Is harley quinns' intelligence being played down?

Posted by comkid100 (224 posts) - - Show Bio

Just something i've noticed while reading gotham city sires (and in general) that harley quinn is being made simple minded. She was a therapit at Arkham Asylum with does take intelligence (yh she fell in love with the joker) but still i think they should show her being a bit more interlectual,  
 
when catwoman told ivy and harleythat batman was more then one person harley said that if one person did have a tramatic event batman could be one person that shows she isn't just some half mad wacko with a huge mallet. I'm not saying that she should be smart enough to figure out who batman is, at least make her smart enough to create a simple plan.
#1 Posted by Sydpart2 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio

She is smart enough to create a simple plan, ex Mad Love. I just think she plays down her intelligence to seem like less of a threat and possibly seem more attractive to Joker.

#2 Posted by Dark Walker (477 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh heck yeah, I think people forget she used to be a psychiatrist so she's no dummy.  She's just mentally ill and seems to resort to a more child like behavior, and what Sydpart2 said. 

#3 Posted by comkid100 (224 posts) - - Show Bio

hmm u bth makei good point but wasn;t she at one stage cleared and declared sane and she ddnt change or am i thinking about the cartoon series?
#4 Posted by Dracade102 (8126 posts) - - Show Bio

She Just Doesn't Bother Thinking Things over all That Much unless it's nessasary, She'd Much Rather Have Fun than Successfully Plan a Robbery or whatever...

#5 Posted by EnSabahNurX (2294 posts) - - Show Bio

She was smart on Birds of Prey(tv show) XD
But yea she's definitely not as dumb as she is written, they just play up her ditzy persona otherwise she wouldn't be easily controlled by the joker or Ivy 
I say she's smart in her field(book smart) but lacks the street smarts and common sense 

#6 Posted by elayem98 (458 posts) - - Show Bio

havnt u read mad love the book not episode? in it she sleeps her way into a degree of therapy, she never actually earned it. and she isnt becoming stupider she was always stupid, even before she was in comics

#7 Posted by dementedtheclown (744 posts) - - Show Bio

She "plays dumb"

#8 Posted by The_Jokes_On_You (73 posts) - - Show Bio
@elayem98:
She was crazy enough to make a plan but I agree with elayem98. In the comic she seduced her professor so her grade from a D- to an A+. 
Besides doesn't Paul Dini write gotham city sirens?
But she acts that way cuz he wants her too. It is his character after all.
#9 Posted by username4321 (17 posts) - - Show Bio
@elayem98 said:
" havnt u read mad love the book not episode? in it she sleeps her way into a degree of therapy, she never actually earned it. and she isnt becoming stupider she was always stupid, even before she was in comics " 

Exactly what I came here to say.
#10 Posted by HexThis (927 posts) - - Show Bio

Harley Quinn is probably smart but also has extremely low self-esteem. Her father's a con-man who's in prison, her brother takes money for her but doesn't respect her enough to try and pay her back, and the Joker treated her horribly...she probably just acts the way she does because she assumes she doesn't have the right answer. Also, she was borderline psychotic when she was let out of Gotham anyways....

#11 Posted by tara_la_reine (7 posts) - - Show Bio

Harley is very smart- her series mentions that she has a genius-level IQ, and she's pulled off plenty of neat stunts. You have to understand, though- the appeal of madness for Harley is the lack of responsibility. This is a trick men have been pulling w/ regards to housework for eons: just play dumb until they give up. No one who believes that Harley is a silly, crazy girl is going to expect much from her- and that's exactly what she wants. There are many, many instances of her using her ditzy image to her advantage. Beyond that, she is also quite simply insane and has regressed somewhat, resulting in her naughty little girl persona. I also suspect her self estreem is considerably healthier than she lets on. She is usually submissive to the Joker and to Ivy, but she also lashes out at both of them when they really push her. 
 
