Super-Villain Sunday: Harley Quinn
Super-Villain Sunday this week honours the Mistress of Mayhem herself: Harleen Quinzel better known to her adoring (and terrified) fans as Harley Quinn. Harley’s creation was different to most other comic-book characters in that her first appearance was not in comics but in the seminal Batman: the animated series, specifically episode #8 – Joker’s Favour in 1992. She proved wildly popular with the fans and was introduced into comic book lore in the 1994 graphic novel Mad Love which gives us her origin story as Dr Harleen Quinzel, a psychologist working in Arkham Asylum and treating the Joker, whom she falls madly in love with and ends up joining as his crazy sidekick and on/off love interest Harley Quinn.
The story was a huge success and received Eisner and Harvey awards for best overall story in 1994, Harley proved so popular that she has been one of DC Comic’s most loved female characters since. She had her first solo series in 2001 which ran through to 2003, a fantastic 38 issue run which set the standard for the characters quirky, dangerous but loveable personality. She has also been a member of several Super-Villain teams including – The Secret Six alongside characters such as Deadshot and Catman and is an on/off member of the Government run Suicide Squad, which is currently being made into a big screen film by Warner Bros, actress Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street) is rumoured to be playing Harley.
This won’t be the first live action version of Harley Quinn though as she was originally portrayed by actress Mia Sara in the Birds of Prey television series in 2002. She has also proved hugely popular with video-game fans having starred in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us. In fact her gaming appearances go all the way back to the 16 bit era, where she had cameos in The Adventures of Batman and Robin on Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo, she can also be found in MMO – DC Universe Online. Harley’s best friends (apart from her puddin’ Mr J) are fellow Gothamites Poison Ivy and Catwoman, who she regularly meets up with to cause Mirth and Mayhem, you can catch their adventures in the Gotham City Sirens series. So let’s hear it for the Queen of chaos, Harley Quinn … long may she reign!
Super-Villain Rating: 5 comedy mallets out of 5