It doesn’t matter who plays Harley Quinn, because her fans love any of her shapes and colors. For years, DC has presented different versions of the Joker’s girlfriend. The best known is the interpretation of Margot Robbie in “Suicide Squad”, but other accents of the demented harlequin also worked in series and animated films. Most are available on HBO Max. Soon, Lady Gaga will be the actress who will give life to the villain of Gotham City in the sequel to “joker”. It will be psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel’s first appearance in creator Todd Phillips’ universe. What should we expect from that character?
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First of all, Lady Gaga it will need a strong dose of madness and emotional dependence, characteristics that come from the series “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992), where Harley Quinn debuts as a DC villain, before appearing in the comics. In the episode “Joker’s Favor” of that series, she is the Joker’s sidekick during a mission to kill an accountant. Later, in the last chapter of the third season called “Mad Love” (“Bad Love”, translated into Spanish), a flashback takes her back to the worst moment of her life: when she meets the Joker in the Arkham Asylum for dangerous criminals, where she appears as Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel.
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A psychiatrist in love
In “Batman: The Animated Series,” psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel falls head over heels for the Joker when the deranged criminal lures the doctor with false testimony from his past during a therapy session. “She is a tormented soul, asking for love and understanding”, explains the doctor about her patient. With the goal of writing a book that would make her famous, she had the opportunity to be close to the Joker, the most macabre mind in Gotham. For Quinzel, it was like being at the pinnacle of her career. But the passage of time (and Batman) made her finally discover the lies of the Joker, a manipulative and egotistical man.
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In the book “The American Superhero: Encyclopedia of Caped Crusaders in History”, author Richard A. Hall recalls the first appearance of harley quinn in live action. It was the FOX television series, “Birds of Prey” (2002), where the actress Sherilyn Fenn would be the female character. However, later, the role passed to the skin of Mia Sara in a new pilot episode.
In that story, the protagonists are the superheroines Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Helena Kyle (Batman’s secret daughter) and Dinah Lance (young man with visions). Coincidentally, the Joker’s ex-girlfriend tricks one of the heroines by pretending to be a psychiatrist, while she plots to build a criminal empire. Although the goal sounds macabre, the actress’s performance borders on sanity, when she should be one hundred percent crazy, and she goes unnoticed.
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In addition, “Birds of Prey” (2002) has a tone of overacting and a dark atmosphere, where the beauty of Mia Sara does not correspond to the stunning and mischievous stereotype of the current Harley Quinn. Cultural analyzes speak of a “sexualization” of the character, which makes sense with sex scenes in the animated versions of her. The movie “Batman and harley quinn” (2017) is a good example. In a funny scene where the Joker’s ex-girlfriend and the superhero Nightwing (Robin) are in a room, she changes clothes. Tied by the wrists on the bed, he only has to watch the show while he feels stimulated. Soon, the blonde seduces him, Batman walks through the door and his assistant replies: “Oh, don’t tell me you’ve never done it with a supervillain”, referring to Catwoman.
The Joker’s mistreatment
DC has always presented its superheroines as exuberant women, but in the case of harley quinn there is an extreme charm in front of men. After the abuse experience joker, she becomes a deranged woman, like him. But, within her madness, she uses her attractiveness to manipulate people in her favor and use violence. She is also a born fighter and has brilliant strategies to rid herself of evil and set herself free. However, in all versions of her, her sensuality and cunning are belittled by her boyfriend.
For a moment, “The Batman” (2007) goes against the stereotype of harley quinn submissive and emotionally dependent. In the episode “Tal para cual”, the Joker finds his lover on a television show where she was the presenter. When she is fired from her for giving negligent advice to guests, the Joker takes her opportunity to lead her to her hideout. Thus, he dresses her in a ‘harlequin’ outfit, synonymous with her original name, Harleen Quinzel, and shares her hatred of Batman. Together they exert evil and work as a team. She, in a macabre way, has a leading role in crime. However, in the end, for a change, it’s the Dark Knight who saves Quinn’s life when her insane boyfriend abandons her to her fate. It’s her dynamic: romance, abuse, putting her at risk and running from her.
In a jump back to live action movies, margot robbie makes a difference in “Suicide Squad 2” (2021). She is a better version of the villain in a form of bloody justice. There’s a scene where she shoots one of her suitors and then apologizes: “Sorry, I made a promise to myself recently that if I had a boyfriend, I would watch for red flags. If he saw any, he would do the healthiest thing, and that is to kill him.”. This is the point in the character where the joker goes into the background, at least until she falls into their networks again. Undoubtedly, it is an attitude that he carried on from “Birds of Prey” (2020), the film where he overcomes the Joker and finds a group of friends, Huntress, Black Canary and Renée Montoya, with whom he defeats the perverse Roman Sionis.
poison ivy and overcoming
Thus, we arrive at the last and best facet of harley quinn: Being Poison Ivy’s girlfriend in her own series “Harley Quinn” (2022), high critics and audience rating. It is an entertaining conflict of three seasons where they must decide between creating chaos in the city, staying to measure the pollen of their girlfriend’s poisonous plants or simply watching a sexual movie of their lesbian relationship filmed with actresses. They are different moments of their relationship, where Quinn is still emotionally dependent on her partner. However, she has moved on from her aggressor ex-boyfriend and now listens to speeches copied from feminism.
Poison Ivy is the empowered conscience of Harley Quinn. In episode 47 of “Batman: The Animated Series”, the redhead defeats Batman with the help of her friend (they were not yet girlfriends) and says: “Here we have the typical male aggressor fatally chained to the slave-owning virtues of women ”. There is still no version of Quinn and her girlfriend in live action, but hopefully it will be done soon, because their relationship is an important part of understanding that the DC villain not only has the submissive side as the Joker’s girlfriend, but also continues to evolve. her emotions as a woman, within her madness.
Lady Gaga is Harley Quinn
Margot Robbie had been after the Harley Quinn character for a long time until she got it. Now the Oscar winner Lady Gaga it will become the same villain, but in the version of Todd Phillips, “Joker 2”, which is expected for October 10, 2024.
“I think she could do something amazing”said Robbie during an interview with MTV News. “It makes me very happy because from the beginning I said that all I would want for Harley Quinn is for her to be one of those Macbeth or Batman-type characters, who always go from one to the other, who are legacies from one great performer to another. And I think that in that line there are not many examples of female characters ”he added.
can Gaga to live up to such a complex female character? In the DC universe, Harley Quinn has countless cameos in series and movies. Every time she appears, she gives a surprise. Perhaps the actress is also next to Joaquin Phoenix. We’ll be alert.
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