Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy talks about why he thinks Harley Quinn is so popular with fans. While the Caped Crusader boasts arguably the most impressive rogues’ gallery in the history of superheroes, the usual trajectory has been for a character to first be invented on the comics page, then subsequently be adapted for a different medium like movies, TV, or animation. That wasn’t the case with Harley Quinn, the Joker’s loyal psychotic love interest and partner in crime.
Instead of being a comic book creation, Harley Quinn was invented by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for the legendary Batman: The Animated Series TV show in 1992. Despite being new to what was already a long-established canon at that point, Harley was quickly embraced by viewers, and eventually absorbed into the overall Dark Knight lore. Harley has since appeared in just about every possible format for telling Batman tales, finally making her live-action film debut in last year’s DCEU entry Suicide Squad.
The animated version of Harley Quinn is just about to headline her first adventure alongside Batman, in the DC animated movie Batman and Harley Quinn, which hits DVD, Blu-ray, and digital HD on August 29. During a recent interview with Hey U Guys, preeminent Batman voice actor Conroy was asked why he thinks the Harley Quinn character has risen to such heights of popularity since her debut back in the 90s. Here’s what he had to say.
“I think it has a lot to do with The Joker. Before Harley Quinn, the only foil for The Joker was Batman. The Joker defines Batman and Batman defines The Joker. Mark [Hamill] and I have often approached the roles as the yin and yang of each other but I’m like the dark grounding for Joker, he had no one to really go crazy with and Harley Quinn gave him that. She got to be this crazy reflection of the Joker, so I think the better Mark was, the better Harley Quinn was. A lot of her popularity grows out of people’s love for The Joker. They love Mark as The Joker. She gets reflected glory from that character but Arleen Sorkin, Tara Strong and now Melissa [Rauch] then took that and made it this crazy, gum chewing, wise cracking New Jersey broad who’s just crazy, crazy evil and so much fun. So, I think the birth of it was Joker and his popularity but then each of those actresses just took it and ran with it.
There’s also a big new female audience in animation and they’re looking for more interesting characters for them and, you know, Wonder Woman is a wonderful superhero but she’s not very multidimensional whereas Harley Quinn is just nuts and just has so many different qualities that it’s fun for the female audience.”
While some Wonder Woman fans are likely to be a bit put off by Conroy’s labeling of the legendary heroine as “not very multidimensional,” his overall sentiments about Harley seem to be on the mark. Similar to the Joker himself, there really isn’t a hard limit to what kind of storylines and plot turns can be done involving Harley, as she’s completely insane and utterly unpredictable, and thus no action that she undertakes would necessarily be out of character. Well, no action outside of turning on her beloved Mr. J, which she’s still nevertheless done a few times over the years, at least temporarily.
Over in the live-action realm, Harley’s schedule continues to be full, as she’s set to star in two DCEU films that are currently in development: Gotham City Sirens and a recently announced Joker and Harley Quinn movie. Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie will be returning to play Harley in both projects. At present, Harley Quinn remains a character that fans — and now Hollywood studios — can’t seem to get enough of.
Batman and Harley Quinn hits DVD, Blu-ray, and digital HD on August 29.
Source: Hey U Guys
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