DC Comics character Harley Quinn has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, especially after the DCEU movie Suicide Squad. First introduced as a one-time character for the Emmy Award-winning Batman: The Animated Series, she quickly became so popular that her character became a major presence in the DC universe. Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, she has been featured in various animated series and movies, standalone comics, has an upcoming Harley Quinn-focused movie (with Margot Robbie reprising the role), and will soon have her own animated series. She also plays a major role in the storylines of other heroes and villains in the comics. In Injustice, she works with Batman to bring down the corrupt Superman.
Despite her frequent appearances in various DC properties, there are still a number of things that fans understandably get wrong about her, largely due to the popularity of Harley Quinn and the Joker as an item. Most of the mistakes include thinking that, without the Joker, there's not really much for Harley to do on her own, or that her life revolves around the Clown Prince of Crime. Because she started out as a sidekick, a number of people assume that that's her primary role. However, this isn't the case. She's a complex character, and there are a number of things about Harley Quinn that might come across as a bit of a surprise.
With that said, here are the 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Harley Quinn.
20 SHE'S “JUST A PSYCHO”
Like Joker, Harley has a rep for being psychotic. She has definitely earned it, but it would be a mistake to think that she is just a psycho.
Aside from being a psychiatrist, Harley has shown that she can help others when she's not being influenced by Joker.
She also happens to be a skilled fighter, which we'll get into later. The point is that Harley Quinn isn't “just” anything. She might switch back and forth from villain to good guy to somewhere in between. Sometimes these differences occur on different Earths within the DC Comics, but either way, she can definitely keep the Joker and other comic villains or “good guys” on their toes.
19 HER ONLY LOVE INTEREST HAS BEEN THE JOKER
There are those who think that Harley Quinn's only love interest has been the Joker. However, this isn't true. Throughout the comics, Harley has had multiple love interests. She's been linked with several of the superheroes and villains within the comics, including Batman.
At the 2018 Baltimore Comic Con, Zachary Levi was asked by an audience member if there's going to be a love interest for his character in the upcoming movie Shazam! While he was unable to answer the question because it would give away too much information, it is interesting that Harley Quinn has a thing for him in Injustice. With the Birds of Prey and additional DCEU movies coming out soon, it will be interesting to see if there's any crossover between the two.
18 SHE'S ALWAYS BEEN A VILLAIN
There's no doubt that Harley Quinn is (typically) a villain, but prior to that, she was a psychiatrist. Also, in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, an elderly Harley Quinn is shown to have turned away from a life of crime altogether. In Suicide Squad, she even imagines living a normal life with Joker (because the Enchantress shows her what she really wants).
While Harley Quinn has embraced her life as a villain/sometimes hero/sometimes antihero, there was a point in her life where she was a regular woman, going to school and living a normal life.
Also, as shown in Suicide Squad, there's a part of her that wishes that she could have a regular life outside of the chaos of superheroes and super villains.
17 SHE'S A DITZ
While Harley Quinn was initially introduced as a one-off character, her popularity was instant, and as such, she soon required a bigger backstory. While many people only know Harley as a ditzy character, she is actually anything but.
As part of her origin story, it was revealed that Harely, as Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, was the psychiatrist who treated Joker during one of his stints in Arkham Asylum. It was there that she fell in love with the Joker and was corrupted by his insanity. While she might flip back and forth, she's ultimately an intelligent character capable of getting into people's heads thanks to her training as a psychologist. For instance, in Legends of the Dark Knight #49 “Dr. Quinns Diagnosis”, she is able to figure out Batman easily.
16 SHE THINKS HER RELATIONSHIP WITH JOKER IS OKAY
The relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker is often painted lovingly, despite their penchant for crime and mayhem. They might do all manner of insane things to everyone else, but when it comes to each other, nothing can come between them. They are seen as a regular Bonnie and Clyde. However, this isn't actually always the case.
Joker tried to claim her life when he realized that he loved her, and he's done all manner of cruel things to her - and these things haven't gone unnoticed by Harley.
She doesn't like the Joker's abuse. She's tried to exact vengeance on Joker herself for the way he's treated her and acknowledges that she was with “the worst guy in the world.”
15 SHE DOESN'T LIKE BATMAN
Some people think that Harley Quinn hates Batman, since the Joker obviously despises the Dark Knight. However, she doesn't. In Batman: The Animated Series, she even kissed him multiple times. Also, in Harley Quinn's Valentine's Day Special #1, it becomes canon that she actually dated Bruce Wayne, though she didn't know that he was actually Batman. Later, she also kisses Batman, not knowing that he and Bruce Wayne are one in the same.
