From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Art by Mike Huddleston and Troy Nixey.|
|First appearance||Batman: The Animated Series
|First comic appearance||The Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993)|
|Created by||Paul Dini
|Voiced by||Arleen Sorkin (most media)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Meghan Strange (The Brave and the Bold)
Janyse Jaud (Batman Black and White motion comics)
Tara Strong (Arkham City, Injustice)
|Alter ego||Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel|
|Team affiliations||Secret Society of Super Villains
Harley Quinn is a fictional character, a super villain in the DC Universe. The character was introduced on September 11, 1992, in Batman: The Animated Series and later adapted into DC Comics' Batman comic books, first appearing in The Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993). As suggested by her name (a play on the word "harlequin"), she is clad in the manner of a traditional harlequin jester. The character is a frequent accomplice/girlfriend of Batman's nemesis the Joker, and is also close to Poison Ivy, from whom she gained her immunity to poisons and toxins.
The character was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and was originally voiced by Arleen Sorkin in Batman: The Animated Series and its tie-ins. The character was voiced by Hynden Walch in The Batman animated series. In the Birds of Prey series, she was portrayed by actress Mia Sara and, in an unaired version of the pilot episode, by Sherilyn Fenn. Throughout her animated depictions, she is shown to speak with a pronounced Brooklyn accent.
Fictional character biography 
Origin: Batman: The Animated Series 
Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Favor", as what was originally supposed to be the animated equivalent of a walk-on role; a number of police officers were to be taken hostage by someone jumping out of a cake, and it was decided that to have the Joker do so himself would be too bizarre (although he ended up doing so anyway). Dini thus created a female sidekick for the Joker. Arleen Sorkin, a former star of the soap opera Days of Our Lives, appeared in a dream sequence on that series in which she wore a jester costume; Dini used this scene as an inspiration for Quinn. Having been friends with Sorkin since college, he incorporated aspects of her personality into the character.
The 1994 graphic novel Mad Love recounts the character's origin. Told in the style and continuity of Batman: The Animated Series and written and drawn by Dini and Timm, the comic book describes Dr. Harleen Quinzel, M.D. (her real name) as an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist who falls for the Joker and becomes his accomplice and on-off sidekick. The story received wide praise and won the Eisner and Harvey Awards for Best Single Issue Comic of the Year. The New Batman Adventures series adapted Mad Love as the episode of the same name in 1999, making it the second "animated style" comic book adapted for the series. (The other was Holiday Knights.)
She becomes fascinated with the Joker while interning at Arkham, and volunteers to analyze him. She falls hopelessly in love nearly instantly with the Joker during their sessions, and she helps him escape from the asylum more than once. When the Joker is returned to Arkham after a battle with Batman, the sight of her badly injured patient drives Harleen insane, leading her to quit her psychiatrist job and don a jester costume to become Harley Quinn, the Joker's sidekick. She later becomes fast friends with Poison Ivy, who injects her with an antitoxin which gives her super-normal strength, agility, and immunity to toxins.
Expanded role 
After Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, Harley makes several other animated appearances. She appears as one of the four main female characters of the web cartoon Gotham Girls. She also made guest appearances in other cartoons in the DC animated universe, appearing in the Justice League episode "Wild Cards" (alongside the Joker) and the Static Shock episode "Hard as Nails" (alongside Poison Ivy).
She appeared in World's Finest: The Batman/Superman Movie as a rival and foil for Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves; each takes an immediate dislike for the other, at one point fighting brutally with each other as Lex Luthor and the Joker have a business meeting. In the film's climax, Harley nearly kills Lois Lane when she gags her and ties her to pole on an island that is going to explode within an hour, but Superman finds her and unties her.
The animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker takes place in the future, long after the events in Batman: The Animated Series. It includes a flashback scene with Harley falling down a deep pit during a battle with Batgirl. At the end of the movie, a pair of twin juvenile girls who model themselves on the Joker are released on bail to their grandmother, who angrily berates them—to which they answer: "Oh, shut up, Nana Harley!"
