Warning: Spoilers For Old Lady Harley #5
DC continues to reveal more of Harley Quinn's (alternate) future in this week's final issue of Old Lady Harley, as a bombshell is dropped: the newest villain in town isn't the Joker, it's the grown-up son of the Joker and Harley Quinn.
The series, an homage to Marvel's Old Man Logan, takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, where Harley is an older woman (still rocking her skimpy black and red outfits), recently returned from years in self-imposed exile after a new villain calling themselves the Joker has appeared.
So far, the series has combined the 'present day', as Harley navigates the destroyed DC Universe as she tries to discover who this new Joker could be, and flashbacks of what happened to drive her away. She believed that the Joker was dead, and was terrified that he was somehow back, but this week, Harley learns the truth: it's not 'her' Joker that is terrorizing people. It's her son.
In Old Lady Harley #5, Harley (and a whole slew of famous DC characters) finally come face to face with the new Joker, who reveals the truth. When Harley and the Joker hooked up again all those years ago, it was just long enough for her to become pregnant. However, she gave up the baby and left town - and after being passed around from orphanage to orphanage, that son became twisted and furious, vowing revenge on the mother who never loved him, trying to make himself as much like his famously villainous father as possible.
However, the issue comes with a twist. Harley, who has always had a soft heart, begs him for forgiveness... and her son accepts. It's a sweet, if deeply disturbing moment where the new Joker finally gets the love he has always craved, and calls off his minions in order to finally bond with his mom. Awwwww.
Cute as this is, it leaves some pretty big questions - especially whether or not Harley's kid is actually going to give up his life of crime for a family life in Harley's paradise home (created by non other than Poison Ivy), or whether this is all some play as part of a bigger plan. The series was originally conceived as a five-issue miniseries, which would make this big reveal the finale... but the final pages show the brain of the real Joker in a robot body in space (because no one ever dies in comics), with the promise of a sequel to come...
Does this really mean that Old Lady Harley has a bright future with the son she abandoned? Will the original recipe Joker be returning for a sequel, and will his son manage to survive both his parents? And of course - will this ever happen in the mainstream DC Universe? It's unlikely, because Harley and the Joker have been apart for quite some time now, but Old Lady Harley showed her becoming pregnant from a moment of weakness... and she has certainly had her weak moments in her own title. The Joker may become a mainstream legacy title after all.
Old Lady Harley #5 is available now from DC Comics.