Harley Quinn

Character history

As Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern save the universe, every night a shadow of unprecedented cruelty and crime falls on the gloomy metropolis of Gotham. Bruce Wayne puts on his black suit and goes to fight evil, but defeating all the lawless is not so easy, especially since the insane psychopath Joker, who loves to kill innocent people, runs the city. This madman, who inspires fear and horror in everyone, is helped by the beautiful Harley Quinn, who knows no mercy either for herself or for others.

History of creation

Harley Quinn first appeared before fans of superhero adventures not in graphic novels, but in the animated series. This cruel and madly in love with the Joker girl was invented by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for the animated series “Batman”, which was broadcast from 1992 to 1995.

Harley QuinnHarley Quinn
In the episode “A Favor for the Joker”, the eccentric villain had to jump out of a huge cake in front of a crowd of policemen. The creators felt that it would be unsuitable for the Joker to do this job, so they began to think about creating a clown assistant. True, in the final version of the cartoon, the Joker jumped out of the cake.

Paul Dini decided that the right hand of the insane villain should be a girl. It took the comic book writers ten days to come up with the mysterious Harley Quinn, and the concept was constantly changing. Initially, the illustrators wanted to make a female thug in dark glasses who unquestioningly obeys the Joker, and then the artists came up with the idea to make a fragile and pretty heroine with a sense of humor: sometimes Harley jokes even funnier than the smiling criminal, for which he constantly gets angry at her.

Harley Quinn – artHarley Quinn – art

Dini was inspired to create Harley by theater actress Arlene Sorkin, who brilliantly performed in the opera Days of Our Lives, reincarnated as a jester. Since the comic book creator had known Arlene since college, he rewarded the fictional character with her personality and appearance. In addition, the girls from Frank Lusser’s musical “Guys and Dolls” became a possible prototype for the crazy blonde.

When the image of the heroine was invented, Timm and Dini began to think about the name of the Joker’s beloved. The writers went through many names, but ultimately settled on Harleen Quinzel: the pseudonym of this girl – Harley Quinn – is associated with the word “harlequin” (harlequin).

Despite the fact that the character of the villain has changed over time, Harley has an official biography. The girl from childhood was fond of sports and was a born gymnast. After graduating from school, Quinzel entered the university with a degree in psychiatry, but the young lady was not interested in studying: she did not study lectures all night long, but she seduced teachers.

Harley Quinn cartoon Harley Quinn cartoon

Harley dreamed of recognition and fame, so she got a job in the Arkham Asylum for the mentally ill criminals. By the way, this hospital is named after the institution of the same name from the work of the “king of horrors” – Howard Lovecraft. The blonde did not want to start her career small, so she decided to specialize in cases of maniacs and murderers.

Once, at one of the sessions, the Joker appeared – the main villain of the DC universe, whose name even criminal authorities are afraid to pronounce out loud. The antics of this clown are distinguished by inexorable cruelty: either he will plant a bomb in the village, then he will beat his enemies to death with a tire iron, and once the antagonist even skinned a person and forced him to go on stage at a nightclub.

This behavior did not bother Harley, who fell head over heels in love with a criminal with a white face and green hair. In 2011, DC Comics changed the plot, making the heroine’s multi-variant past.

Quinn helps her lover escape, but when the hospital authorities found out about this incident, Harley herself ended up in Arkham, already as a patient. After being released, the Joker took his girlfriend to an abandoned factory, where she fell into the acid in the vat.

Since then, this pretty girl has become as crazy as her lover. Further, Harley Quinn, who was originally a minor character, earned the love of comic book readers, and in 1999, the criminal’s assistant was included in the list of the main superzdoida of the DC universe.

Harley helped the Joker in many atrocities, the heroine dressed as a harlequin shamelessly wanted to kidnap and blow up dozens of newborn children. In addition, Quinn helped the Joker kill Lex Luther, but Superman prevented the insidious plan of the bandits.

Image and power

Often in comics with the restart of the universe, the appearance of the hero changes, which provokes numerous discussions among fans. The classic image of the heroine was invented in 1992, and, it is worth noting, it has been preserved for quite a long time. Quinn appeared before the audience in a black and red harlequin costume with white elements and a mask on her face. In ordinary life, devoid of villainous adventures Eneny, Harley is a blonde with blue eyes, 170 cm tall.

