Off My Mind: Does Harley Quinn Need Joker?

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Posted by G-Man (30672 posts) - - Show Bio
Harley Quinn and the Joker are a deadly duo. Not only do they pose a danger to society but also to each other. Recently the two have been on a "break." Joker has been busy toying around with Black Glove and Harley had been hanging out with Catwoman and Poison Ivy in Gotham City Sirens. With Joker's recent return to Gotham City after posing as Oberon Sexton and the Domino Killer, what will happen with their on-again-off-again relationship? 
 
When it comes to Joker's affections, Harley has always been a glutton for punishment. Her time with Catwoman and Poison Ivy has shown that she doesn't have to settle for being simply known as "the Joker's girl." Whether it was having solo adventures in her own series or fighting alongside Holly Robinson on Apokolips during Countdown, Harley has shown she is more than capable of keeping away from the Joker. In the coming months she will be faced with the choice of returning to the Joker or staying with Catwoman and Poison Ivy. 
 == TEASER == 
It may have been love at first sight for Harley but her time with the Joker never amounts to anything. Time and time again, she has tried to win his affections by catering to his ego and trying to make him laugh. Joker always shoots her down with no remorse. Saying this is an abusive relationship would be putting it lightly.  

Being part of the Gotham City Sirens has given Harley a new direction. She may not be completely on the straight and narrow but she has been doing more good than bad. While still not completely on her own, she's proven these last couple years that she doesn't need "Mr. J." to define who she is. From the beginning of the series, she's tried convincing the others that she and Joker are "splitsky." Having Harley run off into Joker's arms would be a step back for the character. Harley needs the time to further develop who she is. She doesn't have to be just a sidekick to the Joker's wacky and sometimes deadly schemes. 
 
Batman might need a Robin (as a young Tim Drake told Batman after Jason Todd's death) but Joker doesn't need a Harley (and vice versa). Thinking back to Joker's appearances in Batman R.I.P. and the recent issues of Batman and Robin, he is a much more interesting (and deadly) character on his own. Joker works better without Harely. Even though she is often given smaller roles in Gotham City Sirens, Harley has been shown to have more substance than when she is with Joker.
We could probably assume that Harley will stick with the Sirens (and that series) instead of running off with Joker but there's always the chance that she'll go back to her old ways. Harley needs and deserves the time to be on her own. With her current living arrangements (with Catwoman and Poison Ivy), maybe we would get to see Harley and Joker double date with Catwoman and Batman. If that isn't enough of a reason for us to want Harley and Joker to stay separated, I don't know what is.
Staff
#1 Posted by Baron_Emo (3570 posts) - - Show Bio

"Rev up your Harley" 
 
tee hee

#2 Posted by <the skull> (265 posts) - - Show Bio

thats interesting joker is abusive if i ever saw it. hee joker and batman on a double date with harly and cat women... oh you ment it difrently... my bad
#3 Posted by lordmagnusen (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Harley is barely a one-note character; who serves only to be a Joker sidekick. Currently, she's Catwoman's comedy foil.

#4 Posted by Deadknight (611 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it'd be kind of interesting to see Harley become her own character, by which I mean a possible new codename and costume - although that would obviously just be a fad for grabbing the interest of readers, but it just seems like Harley could stand to move on from being the Harlequin and become something more herself. Although the Harlequin does fit her pretty well... Then again, how much of the Harlequin is simply because of the Joker?
#5 Posted by Mighty Thorion (797 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker knockson the door; 
 
Harley - "Get lost numbnuts!" 
Joker - "Huh?" 
Harley (kicking him where it hurts most) - "You always were a little slow on the uptake!"
#6 Posted by longbowhunter (6808 posts) - - Show Bio

Classic battered woman syndrome. Poor Harley.
Online
#7 Posted by Nerx (15088 posts) - - Show Bio

I love their love relationship , and joker certainly makes mr.punch proud
 
tough love at its best folks

#8 Posted by MikeFightNight (12 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it would be cool if they developed her more and she took up another costume and name.  But she needs motivation and aspiration for all of that to make sense.

