Like any comic character, Harley’s gone through some changes since she was first introduced in Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992.
I’ve loved the character since she was first introduced in that very series, when I watched the repeats on TV as a child.
As I grew up and dipped in and out of geeky things – I definitely went through a stage at school where I straightened my hair until it died, applied three types of lip gloss and pretended I loved Usher – I kind of forgot about her and it wasn’t until I started gaming again that I discovered the character.
So, now that my love has been rekindled I thought I’d put together a little list of my favourite versions of the character.
Batman Animated Series
Harley in her black and red jester costume is the original and the absolute best. There’s something so fun about her, but vulnerable too. Her release from Arkham is depicted in the animated series and is interesting to witness, as she quickly makes the same mistakes again. There’s always something vulnerable about Harley, she’s a little innocent (but of course very insane) Her poor treatment by the Joker is tough to watch because in most circumstances she’s the strongest, wittiest person in the room. However, she gets the best lines and she has her hyenas – so of course she’s top of the list.
“Face it Harl, you’re a certified nutso wanted in 12 states and you’re hopelessly in love with a psychopathic clown”
Margot Robbie did an excellent job of portraying Harley in this movie and was potentially one of the strongest elements of the whole film. I loved the styling most of all when it came to this portrayal of the character, and while everyone complained about how small the hot pants where that’s definitely what Harley would have chosen out of that box. She’s a girl who’s comfortable with her body!
“BATS! YOU’RE RUINING DATE NIGHT!”
Arkham Asylum & City
This version of Harley is the character in her craziest form perhaps. Assisting the Joker with basically being a supervillain for the sake of being a supervillain (and making Batman’s life a living hell) she’s got that perfect mix of cute and crazy going on. This is also the game where we get to enjoy interactions between Mark Hamill and Tara Reid who make the perfect Joker and Harley. In the end however, the Joker manages to do something so terrible Batman convinces her to assist him, so in the end she’s helping the good guy.
“Oh hey B-Man! Harley Quinn here! Do you like my new uniform? Pretty hot, huh?”
Injustice: Gods Among Us
This is probably my favourite out of this list. This is the Harley I associate most with the latest comic series. She’s strong willed, decides she doesn’t want to be with the Joker anymore and that the whole relationship was built on abuse and obsession and she’s a truly considerate person. The Harley Quinn I know and love rescues puppies, fights injustice, rejects misogyny and stops fighting when she realises the opponent is pregnant (see above). This is also the comic series where we learn about Lucy, Harley and the Joker’s baby who Harley had in secret.
Which version of the character is your favourite Harley Quinn?