Throwback Thursday! The original Harley Quinn!
Harleen Frances Quinzel first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992 and made her first actual comic book appearance in The Batman Adventures (a comic off shoot of the animated series) in September of 1993.
Her origin story is as a new psychiatrist in Arkham Asylum where she meets the Joker for the first time. Against her better judgment she begins to sympathize with the madman and soon sees the Joker as a misunderstood genius persecuted by the Batman. This finally drives her crazy and her personality splits creating Harley Quinn. As Harley Quinn, she breaks into Arkham and rescues the Joker, who she lovingly refers to as her Puddin’.
Harley and the Joker’s relationship is a volatile one. Mr. J as he is refered to abuse Harley mentally and physically, which ends up with her turning to her good friend, Poison Ivy. There is some train of thought that the relationship between Harley and Ivy has been far more intimate than just a friendship. Fairly progressive and risqué for a children’s animated series back in the ‘90s.
The Harley Quinn in today’s comic world is far more of a screw loose character and the movie persona looks to play on her insanity more than everything. But for me, what made the original Harley Quinn so enjoyable is that beneath it all was an incredible sense of innocence. Everything she was and everything she did was out of love for her Puddin’.
Like too many good women, she just chose the wrong man.