#9 Posted by Dr. Detfink (460 posts) - - Show Bio

Believe it or not, the character development of Harley in Countdown was great...and then, they crapped that all out.

#10 Posted by SUPER-MAN 23 (1886 posts) - - Show Bio

Their relationship is better off as it is; not together. Joker is way to crazy. I'm still amazed that Harley Quinn isn't killed off by the Joker. 

#11 Posted by johnny_spam (2032 posts) - - Show Bio

Harley is a one note character dependent on others to work properly she is barely a character and the things that could make her work are not touched on just because fans like her she may need Joker but Joker is a stronger character without her.

#12 Posted by NightFang (9904 posts) - - Show Bio

No, but they work so well together.

#13 Posted by RiddlingGambit (204 posts) - - Show Bio

Even when she isn't 'Joker's girl' she is partnered up with Poison Ivy, or the others mentioned. She just hasn't ever really been written as an independent force. Part of her fractured mentality is her dependence on the approval of others, on her on & off boyfriend (Joker) or her girlfriends (like Poison Ivy). She's not really respected though, & not too well written in comics. She's just become very familiar a character & fan favorite due to her TV, video game exposure but she's yet to really become a character of real range & depth.

#14 Posted by comicbikerscott (152 posts) - - Show Bio

dont know its up to the writers.
#15 Posted by weapon154 (339 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker's insane, he has no care for human life.

#16 Posted by CATMANEXE (17052 posts) - - Show Bio

* spacing out thinking Harley Quinn thoughts *
 
 
 
 
 
^_^ .......
 
huh? what was the question? oh, um, no of course not! her fan base is strong enough and that's all that needs to be said

#17 Posted by queenfrost_ (2499 posts) - - Show Bio

Their relationship was a bit  controversial , even for comic books (and the series)
being the massive Harley fan I am, I'm glad Harley has come in to her own (well..kind of) and that she isn't recognised as the Joker's arm candy anymore ^_^

#18 Posted by Sydpart2 (1092 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker works better without Harley but Harley doesn't work better without Joker. I honestly think she only works well as a sympathy character. Don't get me wrong I love the girl but when she's on her own and has nothing to do with Joker...she just losses my interest.

#19 Posted by Astroknot (88 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's possible with the right writer, but Harley is mostly written as a one note character so much I don't know if that's easily done.  
 
Isn't she supposed to be a a licensed psychiatrist or something?

#20 Posted by cbishop (7198 posts) - - Show Bio

Does Harley have any motivation, outside of pleasing Joker, Ivy or Catwoman?  I'd like to see her on her own, as she's the only new character since the Ventriloquist to really make it as a Batman rogue... now more than ever, since the Vent' was killed off for a female replacement. 
 
The one change I've wanted to see with Harley is for her to somehow pick up the illusion casting glasses that belonged to the original Harlequin - Alan Scott's wife.  That would be trippy, and give her a little something of her own - with her psychoanalyst background, imagine the illusions she would cast... brr.

#21 Posted by ILuvMsMarvel (109 posts) - - Show Bio

Would much rather see Harley in with Kitty and Ivy than being Joker's stooge.


She may not be a stand alone character, but the whole Sirens dynamic works better for her than being with the J.

#22 Posted by Chris207 (118 posts) - - Show Bio

Harley should come and go with Mister J as the mood strikes her, she is to him what Catwoman kinda is to Batman: the occasional tease with occasional benefits. I think we should see more of how he's affected by her though...

#23 Posted by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio

keep them apart, she's annoying.

#24 Edited by johnny_spam (2032 posts) - - Show Bio
@Chris207:  @Chris207 said:

" Harley should come and go with Mister J as the mood strikes her, she is to him what Catwoman kinda is to Batman: the occasional tease with occasional benefits. I think we should see more of how he's affected by her though... "

There was an interesting prose issue where he describes her as "Something that looks like the most boring board game ever invented, with pleady needy blue eyes...It's a dinner gone cold. It reminds him of something he once gorged on but never, ever wants to eat again. "  
 
It was clear she no longer interested him in the issue.
#25 Edited by EisforExtinction (1909 posts) - - Show Bio

They have a terrible, terrible relationship and there is no doubt in my mind that Harley will get back with him at the drop of a hat. 
 

