Saturday, November 16, 2013

Babbles of a Fan Girl - Harley Quinn

If you would have asked me who my favorite Batman villain was when I was a little girl I would have answered in a heart beat "POISON IVY!" in my best girly squeak.  I was first introduced to the green goddess in the movie 'Batman and Robin' which I will admit, I loved.  Before you attack me with tar and feathers understand I was in first or second grade when I first watched that movie.  I didn't notice how mellow dramatic the acting was or all of the cheesy puns.  No, I was entranced by a villain who not only stood for what she believed in but was a literal force of nature the whole time she did it.  I admired her tenacity so much so that I would play Batman games always as a villain, though one of my own creation.

Later on I caught glimpses of the Batman animated television show.  I distinctly recall thinking it was rather dark and even somewhat scary, so I didn't let myself watch it.  Yes, I was that weird little kid who gave themselves rules and limits.  Despite my personal restriction from the show I remembered one part distinctly where a jester type of girl is being brought to Arkham Asylum.  I remember thinking she looked cool even though I knew absolutely nothing about her.  It wasn't until much later that that character fell back within my life, only a few years ago in fact.  Her name is Harley Quinn and she is my favorite Batman villain.
Cat Woman, eat your heart out


For those of you unfamiliar with the Gotham Siren, she is a former psychologist turned mad woman when she attempts to treat the Joker.  This only results in her falling in love with the Joker to the point of not only obsession, but the point where she abandons her straight life and career to take up the mask of crime.  Her relationship with the Joker is ALWAYS rocky, bouncing between passionate lust and abusive destruction.  In her signature episode of the Batman animate series 'Mad Love' her transformation from doctor to deviant revealed along side her current relationship with the Joker where cruelty is overshadowed by the Joker pushing her out the window.  Even after such an act she is still enamored with the Clown Prince of Crime, much to many's shock.

Now I know what you are probably thinking.  Patchwork?!  How could you like or even admire such a poor example for woman?  Not only is she obsessed with her abuser, but she is living a life of crime!  How could you?  Well first off, you should know something.  Many of Harley's characteristics were borrowed from Lucille Ball of the famed 'I Love Lucy' television show.  The creators of Harley even said that the only person they could see playing Harley is Lucille Ball herself.  I grew up watching Lucy and she helped me develop the type of comedic acting I fall so naturally into today.  I would love the chance to play some as menacing yet hilarious as Harley in an attempt to reach my comedy roots.

Secondly, Harley may be obsessed with the Joker but she knows how to hold her own.  Her personality shines through and dominates any episode she's in.  She has that upbeat, silly attitude that makes her hard not to love.  Several episodes of Batman show her performing her own schemes, minus her lover.  She even teams up with Poison Ivy to embark upon her own heists!

Thirdly, as much as I love Poison Ivy, I identify with Harley Quinn more.  Poison Ivy is the lady I wish I could be.  She is confident, knows her desires, and will stop at nothing to follow her passion.  Harley is a wondering soul.  She never really knows what she wants and is usually seeking someones validation to help her know she's doing the right thing.  She goes off and succeeds but often reaches out to Ivy or the Joker to help her see that what she did was a job well done.  You're always rooting for her to break free and be her own person because anyone watching can see that she is more than smart enough to be her own person, not just a sidekick.  I've never been great at picking men or having confidence, so when I see Harley's struggle, I can relate.  Her optimism the whole way through makes a gal feel like with a bit of humor and some classic wit, she can get through anything.

There are many versions of Harley that have popped up over the years in both video games and television alike.  I had greatly hoped that the Batman movies of recent years would finally put her to the big screen, but alas that is still just a dream.  Consider this and introduction to the lady I love, but not our final visit.  Perhaps I will take a closer look at all of her forms in the future.  For now, puddin' please enjoy this look at her adorably dark sense of humor!


2 comments:

  1. Paul Dini's greatest invention, Harley Quinn. I really liked her character in the Arkham Asylum and City games. I haven't read too many Batman comics with her in them though. But this character gained so much popularity, Kevin Smith named his daughter after her.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's so hard not to find her charming, right? She is such and underdog!

    ReplyDelete