Why is Harley Quinn so popular

The Truth About Harley Quinn and Joker's Relationship

By Phil Archbold / .8. January 2020, 6:16 p.m. EDT /. Updated: March 13, 2020, 10:56 a.m. EDT

For the longest time, Superman and Lois Lane stood head and shoulders above each other as DC's most famous couple, but that's arguably no longer the case. Clark Kent fell in love with hisDaily planetsColleague for more than 80 years, but in the last few decades a new power paring has emerged.

Harley Quinn's relationship with the Joker is relatively new. It has only been around since the 90s, but it has made a huge impact on its relatively short history. Speak with Vulture,DC Comics editor Jim Lee referred to Harley Quinn as the 'fourth pillar' of the company's publishing line (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are the other three), which makes her more important to her than the clown Prince of Crime. However, the character has always been defined by its unhealthy attachment to the Joker, and for some, that's a big problem.

When the news came that Margot Robbie would be portraying a live-action version of Harley Quinn in 2016Suicide squadExperts expressed concern. Dr. Wind Goodfriend, principal researcher at the Institute for Preventing Relationship Violence at Buena Vista University, said MTV that current and past victims could be 're-traumatized' by the Joker's abusive behavior ... but Quinn actually got a lot out of it, much worse in the comics. The Joker is often violent towards poor Harley, but she has become so much more than his victim over the years. Let's take a look at their colorful and extremely intricate relationship.

The relationship started in Joker's favor

She's one of DC's most iconic characters today, but Harley Quinn should never be this big of a deal. The Joker's crazy buddy in love was created on a whim to play a small role in "Joker's Favor," a 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Writer and producer Paul Dini came up with Quinn's role when he saw actress Arleen Sorkin on an episode of a long-running soap operaDays of our lives. “I was sick one day at home and watched Days on TV, and she played a fool character in a fantasy sequence, ”Dini said Digital spy. 'I said,' This is really funny. Maybe I'll use some of this for the henchman. ''

In her first episode, Quinn (who clearly has something for her vicious boss from the start) sets off tear gas during a testimonial dinner for Inspector Gordon at the behest of the Joker. The little interactions between the two were hugely popular with viewers, and soon the showrunners knew they had a potential hit on their hands. Quinn was seen in other episodes and became the Joker's love interest, which Dini and his co-creator, the artist Bruce Timm, initially feared. "We didn't want to give Joker a girlfriend because it humanized him, and we really tried to emphasize how bizarre and creepy he can be," said Timm The New York Times.Ironically, Quinn's introduction would ultimately drive the Joker to all new levels of creepiness.

We have some details in Mad Love

After appearing in a handful of episodesBatman: The Animated SeriesWriter and producer Paul Dini wanted to learn more about this Harley Quinn. Viewers responded well to the character, and Dini soon realized that Quinn needed a backstory worthy of the hype. The first thing he did was make a decision about who she was and where she was from. 'As soon as we knew that, we dropped little clues like breadcrumbs here and there,' he said Digital spy. 'We said in episodes,' Yeah, she used to be a psychiatrist ... 'fans found out in 1993 when Harley One and the Joker's relationshipThe Batman Adventure: Mad Lovewas released to critical acclaim.

The Eisner Award-winning comic by Dini and Timm, which was set in the continuity of the TV show, revealed exactly how Quinn became the friend of the Joker. In it, an ambitious psychiatrist named Dr. Harleen Quinzel takes a job at the infamous Arkham Asylum where the Joker is being held. She tries to help him, but it's the clown Prince of Crime that gets into her head. After the Joker Arkham escapes and is arrested by Batman, Quinzel turns headlong into a joking villain and stages a breakout. This is how Harley Quinn (and her abusive relationship with the Joker) was born. "We kind of defined who Harley was in that comic," Dini said The Batman Adventure: Mad Love. "I was very grateful that the book got the answer it got."

The chemical vat controversy

The origin of the toxic relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn was changed for the revision of the entire line through New 52, ​​DC 2011. The changes were subtle on the surface, but for many Harley Quinn fans, the New 52 version of the character was completely different at heart. In Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's groundbreaking one-shotThe Batman Adventure: Mad LoveHarleen Quinzel falls in love with the Joker during her therapy sessions and although she has been heavily influenced by the Joker, she willingly joins his ranks. This is not the case with the New 52.

In the updated origin story, the Joker shoves Quinzel into a vat full of the same chemical that bleached his skin white and driven him crazy, and he does so against her will. For many, this fundamentally changed who Harley Quinn was as a character, changed her agency and the entire nature of her relationship with the Joker. "This made Harley look more like an unwilling victim than ever before," said oneOuter places Piece about Quinn's claims of origin. "In the New 52, ​​she became a sociopathic, psychotic monster, not entirely by choice, but at least in part because of the Joker's cruelty."