#26 Posted by Bruce Vain (1869 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Harley. I think Dini did a great job creating her. But I prefer Joker to work solo , just like I do with Batman.
#27 Posted by HexThis (884 posts) - - Show Bio

 
Harley, like a lot of women involved with abusive and criminal men, oddly feels a sense of security and safety around Mistah J. because he embodies the characteristics of the most significant men in her life- her brother and her father. Harley's brother takes her money and doesn't respect her at all and neither does her father. As a matter in fact, her father upset her so much she became involved in the field of psychiatry to understand why he treated her so horribly....which led her to the Joker who gave her the validation no other man ever had. It probably felt so good to be let in on his life, Harley will always be more apt to want to deny his mistreatment of her or try to rationalize it. 
 
Harley's also really troubled with psychotic thoughts and anxieties, she's always listening to different voices, who knows what they'll tell her if she sees Mistah J once again and he has a proposition.
 
I love Harley though, she's awesome.   

#28 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

Harley needs a new man.... 
But Joker is her true love...
#29 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

She needs him like she needs a hole in the head

#30 Posted by theik2 (207 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree that Harley is better without Joker but abusive relationships like this are hard to break.  Joker started out working solo, so he doesn't need Harley.

#31 Posted by Band Lone (1789 posts) - - Show Bio

For a movie? Yeah

#32 Posted by Britt601 (456 posts) - - Show Bio

I really can't see the two of them without each other, but Joker seems to work fine without her. They complement each other in the worst way. If they keep the relationship status the same w/o taking it up another notch, then it's time to say bye-bye.
#33 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio
@HexThis said:
"  Harley, like a lot of women involved with abusive and criminal men, oddly feels a sense of security and safety around Mistah J. because he embodies the characteristics of the most significant men in her life- her brother and her father. Harley's brother takes her money and doesn't respect her at all and neither does her father. As a matter in fact, her father upset her so much she became involved in the field of psychiatry to understand why he treated her so horribly....which led her to the Joker who gave her the validation no other man ever had. It probably felt so good to be let in on his life, Harley will always be more apt to want to deny his mistreatment of her or try to rationalize it.   Harley's also really troubled with psychotic thoughts and anxieties, she's always listening to different voices, who knows what they'll tell her if she sees Mistah J once again and he has a proposition.  I love Harley though, she's awesome.    "
Nail on the head. Harley's a text book abuse victim. I don't want her back with the joker, however, it wouldn't be unreasonable for her to return to him. Like most victims she has a genuine love for her abuser and has a deep psychological need for him, abuse and all.
#34 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio
@RiddlingGambit said:
" Even when she isn't 'Joker's girl' she is partnered up with Poison Ivy, or the others mentioned. She just hasn't ever really been written as an independent force. Part of her fractured mentality is her dependence on the approval of others, on her on & off boyfriend (Joker) or her girlfriends (like Poison Ivy). She's not really respected though, & not too well written in comics. She's just become very familiar a character & fan favorite due to her TV, video game exposure but she's yet to really become a character of real range & depth. "
You are correct sir!
#35 Posted by Mr_Wayne69 (177 posts) - - Show Bio
@lordmagnusen said:
" Harley is barely a one-note character; who serves only to be a Joker sidekick. Currently, she's Catwoman's comedy foil. "
This. End of discussion.
#36 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

Keep her away from him. She's annoying and she ruins his image. It's kind of ... lame to have Joker show affection of any kind.

#37 Posted by Hazlenaut (1960 posts) - - Show Bio

She is doing well in Gotham Sirens. There is already former sidekick wanting to kill her, Gaggy. Talk about throw back. She already attracted the Creeper and Bat-Mite.  She and Ivy are always entertaining to watch    

#38 Posted by Pizawle (1074 posts) - - Show Bio

She should try to kill him just because. A Harley v. Joker storyline would be awesome. Because in the end it would just be them causing chaos throughout Gotham with everyone trying to stop them. Maybe it could finally end with them being stronger partners than ever before.

