HIYA!! So this is a
homage to ME!!*blushing madly* by one of my loveliest supa dupa friends!aw....it's
so nice, I'm fuzzing all ova!!!*grins* ENJOY EVERYONE!!!
On September 11, 1992, Joker
made his debut into the Animated World of Batman in the episode 'Joker's
Favor'. With him, he brought one of the brightest, and freshest young characters
the Bat-Universe has eva seen!!YIPEE!!
Harley Quinn, a.k.a, Dr
Harleen Quinzel made an immediate impact on all those who watched her,
and her popularity grew to extreme heights; she has become as popular as
the Joker himself.
The man behind the harlequin
is Paul Dini, reputed comic book writer, and co-producer of Batman:The
Animated Series According to Dini,Harley was orginally a one-shot character
"I needed the Joker to have an assistant/moll of some kind.The more I worked
with the character, the more she seemed to take on a life of her own".
Dini got the inspiration
for Harley from his old college pal, Arleen Sorkin, known for her role
as Calliope Jones Bradford in the long-running daytime soap, DAYS OF OUR
LIVES.Dini "saw her playing a clown-like character...that sort of cemented
Harley for me".
Bruce Timm provided the
character design, making Harley petite, athletic,sexy, childlike and crazy.Not
surprisingly, there's an uncanny resemblance to Arleen there.Even less
suprisingly, Arleen provides the voice for the character. Wth Dini's brilliant
writing, Timm's divine art and Sorkin's wonderfully sassy voice, Harley
has become a fun -inspiring, sympathetic, lovable, yet wicked villain,
a firm pillar of the Batman Community."I was born to play her" says Sorkin.BUT
SO WUZ I!!Oh...hang on - I AM her!!!*giggle*
Harley's major character
motivation is her over-whelming obsession with the Joker. Whilst she can
survive as a character on her own, and carry a story line by herself, Harley's
Universe begins and ends with him.It is the tie-in factor which keeps her
a bad guy. Says Dini "After Bruce and I had done a couple of shows with
Harley,we began thinking,what if she's really kind of stuck on him and
that's aprt of the relationship. She's in love with him and he treats her
like a pet" True - and Harley's affectionate nature seems to have reached
even the Joker himself, though he'd be the last to admit it.While she drives
him round the edge, it's uncharacertistically good-natured of him to keep
her around.Then again, he could have a more sinister motive..."Harley,
in her own warped way, wants to marry the guy, settle down and have this
nice little family life. But he'll never give her that because he knows
by not giving it to her, he's torturing her in a meaner way than if he
actually just shot her".Aw...but that can't be all. Surely, if Joker found
her truly as irritating as he claims,he would of written her off long ago?
Maybe deep down inside, he feels all warm and fuzzy every time Harley calls
him 'Puddin'"!!!!At any rate,Harley is going strong, whether trailing behind
the Joker on his capers, or performing one of her own, her bright, bubbly
nature never fails to bring the fun back to comics and cartoons.
Of course, Harley's existence
isn't all sunshine and sparkles - she's got good intentions, but tends
to bungle things up somewhat.Not only is she very much insane and wanted
in 2 dozen states, but she just can't seem to please her Puddin, and no
matter how he abuses her she just keeps coming back for more. There's a
tortured side to Harley that hasn't been fully explored yet - she's a multi-faceted
character who's terribly misunderstood, and while you love her to pieces,
you rarely see her too down in the dumpers.And when she is, it's heartbreaking.The
only problem with the character of Harley being solely confined to the
Animated Series Continuity,a children's show, means her character is suppressed
somewhat by censors, a problem the other popular characters don't have,
existing in the mainstream. The Batman and Robin Adventures, the comic
based on the series, allows for more freedom, but not much.
One of the most poignant
and fun visions of Harley and her relationship with the Joker came with
1994's MAD LOVE, the Eisner and Harvey Award winning comic by creators
Dini and Timm. This comic brillaintly showed off Harley's obsession and
undying love for the Joker, her quirkiness,clevaness, her fun-loving and
enthusiastic nature, and also the hurting, sad side of her, telling the
story of her origin, and rounding her character out inestimably.More Harley
stories need to be like this - while she adds that spark of sunshine to
stories, constantly appearing like this makes her appear one-dimensional
- she needs her tortured woes to add depth to her.Thankfuly, this is realised,
and can be proven in such epsiodes as HARLEQUINNADE, HARLEY'S HOLIDAY and
HARLEY AND IVY.
Harleys' development of
character not only adds depth to her, but to the Joker as well. Says Dini
"she was very appealing and she added this other dimension to the Joker."
Indeed. In Joker's 50 years of life, Harley is his first long-time girlfriend.It's
hard to imagine Joker carrying on a 'normal' relationship, and accordingly,
his relationship with Harley is anything BUT.But they DO have one - and
whether he likes itr or not, they're binded together, for as long as she
loves him, and he refuses to admit he loves her.(cuz
we all know he does!!!;-)hee hee)And in a way, they have a perfect
relationship - Harley's lovable side balances out Joker's inhumanity, they
can share things togetha, yet have enough of a difference to keep the spark
of excitement in the relationship(yeh, I know I'm milking it for all it's
worth, but hey, SOMEONE hadda say it!!*lol*)she's a masochist and he's
a sadist, Harley is an enabler, Joker is a doer.And no matter what he does,
Harley is alwayz there to stand by him - so perhaps the Joker needs sumone
like Harley too.It won't change who he is, but for those of us who've read
deeper Joker stories like KILLING JOKE, know there's more to Mistah J than
meets the eye.
" Most of his hench people
are pretty expendable" Not so Harley.So much not so, she now exists as
a character in her own right, even coming with her very own action figure
- FINALLY!WOOHOOOO!!! Yes, Harley has proven
herself as a strong enuff character to have her own toy put on the market,and
not a moment too soon!! It partially proves Harley's appeal, and her endurance
to audience. Another example is the letter column of any comic Harley has
been in recenlty - the response is overwhelming.
So it's clear that Harley
is here to stay(Well I figgin well hope so!!),
so what does the future hold for her??Firstly, there's the new Animated
Series.Unlike many of the other major characters, Harley did not undergo
an image makeover. (TOO perfect!*lol*JUST KIDDIN!)
She's a little leaner, angular - but basically she's the same psychotic
clown girl we all love.And the role which she evolved into, that of a strong
standing character, is not going to be overlooked.Says Dini "MAD LOVE is
the official origin of Harley Quinn, so whether or not we do a verbatim
adaption of the book or we just tell certain elements of Harley's past
remains to be seen" wow!! The first time that's been done in the cartoon,
and it's hugely welcomed!! Dini and Timm have some reservations about telling
MAD LOVE- mainly in how it will translate to the screen. Both creators
are very fond of the story, and wouldn't want it marred in any way. But
fans, never fear "we WILL be doing a detailed story of Harley Quinn and
her life which will involve elements of MADLOVE,if not telling that story
outright"So Harley's future, BTAS wise is set in stone.We'll be enjoying
her antics forever.
What about the mainstream
continuity?Not much talk from that side, but when Alan Grant took over
editing of SHADOW OF THE BAT he promised a "whole slew of new villains"ohhh...exciting!!Could
Harley be amongst them? Fans can only hope - and further hope, if she does
make that transition that they have a creative team as talented as Dini
and Timm to do her justice.
Wherever Harley ends up,
comics fans can be assured she'll be around for a very very long time to
come. She's a unique character, with a unique background, who never fails
to keep her audiences entertained. And we all know the Joker can hold that
gun to her head, but he'll never,ever be able to pull the trigger!!!
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