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  1. #1
    Mighty Member LordUltimus's Avatar
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    Default How should Harley Quinn be handled?

    Quirky and lighthearted, or something darker?

  2. #2
    Fantastic Member babybats's Avatar
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    It depends on the tone of the story. She can be either/or. What I don't like is how overused she's been (and stuff like her beating the Trinity), so I'd like to see less of her.

  3. #3
    Spectacular Member Batknight's Avatar
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    Oh boy, I have a lot to say about this. It depends on the context of the story. Or more importantly, it depends on how the Joker is handled. Because at the end of the day Joker is going to define how Harley is going to turn out since he's the one who moulds her into who she becomes. Joker in BTAS and comic book Joker are pretty different characters. I don't think Paul Dini really understood this when he originally brought Harley into the comics because he always writes Joker the same way which was a mistake. I understand not wanting to stray too far from the original characterization since this was her first time in the comics, but Harley ending up extactly how she does in BTAS doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    Joker in BTAS for the most part is a comedian looking for attention. He's mainly a nassarcist, Gotham is his stage crimes are his acts and that's really all he cares about. He can do pretty awful things but is generally pretty silly as well (up until ROTJ where he decides to end things by brainwashing Tim Drake). Comic book Joker on the other hand is a compeletly evil, nilhistic, psychopathic monster who just wants to see all life burn and laugh while it happens. Harley being broken, brainwashed, manipulated, or having pre-existing psycological issues exposed and taken advantage of by one of these versions is not going to turn out the same as the other. Harley in BTAS could be pretty quirkly and lighthearted, because Joker himself could be goofy and silly himself a lot of the times. This is not usually the case in comics. I think those fan comics by Stjepan Sejic are the best repsersentation of how main continuity, comicbook Harley should be handled

    https://www.deviantart.com/nebezial/...leen-630870159

    It's a dark psychological take but makes more sense for a more twisted Joker.
    Last edited by Batknight; 01-10-2019 at 09:21 PM.

  4. #4
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    With more consistency. Donít have her be this likable lighthearted trouble maker while at the same time have her filling schools with severed heads. Fine a line and stick to it.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Conner Palmiotti version. Fun with a streak of sociopathy

  6. #6
    Mighty Member LordUltimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    With more consistency. Don’t have her be this likable lighthearted trouble maker while at the same time have her filling schools with severed heads. Fine a line and stick to it.
    Yeah that's been a problem.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    With more consistency. Don’t have her be this likable lighthearted trouble maker while at the same time have her filling schools with severed heads. Fine a line and stick to it.
    This would be a good start

    Quote Originally Posted by Batknight View Post
    Oh boy, I have a lot to say about this. It depends on the context of the story. Or more importantly, it depends on how the Joker is handled. Because at the end of the day Joker is going to define how Harley is going to turn out since he's the one who moulds her into who she becomes. Joker in BTAS and comic book Joker are pretty different characters. I don't think Paul Dini really understood this when he originally brought Harley into the comics because he always writes Joker the same way which was a mistake. I understand not wanting to stray too far from the original characterization since this was her first time in the comics, but Harley ending up extactly how she does in BTAS doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    Joker in BTAS for the most part is a comedian looking for attention. He's mainly a nassarcist, Gotham is his stage crimes are his acts and that's really all he cares about. He can do pretty awful things but is generally pretty silly as well (up until ROTJ where he decides to end things by brainwashing Tim Drake). Comic book Joker on the other hand is a compeletly evil, nilhistic, psychopathic monster who just wants to see all life burn and laugh while it happens. Harley being broken, brainwashed, manipulated, or having pre-existing psycological issues exposed and taken advantage of by one of these versions is not going to turn out the same as the other. Harley in BTAS could be pretty quirkly and lighthearted, because Joker himself could be goofy and silly himself a lot of the times. This is not usually the case in comics. I think those fan comics by Stjepan Sejic are the best repsersentation of how main continuity, comicbook Harley should be handled

    https://www.deviantart.com/nebezial/...leen-630870159

    It's a dark psychological take but makes more sense for a more twisted Joker.
    To be fair, when it came to BTAS Joker, when they let him off the leash of a children's TV show (Mask of the Phantasm) he got pretty nasty as well... (not to the point of boiling babies and making dad drink the soup though, so unlike the comics version, it can be argued legitimately that he belongs in Arkham instead of 6 feet under) However, I will agree that he was more lighthearted and more master criminal than simply a killer... That said, BTAS Harley definitely went along with his schemes regardless of the tone of them and had no problems assisting in 9-11ing Metropolis in World's Finest. Also she was AT LEAST the camerawoman in the "family memories" of the RoTJ flashback, so it gets harder to pretend that she's this innocent being that was corrupted by "mean ol' Joker". Oddly enough it tends to be forgotten that she was originally not the best person the begin with, as her goal in her origin was to take advantage of the mentally ill in order to cash out...she just went in over her head. Interestingly she was supposed to die in RoTJ from that fall...but the creators liked her so much they had to squeeze her in the last bit of the movie...