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David Ayers Suicide squad Margot Robbie's Quinzel took an oath on the Joker and jumped into the vat herself. The actress has hit the record several times since then, and has said she was mainly regretful about doing the scene because of how gross all that slime was.

Harley Quinn and Joker's relationship is no laughing matter

The Joker's relationship with Harley Quinn was abusive from the start. The clown Prince of Crime routinely beat QuinnBatman: The Animated Series,and he would continue his physical and mental torment of his right wife in the subsequent series,The new Batman adventures.The show's final episode, titled 'Crazy Love,' following the famous one-shot it was based on, there were several acts of violence that were particularly shocking for a show that was mostly aimed at children.

For example, the Joker pushes a Quinn in lingerie off a desk once and when she tries to seduce him a second time, he kicks her out into the street. "Be honest, Harl, it stinks," complains Quinn. 'You are a certified nut sought in 12 states who is hopelessly in love with a psychopathic clown.' Later in the episode, Quinn goes behind the Joker's back and captures Batman himself. He believes that they will be able to live a happy life with the Dark Knight. An unimpressed Joker beats Harley and pushes her out of a window.

Quinn got a new, more revealing look for the popular 2009 video gameBatman: Arkham Asylumbut her relationship with the Joker remained the same. In fact, the idea that the Joker is Quinn's abuser was brought home by none other than the Joker himself during the game dialogue. In the 'Joker's Party', in a cutscene, the villain tells Batman that his hobby is beating around Harley.

The Joker tried several times to kill Harley Quinn

The Joker often gets shockingly physical with Harley Quinn in the comics (he did everything from gun to kick), but from time to time he takes it a step further and actually tries to murder her. For example, Quinn's first appearance in the company's mainstream comic book continuity took place duringBatman event no mans land. In 1999 one-shot Batman: Harley Quinn(written by the character's co-creator, Paul Dini), the Joker tries to take out his girlfriend with a rocket, not because she's too presumptuous but because he's too attached to her to like. 'I hate having these feelings,' he told her. 'They're disturbing, confusing, and worse, and distracting me from getting my share of Gotham.'

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The Joker has attempted to kill Harley Quinn multiple times and in various ways since then. It was on her fingers as she dangled from the edge of a skyscraper in a flashback of Peter Calloway and Andres GuinaldoGotham City Sirens # 21, laughing his manic laugh as Quinn held on for his dear life. He shot his lover in the stomach with a gun that he once hidden in a bouquet of flowers, he called it a "wonderful start" to his day, and he knew that dynamite hiding in bouquets too. Romance may not be dead, but Harley Quinn probably should be.

Warner Bros. tried to make their relationship more loving

David AyersSuicide squadwas a very divisive film that narrowly withdrew $ 750 million from the worldwide box office despite the fact that the vast majority of critics devastated it. If there was one thing that everyone could agree on, it was that Margot Robbie stole the show as Harley Quinn. Fears that the character would become a punching bag for Jared Leto's Joker turned out to be unfounded - although the studio required a last-minute change of heart. It seems like Warner Bros. became aware of a possible backlash and decided to make the Joker's relationship with his girlfriend a little less abusive.

According to Jared Leto, Warner Bros. has cut out enough Joker scenesSuicide squad for a separate Joker film. The extent of the cuts became known when a list of deleted scenes was made available (via) on the Internet SlashFilm), and the reason for their ax also became very clear - they were way too violent. In an unused take, the Joker hits Quinn in the face with his backhand (the footage of this slap was filmed) leaked tone line long before thatSuicide squadCineplexes), and the mad couple's big helicopter rescue scene has reportedly been re-shot. In the final cut, Quinn falls off the helicopter after being hit, but reports suggest that the Joker kicked Quinn out of the moving helicopter during a heated argument in the original cut.

They have a daughter named Lucy

If one thing is certain the joker, it is that he is not father material. Even Harley Quinn has enough intelligence to see this, which is why she went into hiding after becoming pregnant with his child. Lucy Quinzel was introduced to theinjusticeVideo games and included in the prequel comics that take place outside of the main DC continuity. You envision a world where Batman leads a rebellion against a regime led by Superman who became a tyrant after the Joker tricked him into murdering Lois Lane.

In the 2014sInjustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two# 13,Harley Quinn talks about Lucy after an argument with Black Canary. Quinn stops fighting when she sees her opponent vomiting in the middle of a fight and realizes she is pregnant. The two chat heart-to-heart, and Quinn reveals that she has a four-year-old daughter who lives with her sister. "Mistah J didn't know anything about her," Quinn says to her shocked opponent. “I knew that wasn't ... that would behewouldn't ... his job was too important. He couldn't have a daughter. 'She went away to give birth for a year and when she returned to the Joker's side, he didn't even admit she was gone.

Quinn claims in herInjustice 2End of the game (spoilers, she joins Justice League) that she is happy to be Lucy 'Crazy Aunt Harleen' but she is ultimately forced to tell her daughter the truth if they are both kidnapped in the LeagueInjustice 2Comics.