As for the 'sleeping with her professor' thing, there is considerable room for interpretation. A psychiatrist has to have two things- a medical degree and a psychology degree.     'Mad Love' shows that *Batman* believes she slept with her professor to have her thesis grade changed from a 'D' to an 'A+', though we don't learn why he thinks this is so. That would obviously concern her psychology degree, but it says nothing about her undergraduate work or her work as a grad student up until that point. A couple of other issues- notably 'Batman' #663- posit that the thesis she originally made a 'D' on was in fact brilliant beyond her professor's ken and eventually became the founding document in a whole new line of thought w/ regards to the Joker's psychosis. However, her introductory issue into mainstream canon has her telling Batman that she "slept [her] way through med school", which frankly seems virtually impossible given the hands-on nature of med school. She could easily be lying to play on her ditzy image. Besides that, such a circumstance does not address her psychology degree. Her series indicates that she might not have slept with her professor at all but rather blackmailed him after a chain of events that ended with her college boyfriend committing murder and then suicide.So, yeah- it's not so straight forward. All of these scenarios show that Harley possessed cunning, determination, and disregard for the rules- all traits she still exhibits, if you read between the lines.

#12 Posted by likalaruku (759 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Harley, but I never thought she was very bright. I can't say I can ever recall her not taking until "too late" to figure anything out by herself & her judgement is usually questionable.

#13 Posted by Benuben (225 posts) - - Show Bio
@elayem98:

Mad love is not in contiunity.
#14 Posted by A-Strondinaire (345 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think Harley's stupid she's just childish and like a childish type she's reckless, doesn't think things through, and she's ditzy. I don't think she's any less smarter compared to TAS where she played second fiddle, If you haven't read further into Sirens there is an issue where she outwits Joker's old henchmen while the other sirens were trapped.

#15 Posted by Son_of_Magnus (15040 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes the girl has a doctorate and was top of her class she should be much more intelligent than presented

#16 Posted by AsMadAsAHatter (30 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with this but then again in the Birds of Prey she was a little too agressive and assertive for my taste. I'm ok with her being smart but just not too smart.
#17 Posted by likalaruku (759 posts) - - Show Bio

How DID dhe get her PhD? Did she buy it? Did she scrape by on Cs & Ds? Was she secretly crazy before? Is she really crazy at all?

#18 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (18976 posts) - - Show Bio
@likalaruku said:
" How DID dhe get her PhD? Did she buy it? Did she scrape by on Cs & Ds? Was she secretly crazy before? Is she really crazy at all? "
Intelligence doesn't mean you can't have bad taste in men
#19 Posted by Strafe Prower (11892 posts) - - Show Bio

Read the current arc and you will see Harley's intelligent side.
#20 Posted by Mercy_ (91881 posts) - - Show Bio
@Strafe Prower SWEET!
Moderator
#21 Posted by cosmo111687 (1463 posts) - - Show Bio

I believe that she's very intelligent (as can be seen here, as she gives a case study upon the Joker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k67SxiNzmis), but she's also very naive and easily manipulated. As The Joker's personal psychologist, she believes that she has gained a greater understanding of the Joker than any one else and feels a responsibility to be his nurturer and protector (even though it's entirely possible that The Joker fabricated everything throughout Harley's psycho-analysis of him at Arkham, and so whatever she is basing her hope of his redemption upon could be a lie). One can also assume that, as a psychologist, she grew tired of academia and just wanted to regress and be a kid again. So she found fulfillment for her child-like fantasies through the Joker. And her father, whom she had a very close and affectionate relationship with, was a con-man and tried to manipulate her multiple times. So her image of men has always been "they'll try to cheat ya, but you gotta keep putting a smile on your face and forgive 'em", making her attraction to the Joker all the more plausible. 

#22 Posted by celestial32 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

i dont know how old this thread is. or if you guys are going to read it. I recently joined this website and I found it very intresting its rather nice to be able to read input from people that have read this series and I beleive that harley quinn is very smart she probably plays dumb because she doesnt feel she should have to prove herself or argue it in anyway because in the sirens issue she talks to a plant when ivy goes missing and is trying to contact ivy and catwoman talks shit to her basically and calls her stupid but harley quinn just appologizes to the plant and asks it to relay the message to ivy without trying to explain what she was doing to catwoman. she seems to understand all villans pretty well.
#23 Posted by Joygirl (19954 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with a lot of what was said here... she is intelligent, but as her mind devolved she regressed into a childlike, zany, avatar of irresponsibility. I once heard a person theorize that she doesn't even see herself smashing heads into chunky salsa, but that in her mind she bops them on the head and they fall down with a silly look and stars spinning around their heads. She's cartoony even outside of cartoons, and I think that's part of what's "wrong" with her. She's shown that she can be crafty, but she'd rather just bounce around and play whack-a-mole with mooks.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.