Comics history 
The character proved so popular that she was eventually added to the Batman comic book canon (although she had already appeared in the Elseworlds Batman: Thrillkiller and Batman: Thrillkiller '62 in 1997). The comic book version of Quinn, like the comic book version of the Joker, is more dangerously violent and less humorously quirky than the animated series version. Despite her noticeably more violent demeanor, Harley does show mercy and compassion from time to time; she notably stops Poison Ivy from killing Batman, instead convincing her to leave the hero hanging bound and gagged from a large statue. Batman is later untied by Batgirl.
A Harley Quinn ongoing series was published monthly by DC Comics for 38 issues from 2001 to 2003. Creators who contributed to the title included Karl Kesel, Terry Dodson, A.J. Lieberman, and Mike Huddleston. The series dealt with her going solo, eventually starting a gang and then fleeing Gotham for the city of Metropolis with her friend Poison Ivy. Quinn dies, only to be resurrected and return to Gotham. The series ends with Harley turning herself in to Arkham Asylum, having finally understood that she needs help. We also learn in issue #8 of the comic that Harley had a relationship in college with fellow psychiatry major Guy Kopski whose suicide started her obsession with the Joker. Harley later appears in the Jeph Loeb series Hush. She is next seen in a Villains United Infinite Crisis special, where she is one of the many villains who escape from Arkham (although she is knocked unconscious the moment she escapes).
Harley next appeared in Batman #663, in which she helps the Joker with a plan to kill all his former henchmen, unaware that the "punch line" to the scheme is her own death. Upon realizing this, she shoots him in the shoulder.
Harley resurfaces in Detective Comics #831, written by Paul Dini. Harley has spent the last year applying for parole, only to see her request systematically rejected by Bruce Wayne, the layman member of Arkham's medical commission. She is kidnapped by Peyton Riley, the new female Ventriloquist, who offers her a job; Harley turns the job down out of respect for the memory of Arnold Wesker, the original Ventriloquist, who attempted to cheer her up during her first week in Arkham while the Joker was still on the loose. She then helps Batman and Commissioner Gordon foil the impostor's plans. Although Riley escapes, Bruce Wayne is impressed with Harley's effort at redemption, and agrees with granting her parole.
In Birds of Prey #105, Harley Quinn is revealed as the sixth member of the Secret Six. In issue #108, upon hearing that Oracle has sent the Russian authorities footage of teammate Deadshot murdering the Six's employer as payback for double-crossing them, Harley asks, "Is it a bad time to say 'I quit'?", thus leaving the team.
In Countdown #43, Harley appears to have reformed and is shown to be residing in an Amazon-run women's shelter. Having abandoned her jester costume and clown make-up, she now only wears an Amazonian stola or chiton. She befriends the former Catwoman replacement Holly Robinson, and then succeeds in persuading her to join her at the shelter, where she is working as an assistant. They are both brought to Themiscyra by "Athena" (really Granny Goodness) and begin Amazon training. Holly and Harley then meet the real Athena, and encounter Mary Marvel. The group reveal Granny's deception, and Holly, Harley, and Mary follow her as she retreats to Apokolips. Mary finds the Olympian gods, whom Granny had been holding prisoner, and the group frees them. Harley is granted powers by Thalia as a reward. Upon returning to Earth, the powers vanish, and Harley and Holly return to Gotham City.
Harley Quinn joins forces with Poison Ivy and Catwoman in the series Gotham City Sirens. Having moved in with Pamela Isley at the Riddler's apartment, she meets up with Catwoman, who offers for the three of them to live and work together. A new villain who tried to take down Selina Kyle named Boneblaster breaks into the apartment, and the three of them have to move after they defeat him. Later, after a chance encounter with Hush, the Joker attempts to kill her, apparently out of jealousy. Quinn is rescued by Ivy and Catwoman, and it is later revealed that her attacker wasn't the real Joker, but one of his old henchmen impersonating him.
Gotham City Sirens #7 establishes that she was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, into a Jewish-Catholic family. Her father is a con artist who is still in jail. Her brother, Barry, is a slob with dreams of rock stardom, and her mother, Sharon, wants her to stop the "villain and hero stuff".
