
  14. ^ Suicide Squad #6 (February 2012)
  15. ^ Suicide Squad #7 (March 2012)
  16. ^ Batman#13 (October 2012)
  17. ^ Phegley, Kiel (July 16, 2013). "CCI EXCLUSIVE: Conner & Palmiotti Launch "Harley Quinn" Monthly". Comic Book Resources. 
  18. ^ Campbell, Josie (July 21, 2013). "SDCC: DiDio and Lee Head DC's Meet The Co-Publishers". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  19. ^ http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2013/09/05/break-into-comics-with-harley-quinn#1
  20. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (September 12, 2013). "Awful Comic Contest Asks For Drawings Of Naked Woman Committing Suicide". Huffington Post. 
  21. ^ http://jezebel.com/dc-comics-contest-draw-a-naked-woman-committing-suicid-1265537616
  22. ^ Batman: Thrillkiller
  23. ^ Elseworlds 80-Page Giant
  24. ^ Countdown #32
  25. ^ Joker
  26. ^ Batman '66 #3
  27. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (March 19, 2014). ""This Ain't No Task Force."". IGN. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  28. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (March 19, 2014). "‘ARROW’ REVIEW: “SUICIDE SQUAD”". Screencrush. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  29. '^ Toro, Gabe. (2011, April 5). Joel Schumacher Says He Wanted Nicolas Cage To Play Scarecrow In The Aborted 'Batman Triumphant. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  30. ^ Stephen Totilo (2008-02-15). "Exclusive: See A New ‘LEGO Batman’ Villain". MTV Multiplayer. Viacom. 
  31. ^ Game Informer magazine features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery," Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
  32. ^ "The Voice Behind Harley Quinn: Batman Arkham City Community". Community.batmanarkhamcity.com. 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  33. ^ http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/05/23/lego-batman-2-trailer-screen-shots-flash-cyborg-aquaman/
  34. ^ http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2012/05/31/netherrealm-developing-new-dc-comics-fighting-game-injustice-gods-among-us/
  35. ^ Tara Strong (November, 14 2013). Infinite Crisis - Behind the Voice - Tara Strong as Harley Quinn (interwiev). YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-05. "Why, hellllo Harley! What better way to welcome Harley Quinn to the pantheon of Infinite Crisis champions than by going behind the voice with Tara Strong. Find out what this fabulous, fan-favorite voice actor thinks of returning once again to the character she helped make famous." 
  36. ^ http://planetquake.gamespy.com/View.php?view=ModeloftheWeek.Detail&id=127
  37. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUPZxr2Y7zM

External links[edit]