When you think of intimidating comic book villains, Harley Quinn probably isn’t someone that springs to mind. She doesn’t have super strength, super speed, enhanced ability to regenerate from wounds, the ability to fly, or really anything else that separates her from an ordinary human. Sure, the Joker doesn’t typically have super powers either, but his insanity makes him so violent, unpredictable, and cunning that his mind is as dangerous as a superpower in its own right.
Don’t let Harley’s ditzy personality fool you, though. She’s evolved into so much more than some funny mook for heroes to throw in jail each week. As Harley has struck out on her own, she has beaten down not only the Joker, but also some of the strongest heroes out there. Let’s get into the 15 Superheroes Harley Quinn Has Beaten, and you’ll learn that just because she makes you laugh, doesn’t mean she’s a joke.
Obviously Gotham’s biggest name is going to be on this list. With as many encounters as Batman has had with all of his villains, it’s inevitable that a lot of them will have beaten him at some point. Batman has proven capable of beating just about anyone given the proper planning, but at the end of the day he’s still just a man. So when caught he’s unawares, even someone without any powers like Harley Quinn can give him a challenge.
Most people probably best remember the Mad Love storyline for being one of the Joker’s most abusive instances against Harley, as he tossed her out of a window in a fit of anger. What gets overlooked is that Harley had actually captured Batman during this story, getting the better of him and leaving him trussed up over a piranha tank. Unfortunately Harley’s victory wasn’t appreciated, as the Joker wanted the pleasure of defeating Batman all to himself.
14. GREEN LANTERN
Before you start wondering where Harley’s victories over all these super powerful heroes came from, the storyline Harley’s Little Black Book paired her up with several heroes pretty recently, and had her fighting a number of them. The thing is– the story is pretty non-canon, so they make for fun stories, but probably aren’t material you should bring up to prove Harley is stronger than the Justice League. Harley isn’t exactly the most reliable narrator, and her victories are sketchy at best. Like in the issue where she wound up fighting the Green Lantern.
Harley had gotten ahold of both red and black Lantern rings, and was causing chaos in the city. Green Lantern went to deal with the problem, and the two began a midair battle of smacking each other around with the objects their rings could create. Harley wanted to settle things once and for all, so she challenged Green Lantern to an arm wrestling contest. He accepted, and they both conjured giant arms with their rings and locked up.
With both the red and black rings, Harley was too strong and was on the verge of being declared the undeniable champ. Unfortunately, the guys who stole the rings interrupted at the last second, shooting Green Lantern and tarnishing the results. It was a win, but Harley didn’t take kindly to the unasked-for assistance.
The Hush storyline in the Batman was a sprawling tale that sent Bruce searching all over for the enemy behind his latest troubles. Catwoman joined in, and the two heroes formed a strong bond, taking on some of the biggest names in DC. Of course Batman eventually suspected his biggest nemesis, and was drawn toward the Joker. Harley Quinn sprung to her idol’s defense during the incident, attacking the two heroes during an opera.
Harley’s more of a prankster than a fighter, though, and once things began heating up she tried to make her escape. Catwoman wasn’t having it, and used her speed and agility to stay hot on Harley’s heels. Harley is pretty agile in her own right, and was able to keep ahead of Selina. Apparently Catwoman grew so frustrated by the chase that she didn’t notice Harley pull out a gun, leading to Selina being shot out of the air. It was enough to make Batman stop to take care of his ally, so Harley bought a few more minutes of freedom due to her crafty victory.
12. THE FLASH
Sometimes beating an opponent doesn’t mean getting the better of them in a fight, but just literally beating them. Which is lucky for Harley Quinn, because in a straight-up fight with the Flash, we can’t imagine she’d fare too well. Fortunately for her, the Flash was totally restrained when she got to him, so he was in no position to fight back.
The DC characters siding with Batman in the Injustice comics had launched an attack against Superman’s forces, which counted Robin and the Flash among them. Harley destroyed their base by blowing herself up (it’s okay, she was indestructible at the time), and Catwoman infiltrated the wreckage and slapped a paralyzing device on the Flash before he could react. They took the Flash and Robin back to their own headquarters, and Harley was given some alone time to work on getting the Flash to join them.
Harley is a therapist, so in theory she should have been a good candidate to talk things out with the Flash. Of course he couldn’t do much talking since he was gagged and bound to a table, but still. One little problem was that Harley is apparently a proponent of electroshock therapy, so she did more than talk to him. It’s not at all a fair fight when the opponent is powerless to fight back, but after a torture session at the hands of Harley, there’s no doubt the Flash had to be feeling pretty beaten.
Who would have ever thought we’d be able to say Harley Quinn beat Superman? 2016 brought many surprises, but this was one of the bigger ones for fans of Harleen Quinzel. This was no lucky shot, or picking the bones of another villain’s work. Harley straight up walloped Superman and left him lying in the middle of the ring. And we’re not talking about a figurative ring either. This was a boxing match.
