Hey everyone, today’s Biannual Bibliothon will be a lengthy discussion post, so please feel free to grab a hot coffee or tea, and maybe some snacks, before settling in! The host for today’s challenge, Inside My Minds, has asked for bloggers to speak about one, or two, characters with who you have a personal connection with. There will most likely be spoilers.
The character I have chosen is from DC Comics, and that is the one and only, Harley Quinn.
Harley (full name Harleen Frances Quinzel) first appeared in The Batman Adventures #12, and was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. Her origin story was retold in the graphic novel The Batman Adventures: Mad Love. Harleen was an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist intern who was fascinated by the lunatics in the Asylum. One particular innamte, however, proved to be her downfall. She freely gave sympathy, allowed herself to be seduced, and ultimately fell in love with the Clown Prince of Crime, and Batman’s nemesis, the Joker. Harleen helped the Joker to escape, gave herself a makeover, renamed herself Harley Quinn (a play on the word harlequin), and joined him in his adventures against the caped crusader, Batman.
I first came across Harley in the animated film, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. She was a kooky character, in love with a mad man, and yet, she was sad. It was like she was pining for a real family, something that is echoed in the recent Suicide Squad film adaptation.
And then, I started reading the comic books/graphic novels. Harley appears in so many, but that’s the beauty of her. She’s versatile. She once joined forces with Catwoman and Poison Ivy to form the Gotham City Sirens. She is also part of a government initiated group, the Suicide Squad, along with Deadshot and Captain Boomerang.
The character has had immense popularity, not just through graphic novels, but with animated TV shows and films. She has been featured as a playable character in fighting games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us. The Arkham trilogy of video games features Harley, and has had playable DLC with Harley Quinn’s Revenge. Actress Margot Robbie has brought the character to life more in the Suicide Squad film, released 2016. She has a lot of merchandising including t-shirts, costumes, figures and more.
I connect with Harley because she’s a trier. Before being led to a life of crime, Harley was a model student who received high grades at university. I am always aiming for high grades too. She is always trying to see the best in her twisted relationship with the Joker – I always want to give people second chances, even those I’ve been wronged by.
Harley is one of the strongest characters in terms of her physical abilities. A once dedicated gymnast, Harley is flexible, agile, and is an expert in hand to hand combat.
It is her mental capacity that I most connect with her, though. She is a woman who has gone through hell for someone she loves, although she knows that the relationship is no good for her. Joker is abusive, showing tender moments when he thinks it will suit the situation. In her New 52 storyline, she shows that she is strong enough to stand on her own two feet – she is done with Joker’s bad attitude towards her, and even goes so far as to beat him in a prison, during Volume 5, The Joker’s Last Laugh. She has what she wants in life now – she has a stable job, a lot of pets, and friends that she can depend on. Poison Ivy (or ‘Red’, as Harley calls her), is a wise character, keeping her on/off girlfriend/lover in check, but at the end of the day, Harley shows you don’t have to depend on others anymore. The knowledge that someone else is there for you though, is beautiful and holds meaning.
Harley Quinn gives me faith that I can be as strong as she is. And that is the connection. Strength. Harley has been through so much, and she is still going. This is proof that I can be as strong as her. That strength, the words she speaks, that is what connects us. Besides, both of us being absolutely mental!
What character do you connect with? Please let me know!