The following is a guest post by the lovely Teresa Gonzales about Harley Quinn’s personality and why being crazy isn’t a bad thing:
It’s the age of the morally ambiguous superhero. Deadpool, Iron Man, Batman, even Superman are having an identity crisis lately. In a world where morality is all gray, it’s nice to have a character that is perfectly confident and comfortable in her insanity, Harley Quinn. So let’s talk Harley Quinn’s personality!
Harley Quinn is an unpredictable, psychotic and amazing character. Harley was born on the big boxy T.V’s of the 1990’s in the show Batman the Animated Series. Her origins are what make her character so relatable. And the dynamics of her less than conventional relationship with her puddin’ the Joker, have kept Harley Quinn as one of the most popular comic book characters in recent years.
Harleen Quinzel started out as a working drone like the rest of us, a bright-eyed psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. But most unlikely like the rest of us, Harley fell in love with her patient, the Joker. She loved his humor and his immunity to the bull shit of society. The Joker however, being a wholesome villain, was quick to use her affections for him to help him escape. After that he was so grateful…. he tortured her and helped her complete her journey to insanity. The latest conception of Harley’s character in Suicide Squad is pretty faithful to her animated roots.
Harley’s relationship with the Joker is a manipulative, twisted relationship and dysfunctional at it’s best. There has been a lot of debate on this aspect of their relationship, labeling it as sexist, while condoning domestic abuse, under the guise of them being ‘made for each other’. Although there could certainly be arguments for this, Harley has almost killed the Joker a time or two, and is able to take care of herself when it comes to Mr. J. Her fighting spirit as well as her intelligence, and her arsenal of strengths largely prevent her from being viewed as a victim.
Harley and the Joker are a power couple of the comic book world, and recently their relationship has somewhat moved from the abusive aspect to them being more of a Bonnie and Clyde team, like in Harley’s big screen debut in Suicide Squad. The movie focuses more on the Joker’s obsession for her and in whatever capacity he is able to ‘love’ his girl. Rather than the abusive aspect like in the animated series, which showed him slapping her around while being verbally abusive. Hmmm. this was a kids show right? At the end of the day, the Joker’s only real weakness is Harley Quinn, and really is his only redeeming quality.
We can’t really fully appreciate Harley’s character unless we look at her other half, the Joker. Ruthless, cunning, charismatic and exempt from society’s hypocrisy , he is such an amazing character, and arguably the most prolific villain in the comic book universe. Most of his portrayals on the big screen have had compelling and thought-provoking social commentary, going above and beyond the usual pathology of a comic book character.
Harley will undoubtedly see a bigger fan base now more than ever, with her graduation to the big screen in Suicide Squad. She already had a following of fans of the after school show who grew up watching the Batman series, but, it is really something to finally see Harley in the flesh on the big screen. Margot Robbie did not disappoint, and seemed like she was perfectly cast. If critics hated the movie, at least they agreed that she clearly stole the show, and it was more than just her tiny pants.
Harley Quinn’s personality was full of charisma, charming insanity and the take no prisoners attitude was a refreshing blast of cool air, in the stale world of typecast women in comic books. Harley has an insanely confident and hilarious attitude towards life. Harley’s philosophy is to not take life seriously, even when life demands it, which might not be such bad thing. As Heath Ledger’s Joker so perfectly stated “why so serious?” Why indeed. At the end of the day, Harley Quinn proves it’s always better to be yourself…. even if you are insane.
I am an all around comic book fan. I love DC but i cheat with DC now and then. I love character studies and analysis, and pretty much anything that I can make an argument about. I love the outdoors and am in love with movies.
If you enjoy this article, please check out my other published pieces.
– Teresa Gonzales
Categories: comic book characters