On a certain instance Harley attempted to steal from Two-Face and the Riddler, but was caught and they were not happy. Later, Poison Ivy discovers Harley bound and gagged in a closet, and Ivy removes the gag and unties her.
Following a number of adventures with Catwoman and Ivy, Harley betrays them and breaks into Arkham with the goal of killing the Joker for abusing her as often as he did. However, Harley ultimately chooses to instead release Joker from his cell, and together the two orchestrate a violent takeover of the facility that results in most of the guards and staff members either being killed or taken hostage by the inmates. Harley and the Joker are eventually defeated by Batman and Catwoman, and Harley is last seen being wheeled away while bound in a straightjacket and muzzle. Shortly after this, Poison Ivy breaks into Harley's cell and attempts to kill her for her betrayal, but instead offers to free her if she helps kill Catwoman, who had left both of her fellow Sirens behind in Arkham. Harley agrees, and the two set out to trap Catwoman. During the ensuing fight, Catwoman says that she saw good in them and only wanted to help. Just as Batman is about to arrest them, Catwoman helps the two of them escape.
The New 52 
In The New 52 event, Harley Quinn's costume and appearance is fully revamped, with a skimpier costume, bleached skin and altered hair color, consistent with her new origin. After a falling out with the Joker, she goes into a murderous frenzy, directed towards people responsible for the Joker's imprisonment. Captured by Black Canary, she is forcibly inducted into the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller. However, when she discovers that the Joker is rumored to be dead, it takes a further toll in her already addled mind, and betraying the Suicide Squad, she puts their safety and secrecy at risk by turning herself into the Gotham Police Department in a plot to gain access to the skinned face of the Joker. Her plan apparently pays off, and she manages to recover the face, though in a further psychotic episode, Harley captures and ties up Deadshot and places the skinned face of the Joker over Deadshot's face, so that she can carry on a "conversation" with her dead lover. Deadshot lures Harley in close, shooting and severely injuring her during the conversation.
After the Joker returns to Gotham, he forces her to disguise herself in his old Red Hood costume and trick Batman into coming to the chemical plant where they first met. Batman then falls into a tank and demands Harley to tell him where Joker is. But she only replies, in tears, that he's not "her Joker" anymore.
Other versions 
- Harley Quinn's first major appearance outside the Batman animated world was in the Elseworlds miniseries Thrillkiller. This version of Harley is a schoolgirl named Hayley Fitzpatrick who dresses up in order to help a female version of the Joker called Bianca Steeplechase. The relationship between this lesbian or bisexual Joker and Harley Quinn is short-lived but noticeably more egalitarian than its heterosexual counterpart in mainstream DC continuity. After Batgirl kills Bianca, Harley is shown killing her own family, intent on revenge in the final frames of the story. 
- In the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant, one of the stories is about Lex Luthor as a music producer. One of his groups is, as the press puts it, "alternative lifestyle folkies Ivy and Harley." 
- On the new Earth-3, Harleen Quinzel is the Jokester's business manager. She is killed by Owlman. 
- In the 2008 graphic novel Joker, Harley Quinn appears as the Joker's helper and aide-de-camp. She at one point acts as a stripper (though this may be a ruse), and is never shown speaking. 
In other media 
- In 2002, a live-action television series called Birds of Prey, loosely based on the comic of the same name, included Harley Quinn as a psychotic psychiatrist and main villain. The character was portrayed by actress Mia Sara, who replaced Sherilyn Fenn (originator of the role in an unaired pilot episode). The show aired only 13 episodes. In this show, Harley is portrayed as an older, far more calculating and sinister character than her bubbly comic and cartoon personas. Picking up where The Joker had left off, Harleen used her day job as a therapist to achieve her savage purpose - to take control of the city of New Gotham. She also does not wear a costume, although she does wear an outfit that is reminiscent of her cartoon costume in the series finale, "Devil's Eyes". In that episode, she used experimental technology to transfer metahuman mind control powers to herself. It is unknown about this version's relationship with the Joker, although she does make reference to him as "Mr. J." on a few occasions, laments his loss as Gotham's crime boss and hints at a past relationship reminiscent to that of the animated series. A criminal known as the Crawler addresses her as "the Joker's girlfriend," in episode 7, "Split."
