In the midst of Harley Quinn’s quest to reform (possibly doomed), writer Stephanie Phillips recalls the tragicomic origins of the character’s cartoons.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Harley quinn # two!

With Harley quinn Quickly becoming one of DC’s flagship titles, it can be helpful for your creative teams to periodically return to the roots of the character. Now directing the character’s new series, writer Stephanie Phillips is currently at the start of her career on the former Crime Cupid as Harley tries to reform from her criminal past, and in the most recent issue, Harley quinn # 2, Phillips offers a subtle callback to Harley’s true origins: the legendary ’90s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series.

The new comic finds Harley living free in Gotham City, having won a “clean slate” from the United States government for her work on Suicide Squad. Now a (probably unofficial) member of the Bat family, Harley has decided to make amends for her criminal past, even taking on a new protégé, Kevin, apparently in a serious attempt at redemption. But things are never easy in Gotham. Harley’s first major roadblock comes in the form of Bat-villain Hugo Strange, a sinister psychologist who is tasked with Simon Saint and Mayor Christopher Nakano to psychologically subdue the many clown-clad criminals currently running like crazy in the city. Your hidden goal? To capture Harley Quinn.

Continue scrolling to continue reading
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

Related: Batman: 5 Underrated Villains The Animated Series Revival Should Use (& 5 Classic Villains)

See also  Google will delete your contacts if you do not activate this function

The reference to Harley’s origins takes place as Harley watches Strange’s supposed reform plans unfold in a television press conference from her local coffee shop. Outraged, she launches an attack (and a cup of coffee) at the screen, leaping on the counter to denounce injustice and hypocrisy, perhaps with a hint of jealousy to see another ex-Bat-villain / psychologist gain public acceptance. After being kicked out of the store, she runs into Kevin, who is eager to start his job ‘curing’ Gotham, to which she replies, “I know we had plans, but it’s been a Really bad day. “And although this superficially appears to be a Killing joke callback, there’s another possible scream closer to home: the episode “Harley’s Holiday” from Batman: The Animated Series.

Batman The Animated Series Harley Quinn

Quinn was created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for the iconic cartoon, voiced by Arleen Sorkin as The Joker’s tragicomic assistant / girlfriend / hostage. Although she was originally a background character, she gradually came to the fore in her own right, presenting herself as the villain of the week in some episodes. The second of these, “Harley’s Holiday”, begins with Harley’s reform and the liberation of Arkham Asylum and follows his failed attempt to stay on the straight path. Everything goes wrong immediately after she accidentally leaves a POS with clothes she bought that still had security tags on it, causing her to have a paranoid episode that quickly turns into a mass crime spree. After a joyous chase around Gotham, Batman finally confronts her on a rooftop. He pleads with her: “Listen to me. All the work you’ve done, your freedom; If you run away, you will lose them, Harley. You are so close to getting your real life back. Why risk it now?“To which she laments through tears:

I’m having a bad day! I’m sick of people trying to shoot me, run me over and blow me up! I couldn’t even keep my new dress, and I actually paid for it!

While partially played for a laugh, in context this scene actually carries a great deal of emotional weight. Harley was often portrayed as a villain, but also a victim of Joker’s emotional manipulation. The question at the heart of Harley’s character, especially as the cartoon continued, was whether or not she was an irredeemable villain, or if she could truly reform herself. This moral ambiguity was quite daring for a cartoon aimed at children and was an indelible part of the character.

Likewise, the juxtaposition of this early depiction of a failed reform with Phillips’ current series casts doubt on whether Harley’s inability to change will eventually lead to her returning to jail. Will the Harley reform stick? Harley quinn # two by Stephanie Phllips and Riley Rossmo is out now.

Next: Complete Costume Story Of Harley Quinn In DC Comics

TMNT Ultimate Ronin

TMNT: Leonardo gets bloody revenge in new Last Ronin preview

About the Author

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *