Today, we’re going back to the 90’s. Does anyone remember the origin story of Harley Quinn; that she first joined the DC universe in Batman: The Animated Series, in September 1992? I can see a few hands. How about Margo Robbie as Harley Quinn? Anyone remember that? Ah yes, many more hands.
Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, writer and artist, from the 1990’s television show, decided to detail their collaborative stories of Harley Quinn in Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories, released in 2009. Obviously this is many years after the original animated series, but our (or at least my) love for Harley has not changed since her iteration – she is still the crazy lady that we all know and adore.
Mad Love is the story of Dr. Harleen Quinzel, and how the Joker came into her life, pretty much wrecking her brain to a point of insanity. ‘Mad Love,’ as Paul Dini states, ‘is when you fall so passionately for a person (particularly the wrong person) that nothing else in the world matters.’ This is very true for Harley, who falls head over heels for the Joker – Batman’s No.1 enemy. Which is funny because Harley nearly kills Batman with the ‘Death of a Hundred Smiles’, dangling Batman upside down over a large tub of piranhas, that way the piranhas are smiling to the victim. If only she didn’t care so much about the Joker’s blessing, or that Batman would be dead by now. R.I.P Batsie.
Mad Love is evidence of Harley’s love for the Joker, which at times I really don’t think is reciprocated. There are other iterations of this love that are actually both ways – for instance in the Arkham games where their love is shown, and occasionally that’s through beatings (which Harley is very much into). She just loves him more than he’ll ever know.
Have you read Mad Love? What did you think? Did you ever watch the original TV show? Did you love it or hate it? What about other iterations of Harley? Leave a comment below!
(Header image: Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories, DC Comics, 2009)