She has said numerous times in her assessment of Batman that he is a true gentleman who knows how to treat a woman. However, it's clear that she thinks Batman is a good guy and likes it, regardless of her interest in the Joker.
14 THE COLOR OF HER SKIN IS MAKEUP
Talk about going way too extreme in the name of love. In the comics, Harley is pushed into a vat of acid by the maniacal Joker.
In the Suicide Squad movie, Harley Quinn jumps into the sane vat of acid of her own free will, with the Joker willingly tumbling in after.
It's kind of like a messed-up version of Jack and Jill, only reversed and with a container of toxic chemicals instead of a hill. Because of this incident, her skin-color becomes acid-bleached, which means that her white skin has nothing to do with makeup. While it would be more convenient and logical for her light appearance to be due to makeup, it isn't. this also highlights the fact that she is not an ordinary villain.
13 SHE ONLY HANGS OUT WITH THE JOKER
While Harley was originally introduced as something of a tie-on for Joker, she later developed as a character in her own right and therefore has a number of friends in the comics and animated TV series. Most notable is Poison Ivy, whom she dated and later went on to marry. However, there are others as well, and with Birds of Prey movie coming up, audiences are likely to see more of Harley's friends.
Aside from Harley, it's possible that BoP will introduce us to Huntress, Bat Girl, Black Canary, Catwoman, Katana, and others. The upcoming Harley Quinn animated series, which will feature Alan Tudyk voicing the Joker and Kaley Cuoco as Harley Quinn, will likely also feature more of Harley's friendships.
12 SHE'S JUST A SIDEKICK
While Suicide Squad did change a number of things from the comics and animated TV series, it did show viewers that Harley Quinn can be front-and-center and act as a bad guy all on her own. While a good sidekick is essential, it's important to note that most good sidekicks can also do just fine on their own.
While Harley Quinn was in a group, she still called her own shots, made decisions against the group, and sometimes did her own thing.
Also, in the comics, she becomes a leader on her own with her own gang. This all goes to show you that Harley Quinn is a dynamic personality in her own right, whether she is being a villain or not. She doesn't always need the Joker to be the one calling the shots.
11 SHE NEVER WILLINGLY WORKS FOR THE GOOD GUYS
There are a number of fans who argue that Harley Quinn is a villain and should stay that way. However, throughout the comics, she has switched back and forth, and sometimes even becomes an antihero of sorts. She even teamed up with the Amazons at one point in order to help them defeat Granny Goodness, and she's also worked with Batman against a corrupted Superman.
With her own team, she sometimes does good deeds as well as not-so-good deeds. However, whatever the case, she's not always just a villain. While fans might disagree over which version of Harley Quinn they like better, there is no doubt that he is a versatile character and will always be interesting.
10 SHE'S NEVER HAD SUPERPOWERS
While surviving a swim in a vat of acid is pretty impressive to even some of the toughest comic book characters, Harley Quinn is capable of a lot more. In fact, she has even more powers than most realize. After the Joker tried to claim her life, Harley ended was saved by Poison Ivy, who gave her potions that enhanced her healing abilities and strengths.
Harley is immune to most poisons - including Ivy's - and she is stronger than the average person and has significant fighting skills.
Given the types of situations that she deliberately and accidentally finds herself in, these abilities have been immensely helpful. Though Harley has recently become more of an antihero than a villain, perhaps she should change her name to Super Harley Quinn.
9 SHE'S A WEAKER FIGHTER THAN THE JOKER
There's no doubt that Harley Quinn can fight. She wields a mallet and a bat like nobody's business. However, most people seem to think that her fighting skills are just happenstance or come purely from training/fighting with Joker. She's got to keep up, right? Wrong. In fact, this is not the case at all. In reality, she's a skilled gymnast, which is where a lot of her fighting skills come from.
She doesn't get as much credit for her fighting skills because the Joker's formidable penchant for villainy often takes the spotlight, but it can be argued that she's actually a better fighter than Joker. The Joker has had his rump handed to him more times than we can count by countless opponents, but you can't say the same for Harley.
8 SHE DOESN'T HAVE HER OWN TEAM
Many fans assume that Harley Quinn has never had her own team and instead has always followed behind the Joker. However, this is not the case.
In New 52, Harley creates her own gang, which is comprised of other characters she knows and occasionally characters from other groups, like Suicide Squad.
It includes Poison Ivy, as well as a group of “freakshow” characters among others others. The revamped Harley proves that she can be a leader on her own and doesn't just have to rely on the Joker to give her orders. While it's still evident beforehand, after Harley and Joker break up, her world is expanded even more, which shows us that she's a vital character in DC Comics in her own right.