See other people

Most versions of Harley Quinn are dangerously obsessed with their respective versions of the Joker, but the Crime Cupid was actually involved in a number of other characters in their relatively short history. Quinn had something to do with her teammate from Suicide SquadFatal shotat some point something that was hinted at in the live action film. Things got really weird between the two of themSuicide squadVol. 4 # 7 when Quinn tied the sniper to a chair and draped Joker's actual face (which he himself had removed because Joker) over Deadshot's face, making for a pretty dark RPG.

Quinn's relationship with Poison Ivy is much more uplifting. Fans wondered if there could be any romantic feelings between them in the 1990s when Quinn was first introduced. Ivy has always been critical of Quinn's toxic relationship with the Joker inBatman: The Animated Seriesand in the years that followed their own relationship blossomed. DC confirmed they were 'girlfriends without the jealousy of monogamy' in 2015, tweeted in the 2017s Harley Quinn # 25, they shared their first major universe kiss.

In fact, 2017 was quite a busy year for Quinn in terms of their love life. She kissed the Green Lantern and Lobo in the Harley's little black book Series, and the animated version of the character climbed into bed with Bat family member Nightwing, much to the Dark Knight's disapproval. Your steamy scene in the cartoonBatman and Harley Quinn shocked many fans.

Harley Quinn finally got her true love story

Would Harley Quinn be able to have a normal relationship with the Joker if he wasn't completely upset? This question was answered in limited series by DC Black Label Batman: White KnightIn which she got the love story she always wanted with her puddin '. As of 2017, eight issues of writer / artist Sean Murphy's comic book feature a sensible version of the Joker cured by a miracle drug. It turns out his real name is Jack Napier, and he's hell-bent on redemption. "I love Gotham, and it's time to pay her back the Joker's debt," Napier said in the first issue. “The city deserves it better than you, better than the Joker and better than the Dark Knight. So I'll be your white knight '

It's not just Gotham's forgiveness he's looking for, however. The repentant villain wants to make amends with his former lover too, and he falls on one knee to prove it. "I want to give you the version of me you always wanted," he tells a shocked Quinn ... who isn't the real Harley. It turned out that the Joker replaced the original Quinn after she left him, and he forgot everything. Fake Harley freaks out at the marriage proposal and attacks Napier, but the actual Harley (clad in her classic red and black robe) shows up and saves him, kicking her doppelganger in the head for a good measure. Romantic right?

Quinn had to hide her pregnancy from the Joker again

Harley Quinn kept calm about the fact that she had given birth to the Joker's childinjusticeComics, and they did exactly the same thing in a recent sequel toBatman: White Knight. The first issue of the next seriesBatman: Curse of the White Knightfell in July 2019 and at the time of this writing in 2020 it already has as many WTF moments as its predecessor.

DC can get away with just about anything with the Black Label imprint, but even in this world, Harley Quinn and the Joker can't be happy anymore. Jack Napier went back to his wildcard personality at the beginning ofBatman: Curse of the White Knightalthough Harley Quinn is still Harleen Quinzel. With intact health, she leaves the resurrected Joker. When later asked for advice by Batman on how to thwart the Joker's latest conspiracy, the world's greatest detective discovers why she's completely out of the picture - she's carrying Napier's child.

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in theBatman: Curse of the White Knight # 3Quinzel gives in to Batman and agrees to interview a trapped Joker next to him on the condition that he help her set up a cot first.The Dark Knight hoped seeing a pregnant Quinzel would be enough to bring Jack Napier back to the surface, but he was wrong. The unlikely duo makes it very briefly to Napier in the fifth edition.

The fantastic emancipation of a Harley Quinn

The original subtitle quite clearly suggested that Harleen Quinzel would break free from the Joker in the 2020sHarley Quinn: Birds of Preyand delivered Cathy Yan's film. It wasn't exactly a smooth transition, however. Quinn (once again perfectly played by Margot Robbie) announces their breakup in typically insane ways and explodes Ace Chemicals. The plant was the birthplace of their toxic relationship, and its destruction sends a clear message to The Joker - but it also makes the rest of Gotham aware of their new single status.

Ewan McGregor's novel Sionis (a.k.a. Black Mask) falls quickly. He is dangerously obsessed with Quinn and tries to get her under his control. He's almost getting through too. After being captured by the antagonist Quinn, pulls back into her own mind and convinces herself that Sionis respects her by using the same coping mechanism that she resorted to with the Joker. Only this time it doesn't last.

At the climax of the film, Zion tells Quinnd that she is unable to stand on her own two feet. 'You need me,' he says, but by then she found out that it wasn't. "Your protection is based on the fact that people are afraid of you," she fires back. “I'm the one you should be afraid of. Not you and not Mr. J. Because I'm Harley to Quinn. For now, at least, Quinn is an independent woman, both on the big screen and in print.