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Well, it would seem like bad business to mess with the formula that's working. Palometti and Conner didn't put Harley on her rise to stardom but they definitely capitalized on it and realized the IP's potential. Harley's huge now, and a big part of that (as far as print goes anyway) is how her book has been written. She's zany, silly, tragic, but above all else; fun.

    So don't fix what isn't broken and leave Harley as the uber-violent yet funny anti-hero (anti-villain might be more accurate) lunatic with tears behind the smile that has outsold most of the biggest brands in comics.

    Outside of Harley's own book, I have no issue with writers (mostly) doing what fits the narrative best. The nice thing about Harley is that she's pretty mercurial; she can be what the story needs her to be. I'd draw the line at having her perform acts of extreme violence against kids or animals, since that would be too far for where she's supposed to be now, but damn near anything short of that could be explained just by saying she's having a bad day.
    Last edited by Ascended; 01-11-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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  9. #9
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I think more consistency would definitely be nice because it doesn't seem like DC knows quite what to do with her character-wise beyond "shove her into as many books as we can."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Outside of Harley's own book, I have no issue with writers doing what fits the narrative best. The nice thing about Harley is that she's pretty mercurial; she can be what the story needs her to be. I'd draw the line at having her perform acts of extreme violence against kids or animals, since that would be too far for where she's supposed to be now, but damn near anything short of that could be explained just by saying she's having a bad day.
    I think part of the problem is writers trying to write her as what DC corporate wants her to be in stories and not who she really is.

    I don't like the idea of trying continuing to try and make Harley on this up-and-up level where she can hang out with the he Big Guns and gets treated with kid gloves by Batgirl. I don't think she is a completely rotten or repugnant person and there might even be a bit of a good streak in her, but taking away Joker I think Harley is still an incredibly selfish person who enjoys being a criminal and sometimes enjoys hurting people. I think that should be acknowledged more.

    I felt the Kesel Harley run was more genuine and true in it's depiction of Harley compared to how they use her now.

  10. #10
    Spectacular Member Batknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistah K88 View Post
    This would be a good start



    To be fair, when it came to BTAS Joker, when they let him off the leash of a children's TV show (Mask of the Phantasm) he got pretty nasty as well... (not to the point of boiling babies and making dad drink the soup though, so unlike the comics version, it can be argued legitimately that he belongs in Arkham instead of 6 feet under) However, I will agree that he was more lighthearted and more master criminal than simply a killer... That said, BTAS Harley definitely went along with his schemes regardless of the tone of them and had no problems assisting in 9-11ing Metropolis in World's Finest. Also she was AT LEAST the camerawoman in the "family memories" of the RoTJ flashback, so it gets harder to pretend that she's this innocent being that was corrupted by "mean ol' Joker". Oddly enough it tends to be forgotten that she was originally not the best person the begin with, as her goal in her origin was to take advantage of the mentally ill in order to cash out...she just went in over her head. Interestingly she was supposed to die in RoTJ from that fall...but the creators liked her so much they had to squeeze her in the last bit of the movie...
    Oh no I agree with you, the darker Joker got in DCAU was definitely reflected in Harley, which makes sense. But like, Joker in something like 'to be a clown' or 'Joker's Millions' is not something that comic book Joker would ever take part in. The plots are way too silly for him. I would never pretend she was simply 'corrupted' by him, in BTAS she was clearly never a very good person to begin with. But she also clearly exhibits severe dependecy and histrionic personality disorders which Joker takes advantage of and expolits to turn her into what she becomes.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think part of the problem is writers trying to write her as what DC corporate wants her to be in stories and not who she really is.
    If so, it's hardly a problem unique to Harls.

    What do you think the difference is between what the writers want to do and what corporate wants to see?

    I don't like the idea of trying continuing to try and make Harley on this up-and-up level where she can hang out with the he Big Guns
    Definitely not. I hear that was a thing in HiC but it's definitely not something that should ever be a thing. Harley does not and should not be on the level where she can take Batman, much less be anything other than an annoyance for Clark and Diana.

    I don't think she is a completely rotten or repugnant person and there might even be a bit of a good streak in her, but taking away Joker I think Harley is still an incredibly selfish person who enjoys being a criminal and sometimes enjoys hurting people. I think that should be acknowledged more.
    I fell behind a while ago but last time I was reading her solo, shortly after the whole "Mayor of NY" thing, they did a fairly solid job of managing that, I think. Violence is still her immediate response to pretty much anything, and when she hold back she does so grudgingly. Harley, I think, is still the same person she always was, but being out of Gotham and away from Joker has allowed a *slightly* more stable version of her to surface.....but she's still bat-sh*t crazy and ultra-violent.