- Harley Quinn makes her first appearance on the Kids' WB series The Batman in the episode "Two of a Kind" voiced by Hynden Walch. This version of the character is at first the host of a pop psychology television show called "Heart To Heart With Harley". She claims to have obtained a degree in psychology from an online educational institution, and she gives off-the-cuff advice to her callers that usually hurts more than it helps, resulting in a lot of controversy in the media (which the Joker finds amusing, as he admits to being a fan of her show). Her boss Jimmy Herbert becomes fed up with her irresponsible behavior and cancels the show on the air after she stages an ambush of Bruce Wayne by getting him on her show under a false promise to help him promote a charity-drive for crime victims. The Joker, seeing the episode and learning that it has led to Harley having an emotional breakdown, proceeds to take advantage of the situation by making her his partner-in-crime. Harley rationalizes joining the Joker by telling herself that she will be able to get a tell-all from him that will restore her career, but then she ends up rampaging across Gotham city as the Joker's partners-in-crime. Eventually, Harley learns that the network is planning to share with the police a psychological profile of her by TV psychologist Dr. Elliot Blaine, so she plans to destroy the network as revenge for her firing, something which the Joker finds amusing, so he tags along with her. However, she is foiled by Batman, Robin, and Batgirl, and she is arrested after the Joker deserts her. She seemingly regrets taking up with him. However, once she has been taken into a police car, she sees that the Joker has left her an affectionate message, and instantly falls in love with him again. This incarnation of Harley Quinn wears a slightly different costume than the one she wears in Batman: The Animated Series, as in this depiction, the black parts of the original are dark red, the headdress is larger than the original, the inverted diamond pattern on the shoulders and thighs is absent, her gloves are fingerless, and her mask conceals her eyes. She has a few short appearances in the episode "Rumor" and a slightly larger appearance in "The Metal Face of Comedy."
- Harley Quinn appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold voiced by Meghan Strange. This version is a henchwoman of Joker, modeled after a 1920's flapper woman (shown in black-and-white), and does not sport her traditional costume. In the episode "Legends of the Dark Mite!" while Bat-Mite is giving a speech at the Comic-Con, there is a brief cameo of Harley Quinn's creator Paul Dini dressed up as her. Harley Quinn appears alongside the Joker in "Emperor Joker!". Though she has a mutual crush on Bat-Mite, she ultimately proves to love the Joker more. Alongside virtually every other character that appeared during the show's three season run, Harley makes a cameo appearance in the series finale "Mitefall!" She is shown with the Joker at the show's wrap party and kicks Gagsworthy when he tries to approach the Joker.
- Tara Strong reprised her role as Harley in the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special.
- Prior to the release of Batman & Robin, Mark Protosevich was commissioned by Warner Bros. to write a script for a fifth Batman film titled Batman Triumphant to be directed by Joel Schumacher, with Harley Quinn and Scarecrow as the film's villains. Protosevich wrote Harley as the Joker's daughter seeking revenge, not his lover and henchgirl. Due to Batman & Robin's poor box office run, bad Internet buzz, and several negative reviews from critics, Triumphant was never made, and the film franchise went on hiatus for eight years until Batman Begins in 2005.