7 SHE DOESN'T HAVE A FAMILY
Most fans think that Harley Quinn is only associated with the Joker and has no family ties. However, as an additional part of her backstory, it was revealed that Harley does have a family. She has parents and a brother, a sister (who was revealed in Injustice), a child named Lucy (who was also introduced in Injustice), and twin granddaughters, Delia and Deidra (who were introduced in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker), among other family members.
In the latter series, Harley raisedDelia and Deidra to be good and stay away from the same life of crime that she had lead. However, it didn't work, and they ended up joining a resurrected Joker (who might, in fact, be their grandfather). As for her daughter Lcuy, in Injustice: Gods Among Us (which takes place in a separate universe), Harley tells Black Canary that she has a daughter who is being raised by her sister, Delia.
6 ERIN RICHARDS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE HARLEY IN GOTHAM
While many agree that Erin Richards would make a great Harley Quinn, there's been a question about whether or not that would happen on Gotham. Some fans believed that she was never supposed to become Harley, while others did believed that she would eventually. In the comics, Barbara is Jim Gordon's wife/ex-wife, and not a bad guy, so Gotham's Barbara definitely took a turn in another direction.
Recently, showrunner John Stephens revealed that they did toy with the idea of turning Barbara into Harley Quinn.
The 2018 New York Comic Con Gotham trailer briefly shows Barbara Kean's new short, non-Harley Quinn-esque hairdo, which was also revealed in photos back in August. While it seems definitive that Erin Richards won't be playing Harley Quinn on Gotham, her Barbara has still become a powerful antagonist in her own right.
5 SHE COULD BE JOKER'S DAUGHTER
There has been some speculation that Harley Quinn might actually be the Joker's daughter. However, it's very clear to major fans that she has never been related to the Clown Prince of Crime. The idea was brought up for a potential Batman movie. In it, Harley was set to be Joker's daughter. The character could have been played by Madonna or Courtney Love. In the movie, Harley would be on a warpath to avenge the demise of her father. However, the idea was later scrapped.
In the comics, Duela Dent took the moniker of Joker's daughter, but she is actually Two-Face's child. However, Joker and Harley do have a daughter together, as well as two granddaughters.
4 HER RELATIONSHIP WITH POISON IVY ISN'T OFFICIAL
Harley has a new puddin' now. How do you like them apples, Joker? As of this year, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have officially tied the knot - and no, not a rope knot to tie up an enemy (though with Harley and Ivy, that's never really out of the question). Their status update has officially been changed to married.
In Injustice 2 #70, it's revealed that the two were married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator.
It was part of a discussion about the marriage of other characters in the issue. While they've been dating on and off for a while, and it was kind of an off-the-cuff statement, it's nice to see that Harley and Ivy have taken their relationship to the next stage.
3 SHE'S ALWAYS SUBSERVIENT TO JOKER
Some fans assume that Harley Quinn just does whatever the Joker wants her to do. However, they've disagreed on a number of things over the course of their relationship. Being a villainous duo, these disagreements have sometimes lead to some pretty evil behavior, as villains are wont to do. For instance, in Harley Quinn Vol. 2 #25, Harley fights Joker, ignoring his demands at every turn, and even mocks him.
She decides that she is sick of him and wants nothing to do with him. However, in typically Joker style, he doesn't take "no" for an answer. They then get into a fight, and thankfully, Harley holds her ground and wins. While some fans might have originally viewed her as someone who always takes orders, she is far from subservient.
2 SHE HATES ANIMALS
Harley Quinn actually adores animals. In fact, in the comics, she has two pet hyenas, Bud and Lou, who have been with her for quite a while. It was revealed in Harley Loves Joker #1 that Harley saved the hyenas from animal experiments when they were just little pups.
In Helter Shelter, Harley attempts to adopt a large amount of pets in order to save them from being euthanized.
Naturally, her application to adopt so many pets is immediately denied. So, Harley being Harley, she decides to rescue them all by breaking them out instead. She has proven time and again that she will go above and beyond to help and protect animals, especially her personal four-legged family members. However, she is always willing to add more animals to her family.
1 SHE ORIGINATED IN THE COMICS
Many people tend to think that Harley Quinn is a character who was created in the comics. However, this isn't true. She was actually created specifically for Batman: The Animated Series. The creators of the show thought that the Joker should have a girlfriend, so they created her character. Fans were introduced to her when she jumps out of a cake on the show.
Though she was first introduced in a TV series, her backstory has fleshed out over the years, and now she's as much of a staple of the comics as any of the characters who have been around longer. Her arcs have taken her from something of a villainous sidekick, to all-out villain, to hero and then some. As her popularity grows, it's anybody's guess as to what Harley Quinn might be up to next.
Are there any other common misconceptions that fans have about Harley Quinn? Let us know in the comments!