    I felt the Kesel Harley run was more genuine and true in it's depiction of Harley compared to how they use her now.
    I think the Kessel run was more true to the original Harley from the animated shows but the character has grown into something else. It's not something we see very often in mainstream comics, but Harls actually has a character arc and the changes between now and twenty years ago unfolded in a *relatively* organic way. I've seen women come out of the other side of domestic violence far more changed than what Harley has, and deep down she's still a fun loving little killer.
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  12. #12
    Mighty Member LordUltimus's Avatar
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    I also think writers sometimes (not always, but sometimes) gloss over how badly the Joker abused her, because I guess if she was really abused, then she's continuing a persona that her abuser constructed for her, so writers downplay it and portray it as her dumping a boyfriend that didn't treat her as well as she should be.

  13. #13
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    If so, it's hardly a problem unique to Harls.

    What do you think the difference is between what the writers want to do and what corporate wants to see?
    I don't think there is much of a difference. I think they want her to be this screwball, comedic, character with a violent streak (like Deadpool) who can hang out with the heroes instead of being the villains, but I'm not sure if that's really who Harley is deep down, at least they way they've been going about it.
    Definitely not. I hear that was a thing in HiC but it's definitely not something that should ever be a thing. Harley does not and should not be on the level where she can take Batman, much less be anything other than an annoyance for Clark and Diana.
    And I definitely don't see them being anywhere near as sympathetic to her as they have been shown to be (especially in Batgirl's case).
    I fell behind a while ago but last time I was reading her solo, shortly after the whole "Mayor of NY" thing, they did a fairly solid job of managing that, I think. Violence is still her immediate response to pretty much anything, and when she hold back she does so grudgingly. Harley, I think, is still the same person she always was, but being out of Gotham and away from Joker has allowed a *slightly* more stable version of her to surface.....but she's still bat-sh*t crazy and ultra-violent.
    Maybe so. I've never really read her solo book but maybe they are true to the character in a way I'm not giving them credit for, but with how that version has been re-integrated and treated in the DCU proper just doesn't ring true to me.
    I think the Kessel run was more true to the original Harley from the animated shows but the character has grown into something else. It's not something we see very often in mainstream comics, but Harls actually has a character arc and the changes between now and twenty years ago unfolded in a *relatively* organic way. I've seen women come out of the other side of domestic violence far more changed than what Harley has, and deep down she's still a fun loving little killer.
    I don't really see it as being relatively organic, if only because I don't see Post-Crisis Harley and her character development as being the same as New 52 Harley, or New 52 Harley going into the Palmiotti and Conner Harley.

    The animated version is still pretty much the baseline version of the character so I think any interpretation that stays true to that is better then those that don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordUltimus View Post
    I also think writers sometimes (not always, but sometimes) gloss over how badly the Joker abused her, because I guess if she was really abused, then she's continuing a persona that her abuser constructed for her, so writers downplay it and portray it as her dumping a boyfriend that didn't treat her as well as she should be.
    To a degree I think people use Joker's abuse to try and justify "redeeming" Harley, downplaying her more villainous side and the personal actions she's taken irregardless of Joker's influence.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    The nice thing about Harley is that she's pretty mercurial; she can be what the story needs her to be.
    I don't mind that Harley is mercurial, chaotic, and personally inconsistent. What I mind is that the heroes - who are not, as a rule, mercurial, chaotic, and inconsistent - treat her as if whatever she's acting like in a specific story is "who she is" in general. I'd expect a superhero to say "yes, you're acting charming and friendly today, Harley Quinn, but you are a sociopathic murderer. I'm not going to let my guard down, I am going to treat you like the violent, dangerous person you are, I'm going to take you in and make sure you stay locked up, and I'm not going to coddle, hug, and be oh-so-amused by you because today you decided it would be a fun day to play nice, even though yesterday you murdered seven people by smashing their skulls in with a hammer."

    Harley has a plot-driven reality distortion field that makes heroes into apologists for her, and I think it makes them look bad. Two-Face, despite the horrific trauma that drove him to criminality, doesn't get hugged quite as much.
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  15. #15
    Daydreamer ChaosIncarnate's Avatar
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    Let Tom Taylor write her solo, for starters. Loved his depiction of her in Injustice.
    Books Iím pulling:

    • William Gibsonís Alien 3
      Terminator:Sector War
      Justice League Dark
      Heroes in Crisis
      Daredevil
      Young Justice
      Jonathan Hickmanís X-men
      Runaways
      Doomsday Clock

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