In the hands of a girl there could be a huge wooden hammer or a cannon, with which she frightened her opponents. In this attire, Harley appeared both in animated films and on the pages of DC magazines.

This image delighted fans for 17 years, until the release of the computer game Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009. The creators decided that the colorful clown costume would not match the neo-noir and sinister atmosphere of the action game, so they decided to modify the appearance of the Joker’s assistant.

This time, the cruel lady appeared before the sophisticated audience in a white shirt and a short skirt. The developers wanted to leave the jester’s hat, but soon changed their minds, and instead of a hammer, the heroine had a machine gun in her hands.

Harley Quinn with a batHarley Quinn with a bat

In 2011, DC Studio announced the restart of the universe. On the cover of the first issue of the graphic novel Suicide Squad Vol. 4 “Harley Quinn appeared in an unusual form: the beauty was dressed in a corset and short shorts. But on the other hand, the authors decided to leave the main weapon of the villain, namely a wooden hammer. In the same 2011, the British game development studio Rocksteady Studios dressed the heroine in her classic leather suit.

In 2014, the company launched the Harley Quinn Vol. 2”. The fictitious heroine received a new costume, to which roller skates were added, and the Rocksteady studio also handed Harley a new weapon – a baseball bat.

Margot Robbie as Harley QuinnMargot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Suicide Squad directed by David Ayer was released in 2016. The role of the criminal, which first appeared in a feature film, went to Margot Robbie. The Australian actress presented the heroine in a completely new look, which became popular among fans of this film: many made the same costume for Halloween or Comic-Con (a comic book festival that takes place in San Diego).

Harley’s make-up in the picture features bright colors, she wears fishnet tights and has many tattoos. But the attention of the girls was attracted by another detail of clothing: Quinn wore unusual shoes from Adidas on her feet.

Among other things, the creators of Harley Quinn endowed the heroine with superpowers: the bandit is not afraid of toxic waste and immune diseases, and also knows how to turn gadgets and props into weapons.

Friends and Enemies

Like any comic book character, Harley Quinn has both friends and detractors. It is known that Harley loves the Joker and is ready to sacrifice herself for this crazy psychopath. She easily agrees to bloody crimes, and in the film “Suicide Squad” it is said that the blonde, along with her boyfriend, killed Robin.

Harley Quinn and the Joker Harley Quinn and the Joker
It turns out that this crime, which crashed into the memory of readers, the Joker did not commit alone. The villain himself is very ambiguous about his passion and often simply uses it for insidious purposes and dooms him to suffering. For example, once the Joker did not like the fact that the accomplice evokes positive feelings in his soul, so the criminal decided to get rid of his partner. However, despite the brutal murder attempt, Quinn forgives her lover, and they again perform as a duet.

Among the friends of Harley Quinn, Pamela Lilian Isley, nicknamed Poison Ivy, can be distinguished. This extravagant girl hates Batman, which could not help but bring her closer to Harley. In addition, on the day when the Joker inflicted numerous blows on Harley, Pamela found the criminal unconscious and cured her wounds. Thus, the two anti-heroines became best friends.

Harley Quinn and DeadpoolHarley Quinn and Deadpool

Poison Ivy gave Harley a special antidote for toxins, which gave her strength and enhanced her superpowers. Then the villains organized the Gotham Sirens team, which also included Catwoman, another accomplice of Harley Quinn. Few people know that initially the heroine in a black suit fought on the side of evil and only then became Batman’s assistant.

These girls have been through a lot: been involved in attacks, tried to kill the Joker, and even managed to save Catwoman from the Black Mask. Harley Quinn also collaborates with assassin Deadshot, who constantly boasts that he does not allow a single misfire. He shows up in Gotham to deal with Batman. In one of the comic book issues, a love line can be traced between these characters, which has faded away.

Batman and Harley QuinnBatman and Harley Quinn

The list of Harley Quinn’s enemies is also impressive. The girl wholeheartedly hates Bruce Wayne, who cooperates with the police and interferes with the cunning plans of the Joker. The blonde helps her lover in every possible way in implementing plans against Batman, but this tandem fails to defeat the powerful superhero. Also, Batgirl, Nightwing and Black Canary interfere with Harley Quinn’s plans.