If you have read Superman vs. Muhammad Ali from back in the day, you should be familiar with this story. In a humorous retelling of that celebrity crossover, this time it’s Harley who takes on the role of Ali, facing a depowered Superman in an equal-footing boxing match. No super strength or super speed here.
While Ali winning a fight against a depowered Superman probably wasn’t too surprising, Harley showed she was a contender in the ring too. So is Superman just super weak without his powers, or is Harley Quinn just naturally as strong as Muhammad Ali? Who knows? All that matters is Harley knocked out the Man of Steel.
10. DICK GRAYSON (AS NIGHTWING)
Players of Arkham Knight finally got the chance to play as Harley Quinn in one of the Arkham games. It should be no surprise that, when given the chance to play a villain, you’re going to be beating up the good guys instead of the criminals. For the majority of this short DLC, Harley is attempting to rescue Poison Ivy and beating up police officers along the way, but when ordinary humans aren’t enough to deal with a supervillain, the superheroes have to step in.
The conclusion of the DLC sees Nightwing step up to stop Harley, resulting in a climactic battle between the two. This is a prequel story to the main game, though, so you should know there’s only one way this encounter could end. The player gets to beat Nightwing around for a while until Poison Ivy’s plants finally grab ahold of Grayson and drag him off. It’s Harley’s one big victory in the game, but it plays an important role in setting the table for the later events of Arkham Knight.
Anyone who has followed Harley in recent years knows that she is currently quite well-known for being a member of the Suicide Squad. That’s been great not only for throwing her into even more wild stories, but also for allowing her to collaborate with some of the tougher characters in DC. With the Suicide Squad at her back, Harley takes on dangerous threats on every mission, even from other heroes. Such was the case when the Squad encountered Midnighter.
Mightnighter’s heightened abilities gave him a huge advantage even over multiple opponents. He took out Parasite with minimal effort, used one of Parasite’s knocked out teeth like a bullet to take Harley down, and was even able to dodge a barrage of bullets from Deadshot. It looked like Midnighter had it won, but Parasite had taken Midnighter’s healing powers, so when the last few bullets from Deadshot managed to connect with the hero, he was unable to recover. Harley took the chance to incapacitate him with a blow to the head, rendering Midnighter unconscious with a little teamwork.
8. DAMIAN WAYNE (AS NIGHTWING)
The identity of Robin isn’t restricted to one person, and neither is Nightwing. Damian Wayne also spent some time under the mantle, around when the events of Injustice transpired. But maybe there’s a reason that the classic endures, sometimes. When Damian got his chance to prove himself against Harley, he was doing fine fending off her mooks and had them running scared, but that just angered Harley even more.
As Harley told Damian, she herself had started out as a henchwoman, so she sympathized with those who fought for her. How many times had she been knocked around with no appreciation while trying to help the Joker? Harley didn’t take kindly to Damian slapping her underlings around, and responded by putting a beat-down on Damian. By the end of the fight, Harley’s own goons were holding her back because they were worried she was on the verge of killing Nightwing.
Harley has clearly had some impressive victories over the years, but you had to suspect at least a couple of her victories would come from tricks or technicalities. And that was the case in her confrontation with Shazam in the Injustice comic book tie-in. All kinds of characters who wouldn’t normally have the chance to interact were getting to square off, including Harley Quinn and Shazam. Their encounters were pretty amusing because Harley was actually a big fan of his, and liked him quite a bit despite trying to beat him down.
The two faced off three times in the story, but never got to have a truly decisive fight. Each round was either interrupted by another character, or resolved with one of them deciding the fight wasn’t worth it anymore. But one of those rounds did go to Harley when Superman’s allies and Batman’s allies all fought in a big brawl. Harley kicked things off against Shazam by tricking him into catching her exploding mallet. Shazam didn’t get a chance to retaliate though, since by the time he recovered from the explosion, Trigon showed up at that moment and began demolishing everything in sight. So Shazam would have to wait until round three to get his revenge against Harley.
6. JASON TODD (AS ROBIN)
This is actually one of the more recent entries on this list, as it comes to us courtesy of the Suicide Squad movie. Riffing on the famous Death in the Family story arc from the Batman comics, we already knew the DCEU’s version of Robin had been killed. We saw Robin’s costume on display in Batman v Superman with a mocking message scrawled on it, but everyone assumed the Joker was the one behind this. It wasn’t until Suicide Squad came out that the movies introduced Harley Quinn to the story, and her rap sheet credited her as an accomplice to the murder.
It hasn’t been explicitly stated that the Robin that was killed was Jason, but it’s definitely the best guess going by the events of the comics. We also don’t know how Harley managed to kill Robin, but it’s not hard to imagine when we have seen her enjoyment of causing (and receiving) pain. With how popular Harley was in the movie, a spinoff film is already being planned. Fans will no doubt be hoping to see the mystery of Robin’s death addressed, and Harley would probably have no problem sharing the details.
