For years Harley Quinn was referred to as “the Joker’s girlfriend,” however she’s confirmed that she’s way more. Launched within the Batman: The Animated Collection episode “Joker’s Favor,” viewers immediately took to Harley, snatching up comics and clothes that includes her and exhibiting off their Harley Quinn cosplay at cons worldwide. As time went on, it grew to become clear that Harley had the potential to go away her puddin’s shadow and present the world that she wasn’t going to be outlined by Mistah Jay any longer. Now Harley is considered one of DC’s hottest characters together with her personal ongoing comedian and self-titled animated sequence…one thing the Joker has by no means had. As we put together for DC FanDome, let’s have a look throughout the multiverse in any respect the other ways Harley has damaged free from the Joker and made a brand new life for herself.
DC Animated Universe
Though this incarnation of Harley didn’t have a standard break from the Joker, it’s price mentioning since that is the continuity that launched her to the world. Harley spent years as a sufferer of the Joker’s antics, holding out hope that at some point he would wish to calm down and begin a household.
Harley’s want got here true, however in a twisted method. Joker kidnapped Robin and scrambled his mind, making him into “their son.” Harley started to comprehend that her puddin’ had gone too far. Throughout an ensuing battle with Batgirl, Harley fell down a chasm and disappeared. Unbeknownst to the Bat-Household, she survived and gave up her lifetime of crime. Harley was seen on the finish of Batman Past: Return of the Joker as an aged girl berating her grandchildren for associating with the resurrected Joker.
Mainstream DC Universe
Like most breakups, this one didn’t occur in a single day. Throughout the “Loss of life of the Household” storyline, Harley grew alarmed at simply how a lot the Joker had modified and the way nothing was enjoyable anymore. The ultimate straw for her was when he contaminated her valuable hyenas with rabies in 2012’s Suicide Squad #15. Harley attacked the Joker and advised him that loving him was not the identical as belonging to him.
Later Harley made a brand new life for herself on Coney Island, leaving all traces of her previous behind. She bumped into the Joker once more in 2016’s Harley Quinn #25 and advised her poisonous ex off as soon as and for all. She was carried out—he couldn’t management her and she or he would kill him if he ever interfered together with her life once more. If the Joker didn’t take her threats significantly earlier than, then the chunk of his lip that she bit off whereas confronting him in all probability did the trick.
Harley Quinn Animated Collection
Harleen’s break from the Joker was such an integral a part of the Harley Quinn animated sequence (now streaming on HBO Max) that it may be thought-about the primary arc of the primary season. After years of abuse and neglect from the Joker, Poison Ivy convinces Harley to make a clear break from the Clown Prince as soon as and for all. Whereas Harley broke a couple of occasions and gave in to the Joker’s charms, she was capable of finding her resolve and defeat the Clown Prince when he tried to take over Gotham. This led to Harley transferring on to a extra wholesome relationship in season two.
DC Prolonged Universe
Jared Leto’s Joker moved Heaven and Earth to reunite with Harley within the 2016 Suicide Squad movie, however the Clown Prince has all the time been fickle. By the primary act of Birds of Prey, the Joker had unceremoniously dumped Harley. At first, she didn’t take issues so effectively, however then determined to mark her independence by blowing up Ace Chemical compounds, giving her ex a metaphorical center finger.
Harley struck out on her personal and was even capable of take down the crime lord Black Masks. Her break with the Joker was so concrete that she vowed to by no means let herself fall in that deep with a psychopath once more. She stored this promise by taking pictures her fiancé Silvio Luna in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
After turning into pregnant Harley took a tough take a look at her life. She didn’t need her baby to grow to be a part of the Joker’s twisted world, so she ran away. Harleen gave beginning to a lady named Lucy and made positive she was some place secure earlier than returning to the Joker a yr later, disheartened to see that the Clown Prince didn’t even discover that she was gone. Shortly thereafter, Superman murdered the Joker, releasing Harley from his clutches as soon as and for all.
The extra time handed, the extra Harley realized she by no means ought to’ve let herself be managed and vowed that no man would ever lay a hand on her once more. Lobo realized this the laborious method after Harley Quinn punched him by means of a wall.
After a pep discuss from Ivy, Harley labored up the braveness to interrupt issues off with the Joker. Harley advised her soon-to-be-ex that she was ending their abusive relationship and stepping out on her personal.
In a considerably sudden twist (“considerably” as a result of this is DCeased, in any case), the Joker had already been became a zombie, which made the dialog simpler for Harley in some methods, however tougher in others. Is it a scorching take to say that zombie-Joker isn’t as poisonous as common Joker?
On this actuality, Harley Quinn was a fifteen-year-old highschool pupil and the Joker was a chaotic pressure of nature who took her underneath his wing. The Joker’s actual identification was John Kane, a privileged teenaged movie snob. When John confirmed his true nature and betrayed Harley, it proved to be the final straw for her. Harley reduce ties with Joker and helped save her neighborhood.
Within the WWII-era world of DC Bombshells, the Joker is extra generally referred to as Mistah Jay, a thief obsessive about mixing chemical compounds. His abusive nature and love of alcohol frightened Harley, so she left and by no means seemed again. Over time, Harley grew nearer together with her buddy Ivy, who confirmed her what a wholesome relationship can seem like, and the 2 lastly shared a young kiss in DC Comics: Bombshells #42.
In fact, that is solely a pattern of the numerous worlds you’ll discover within the DC Multiverse. Some tales are nonetheless in progress, and if Harley hasn’t damaged away from the Joker but in any of them, there’s a reasonably good likelihood that she’s going to. Harleen has confirmed that she’s greater than the hench-girl we met in “Joker’s Favor” and that she received’t let any man, and positively not any clown, outline her.
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Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, films and comics for DCComics.com, is an everyday contributor to the Sofa Membership and writes our month-to-month Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Observe him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.