There are many characters in the comic world that have risen into mainstream pop-culture stardom in recent years, such as, The Flash, Deadpool and Harley Quinn. In particular, Harley Quinn has proved to be a beloved character by fans of the comic and of the film franchize “Suicide Squad.”
Harley begins her story as Harleen Frances Quinzel, a psychiatrist who fell down the rabbit hole when she met the Joker during her internship at Arkham Asylum, a psychiatric hospital featured in many Batman comics. Harley falls in love with the Joker after many sessions with him in which he manipulates her. Eventually, she breaks him out of Arkham while donning a female jester costume and a new name, Harley Quinn.
Throughout the comics and many cartoon adaptations, the Joker and Harley’s relationship is a toxic one, mainly because of The Joker’s twisted mind and Harley’s severe case of Stockholm Syndrome. We often see the Joker abuse Harley mentally and physically, only caring about her when she can be of use to him and his plan to kill the Batman. In “Injustice Gods Among Us: Year 2,” Harley is talking to Dinah Lance, otherwise known as Black Canary, about her experience of being pregnant with the Joker’s baby and leaving him for a year to have the baby in order to keep it from him: “I went away for almost a year. When I came back to my puddin’, he was so funny. He acted like he didn’t even notice I was gone.”
In recent issues of comics including Harley Quinn, we see that the writers have transitioned her into different roles, by pulling her away from her relationship with the Joker and, instead, pairing her with the female villain Poison Ivy. The two are often seen as either friends or, in some cases, in a relationship. Harley is such a strong character, demonstrated by her tragedy and suffering while still being a character that fans love and look up to. Hopefully, we will see more of Harley Quinn in her rumored solo film.