Deathstroke is an odd character, because he’s undeniably done some pretty horrible stuff, and has shown no qualms about becoming an antagonist to the heroes. At the same time, he’s also been positioned as a hero at times, even having his own comic series that helped popularize the stereotype of gritty characters in comics There’s certainly a valid argument to be made for him being a hero, which warrants his inclusion on this list.
You might have a tough time imagining how Harley could ever beat Deathstroke, but this was another instance where she has the Suicide Squad to thank for backing her up. Deathstroke had actually been part of the team for this mission, but the mercenary got bought out by the opposition and betrayed his team. Black Manta and Harley doubled-teamed Slade while they were trying to rescue Deadshot from being tortured. Deathstroke fended off the attack, but was distracted long enough to be shot by Deadshot, and pass out from the pain. Harley didn’t score the final hit, but like in sports, you get counted as a winner when you’re on the winning team.
4. TIM DRAKE (AS ROBIN)
Harley certainly is good at beating up the former Robins, isn’t she? And she doesn’t waste time with it either– in this instance targeting Tim Drake when he was still just a child. Harley and the Joker had abducted Drake and made him an unwilling member of their little family. Through a mixture of torture and brainwashing, the clown duo converted Tim to their way of viewing the world, even giving him a Joker-esque appearance.
Of course Batman was never going to stand for his young sidekick being lost in the hands of Harley and the Joker, so he soon mounted an assault alongside Batgirl. Harley wound up getting paired off against Batgirl, but wasn’t doing so hot in the fight. It looked like Tim’s brainwashing was going to give Harley the edge when he decided to help her out during the battle, tossing her a rocket launcher to gain the advantage. Unfortunately, even the extra help wasn’t enough for Harley to get the better against Batgirl. Still, she obviously did some serious damage to Tim Drake and gave the kid a harsh taste of the dangers of being a hero.
We know: you’re already saying Lobo’s not a hero. Many would call him a villain, or neutral at best. But in case you haven’t been keeping up with his adventures, Lobo recently proved to be so good at fighting back against evil that he got an offer from Batman to join the Justice League. And if Lobo’s good enough for Batman to induct into DC’s most illustrious group of heroes, who are we to argue?
In this particular encounter with Harley, Lobo wasn’t being particularly villainous anyway. It was simply a matter of Harley Quinn having stolen his flying motorcycle, and Lobo wanted it back. Of course he didn’t take kindly to being robbed, and dropped in looking for a fight while Harley was bonding with Green Arrow and Black Canary. The two heroes quickly did their best to debilitate Lobo, with Green Arrow blinding the bounty hunter with arrows to the eyes, and Canary deafening him with her scream. Harley was the real show-stealer, though.
Lex Luthor had recently developed some super pills that gave the recipient strength that could compete with Superman. Harley happened to be popping the pills at the time, and so was able to hop on Lobo’s back and rip his head clean off! And to top it off, when he regenerated, Harley used her psychiatry skills to convince him to give up his grudge against her.
2. WONDER WOMAN
In case you can’t already tell, Harley has to rely on some tricks every now and then to get the victory. You can’t exactly expect someone with no superpowers to willingly be engaging in fair fights with heroes who have god-like strength. Instead, Harley utilizes lots of weapons, a bit of deception, and lots of games. Like when she visited Wonder Woman disguised as someone from a flower delivery service.
Wonder Woman was naturally suspicious that random flowers were coming to her apartment, but went to grab a pen to sign for them anyway. When she turned around, Harley revealed it was her in the disguise, and she tossed a gas bomb into the room. Diana realized what was happening too late, and passed out as she lunged at Harley. The funny thing was that Harley wasn’t even trying to hurt Diana– she was just a big Wonder Woman fan and wanted to help her hero hide from the enemies hunting for the Amazon. So after knocking Diana out, Harley hid her in a bathtub, stole her clothes, and masqueraded as Wonder Woman.
1. CAPTAIN CARROT
No one said that every superhero in this article would be an A-lister. Besides, after taking down people like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, Harley has earned the right to take it a bit easier with a silly fight. And this fight makes no attempt to be anything but off-the-wall fun, pitting Harleen Quinzel against the super-powered bunny in an amusement park.
Defeating Captain Carrot might not be some great victory to add to her resume, but it is a rare accolade. With Captain Carrot existing in an alternate version of Earth, it’s going to be pretty difficult for most DC characters to even encounter him. By the end of their brawl Harley and Captain Carrot seemed to have reconciled and put their differences aside, but like the Joker, Harley enjoys leaving people with a punchline. Harley gains a sneaky victory by giving Carrot a toxic carrot to munch on from Poison Ivy, implying that she gets the win in the long run.
Which fight do you think was Harley’s best? Share your thoughts in the comments!