- In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Harley appears in Barbara Gordon's flashback alongside the Joker after he kidnapped Tim Drake for an experiment to convert him into a surrogate son because they did not want to take any chances with pregnancy's common risks. She acts as the mother in Joker's family in a cruel parody of motherhood, affectionately referring to Drake as "Sweetie" during her appearance. She fights Batgirl while Batman chases the Joker and sends Drake to bring Harley her bazooka. As she is about to drop a rock on Batgirl she sees Drake waiting with the bazooka and catches it before Batgirl can intercept it. After firing off a few shots Batgirl knocks the bazooka out of Harley's hand, causing it to fire at the pair when it hits the ground. The two fall off a cliff but Batgirl manages to grab a ledge and Harley, trying to save Quinn from falling. Unfortunately, Harley's sleeve rips and sends her plummeting down into the cliff, afterwards her body is never found and she is presumed dead. Despite having been apparently killed in the flashback sequence, Quinn makes a cameo appearance as "Nana Harley" at the very end of the movie when she bails her two granddaughters Dee Dee out of jail approximately 40 years later. Harley was again voiced by Arleen Sorkin.
- In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Harley is the name of a monkey owned by the Jester (Joker's Parallel Earth equivalent).
Video games 
Harley Quinn appears in several video games based upon the animated series.
- She appears in a cameo role in The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the Super NES, and as a boss in The Adventures of Batman & Robin for the Sega Genesis.
- She appears in The Adventures of Batman & Robin (voiced by Arleen Sorkin) for the Sega CD and Batman: Chaos in Gotham.
- Harley Quinn played a major role in the game's storyline in Batman Vengeance voiced by Arleen Sorkin. She first appears posing as "Mary Flynn" in a trap for Batman set by the Joker; she later does the Joker's dirty work after he fakes his death.
- She appears in Lego Batman: The Videogame with her sound effects provided by Grey DeLisle. She appears as an enemy of Batman and a 1st deputy of the Joker. Harley Quinn in Lego Batman is a playable character and can be unlocked through the villain levels, and carries a pistol and her giant mallet. She can perform high jumps like most women in the game.
- Arleen Sorkin reprises her role of Harley Quinn in Batman: Arkham Asylum, as the secondary antagonist of the game, here with a new costume based on a nurse uniform. She takes control of Arkham, allowing Joker to escape, and kidnaps Warden Quincy Sharp. After Batman rescues the Warden, he confronts her and locks her in a cell. She returns in Scarecrow's final nightmare where she plays the new Warden escorting Batman away.
- Harley Quinn appears in the DC Universe Online video game, with Arleen Sorkin returning as her voice. Harley appears in Joker´s Funhouse, where she will be seen being arrested by Robin if the player uses a Villain character, or holding Robin hostage if the character is a hero, in which case the player will have to defeat her. She plays a minor role in T.O.Morrow´s hideout, as she has gone there with the Joker to pursue Morrow. Harley is the basic Legends PVP character, granted to Villains without having to spend Marks of Legend. If a player using Harley defeats an enemy player using Joker, the player will get a feat called Mad Love.
- Harley Quinn appears Batman: Arkham City voiced by Tara Strong. She is shown wearing a biker-girl themed costume in this game, using a low-key version of her usual makeup. This costume featured knee high wedge boots and a corset like top. She wears her hair in two pigtails on both sides of her head which she has dip dyed red and black. Harley had captured some doctors and police officers as hostages when Batman finds her in the clock tower. Harley manages to get away while Joker's henchmen fight Batman who ends up defeating them and saving the hostages (only for them to be later captured by Riddler). Batman later encounters Harley in the Sionis Steel Mill where she was with the Joker. She later steals the cure for the Joker's illness while Batman was fighting Mr. Freeze for it, but is gagged up by Talia al Ghul. When the Joker dies from his illness following Batman's fight with Clayface (who was masquerading as a healthier Joker), Quinn was with the Joker's henchmen when Batman brought his dead body out of the theater. After completing the game, the player can enter the Joker's office, where several negative pregnancy tests and a positive test can be found, hinting she may be pregnant with Joker's child. In the ending credits of the new game plus mode, Harley is heard singing a version of the lullaby "Hush, Little Baby," promising that "Mama's gonna kill for you the whole damn world." Harley appears in "Harley Quinn's Revenge" expansion as the main antagonist, seeking revenge on Batman for the death of the Joker. After escaping from a temporary holding area following the destruction of Arkham City, Harley transforms the Steel Mill (the Joker's former base of operations) into a gigantic memorial of him. She is later beaten by the duo of Batman and Robin and taken into custody by the GCPD. Included as an easter egg in the manager's office of the Steel Mill, there is a crib with Scarface painted as the Joker inside, surrounded by dozens of negative pregnancy tests.