#39 Posted by HarlequinKiss (441 posts) - - Show Bio
@Pizawle said:
" She should try to kill him just because. A Harley v. Joker storyline would be awesome. Because in the end it would just be them causing chaos throughout Gotham with everyone trying to stop them. Maybe it could finally end with them being stronger partners than ever before. "
Yes, I would buy that.
#40 Posted by Yumulu (762 posts) - - Show Bio

Harley need a writer that actually care about character development, it been what 14 years? And her personality is even more one-sided than when she was first converted into the comic format.

#41 Posted by Dracade102 (8167 posts) - - Show Bio
@Astroknot said:
"I think it's possible with the right writer, but Harley is mostly written as a one note character so much I don't know if that's easily done.   Isn't she supposed to be a a licensed psychiatrist or something? "

She sorta... bribed her professor in college, which probably the same reason she got tangled into the Joker's trickery in the first place.
#42 Posted by CellphoneGirl (18826 posts) - - Show Bio

It's still kinda weird for me to see her without Joker, but Harley needs to stick with the Sirens. She needs to become more of her own character, other than just some cool chick who dated Joker.

#43 Posted by mickoreo_LZ (250 posts) - - Show Bio

It's one of those abusive relationships where the girl always goes back to the guy for no good reason. Hopefully writers keep the Joker and Harley separate though because I agree that they are much more interesting characters on their own

#44 Posted by AskaniSon295 (427 posts) - - Show Bio

Would love to see her date Lobo or Ambush Bug or Maybe Booster Gold. Maybe should have her version of the bacherlorette.

#45 Edited by A-Strondinaire (370 posts) - - Show Bio

 I was just thinkning about there relationship while watching Citizen Kane (obviously similar to the second marriage) Harley does need this time and I'm sure she won't be going back to joker anytime soon although Harley probably will never or should be alone in a series she needs friends and Straight Men to play off of, her just thinking while foiling plans or pulling off stunts would seem boring for her personality. so once she's in limbo and pulled out we can assume she'll be with someone new  or thrown to mister J when the mood strikes, I think that should be her thing like Catwoman; straddle the edges of the law come back for a little poke and tickle with Joker and go back with Ivy it works for someone so fun and complex as Harley.

#46 Posted by primepower53 (5686 posts) - - Show Bio
@Baron_Emo said:
""Rev up your Harley"  tee hee "
#47 Posted by blackcat_hull (13 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't has chance to read much of sirens, but Harley works best when she's being playful...either as the love-struck moll with Joker, or the over-eager BFF with Ivy. I don't think it's a bad thing that she always seems to need some-one else, as not everyone is a leading man or lady in comics or real life. My only issue with Harley is that she hasn't been given any emotional depth. if you're going to show obsessive abusive relationships, then show the reasons and heartache that go with it.

#48 Posted by Jeddd (21 posts) - - Show Bio

mhm.

#49 Posted by ComicCrazy (1537 posts) - - Show Bio

I always kinda thought about this and also because it seems that Joker doesn't love Harley back.
#50 Posted by BigDingo (87 posts) - - Show Bio

It just feels weird having Harley being apart from the Joker more than having the Joker be apart from Harley.  Harley's character, after all, was in personality and design is parasitic to the Joker.  The Joker has been his stand-alone character as long as he's been around, so in terms of his character, he isn't missing anything without Harley.
 
It is perhaps this design dependence and psychological dependence within the universe of the comics that makes Harley an interesting character both with the Joker, and with him.  While she is with him, she is simply window dressing who serves to further the persona of the "Clown Prince of Cime".  Without the Joker, Harley is left with an existential crisis as to how she can be her own comic book character, and how sher, as a person, can survive without the person upon whom her entire fantasy world of her mental illness is dependant.

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