How Harley Quinn’s image has changed in comics, movies, animated series and video games

Harley is the most famous and popular DC heroine at the moment. Entire series of graphic novels are devoted to this beauty, she appears in games and movies of the DC Cinematic Universe. And today, July 28, 2022, the third season of the solo animated series about her will be released. In honor of this event, we decided to tell you when Miss Quinn first appeared and how her image changed over time.

Harley Quinn debut. Batman: the animated series

The vast majority of DC characters made their debut on the pages of comics. Harley is one of the few exceptions. We first saw her in the animated series Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1994). For the episode “Joker’s Favor”, the writers planned a scene where the Joker unexpectedly jumps out of a huge cake. And it was decided that in such a situation a cruel villain would look ridiculous. Therefore, he was replaced by a heroine in a harlequin costume (in English – harlequin). As you already understood, this is how the name Harley Quinn and her image were invented.

At the same time, the relationship between her and the Joker was explained, in which the girl was openly mocked, and she continued to love the main enemy of Batman. In addition, this novel lasted more than two decades. But today, Harley spends time in the arms of Poison Ivy and the Joker has an affair with a bandit known as Punchline.

In Batman: Animated Series, Miss Quinn hasn’t been turned into a sex bomb yet. Her behavior was not erotic, but crazy and a little funny. At the same time, there was a place for feminine charm in the animated series – Catwoman and Poison Ivy openly seduced men, and the Joker made bold comments when he looked at Batgirl’s sleek outfit.

Harley in the comics. From 90s graphic novels to DC reboot

Shortly after Miss Quinn’s cartoon debut, she also appeared in graphic novels. For example, the comic book The Batman Adventures: Mad Love (1993), which was released in Russia under the title ‘Batman. Adventures: crazy love. In it, Harley looks and behaves exactly the same as in the animated series. She befriends Catwoman and Poison Ivy, and they work together as the Gotham City Sirens. Since 2000, the first solo strips about Miss Quinn began to appear.

The relationship between the Joker and Mrs. Quinn changed significantly after 2011, when the DC Universe was completely rebooted. Over time, Harley became more and more independent and even started having affairs. For example, before she started a relationship with Poison Ivy, she had an affair with the hit man Deadshot. All this, of course, did not please the selfish Joker. He tortured her – he beat and cut the girl with a knife, after which he put hungry predators on her. At the end of it all, the villain chained Harley and left him in the basement, where the corpses of girls dressed just like them lay.

All this led to the final break in their relationship. Harley began to search for himself, actively befriended other villains and superheroines, and also committed crimes without the participation of the Joker. The DC writers actively developed her solo comic series, which began to resemble the adventures of Deadpool. Miss Quinn not only demonstrated her madness, but also periodically broke the fourth wall to personally inform readers of important information. In addition, she participated in joint adventures with other villains as part of the Suicide Squad graphic novels. Later they became the basis for the film of the same name.

The change of scenery affected Harley – she decided to dress more revealingly. The closed suit was replaced by shorts and a subject. In addition, the girl began to behave more courageously. Miss Quinn kissed Poison Ivy, unequivocally nestled against Power Girl’s huge breasts, and offered unknown guys “kiss her toes” as a reward, which they happily agreed to.

And if you still want to see Harley’s rise, her first meeting with the Joker, and the beginning of their abusive relationship, check out the 2019 Harleen comic, which presents her story as a dark and cruel drama.

Harley in video games. Batman Arkham and Injustice Series

Miss Quinn has appeared in many games related to the DC Universe. Among them are The Adventures of Batman and Robin (1994) for the SNES and Sega Genesis,