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
" 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.
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....
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 A couple of other issues- notably 'Batman' #663- posit that the thesis she originally made a 'D' on was in fact brilliant beyond her professor's ken and eventually became the founding document in a whole new line of thought w/ regards to the Joker's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.
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.
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.
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.
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