- Harley Quinn appears in Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, where she kidnaps a reporter to use as a hostage to free the Joker. After luring Batman into a trap, she tries to execute the bound and gagged reporter, but is stopped by one of Batman's batarangs. She is once again voiced by Tara Strong.
- Harley Quinn appears as a minor antagonist in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, voiced by Laura Bailey.
- Harley Quinn appears as a playable fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us, voiced again by Tara Strong. In the universe depicted in the game, Quinn broke from Joker after he bombed Metropolis asking "What did I ever see in him?" Following this, Harley reformed and realized her "true destiny" of becoming a hero where she establishes the Joker Clan. She makes her first appearance in story mode confronting the "Prime" Joker, whom she accuses of being an imposter. After Joker beats her, she recognizes him as the Joker and sides with him after he states he is not the same Joker. When her Joker Clan is attacked by The Regime, Harley reveals her allegiance to Batmna's Insurgency when she uses a device to alert him to the attack. After the Insurgency chases off the Regime, "Earth One" Batman has Joker locked up. When Batman later orders Harley to cause a distraction with her Gang, she frees Joker so he can help them. The two then encounter Lex Luthor and Joker orders her to beat him so he can take Luthor's power armor. When Harley fails, he tries to "fire" her and attempts to shoot her but Luthor stops and defeats him. An enraged Harley then threatens to kill Joker until Luthor talks her out of it. When her Gang shows up, she tells them Joker is not on their side and wishes Luthor luck in his attempt to take out Superman. Harley is last seen at the end of story mode when she forces the Joker back to his own universe at gunpoint, signifying that Earth One Harley Quinn has fully broken away from the Joker's shadow and has reformed into a hero due to her role in the Insurgency. In her battle ending, she had gone to marry The Joker, but after he playfully smashed her face into a cake, years of abuse made Harley snap. Using the ceremonial knife she slit The Joker's throat, killing him. It's then stated she permanently became a patient at the Arkham Asylum, still wearing her wedding gown.
- Harley Quinn introduced Martin Tremblay, president of Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, at the Nintendo Press Conference at E3 2012 where Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition was introduced for the Wii U.
See also 
- "Top 100 Comic Book hero". 2009. "Harley Quinn is Number 45". IGN. News Corporation.
- Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 19. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
- "Joker's Favor" (episode #7, original airdate: September 11, 1992)
- Jankiewicz, Pat. "Quinn-tessentials. Arleen Sorkin gets a kick out of being the Joker's wench". Starlog magazine.
- Dini, Paul; Chip, Kidd (1998). Batman Animated. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-06-107327-4.
- "Mad Love".
- Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 297. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Written by Karl Kesel and drawn by Terry Dodson, the double-sized first issue dealt with Harley's twisted relationship with the Joker."
- Gotham City Sirens #20-23
- Gotham City Sirens #24 (June 2011)
- Gotham City Sirens #25 (July 2011)
- Gotham City Sirens #26 (August 2011)
- Suicide Squad #3 (November 2011)
- Suicide Squad #1 (September 2011)
- Suicide Squad #6 (February 2012)
- Suicide Squad #7 (March 2012)
- Batman#13 (October 2012)
- Batman: Thrillkiller
- Elseworlds 80-Page Giant
- Countdown #32
- Stephen Totilo (2008-02-15). "Exclusive: See A New ‘LEGO Batman’ Villain". MTV Multiplayer. Viacom.
- Game Informer magazine features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery," Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
- "The Voice Behind Harley Quinn: Batman Arkham City Community". Community.batmanarkhamcity.com. 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Harley Quinn|
- Harley Quinn at the Internet Movie Database
- Harley Quinn on the DC Animated Universe Wiki, an external wiki
- Harley Quinn at the Open Directory Project
- Collecting Harley Quinn
- Harley Quinn on the official Superman/Batman Adventures homepage