'Harley Quinn': The upcoming DC Universe animated series might just be the best thing to happen to the character
Despite her evolution in the comics, Harley's on-screen versions have so far focused only on her abusive relationship with the Joker. The upcoming DC Universe show is set to change that.
Harley Quinn is easily one of DC’s most popular characters right now. Harley may have just been Joker's crazy girlfriend to most people before 'Suicide Squad' but now she is as much a quintessential DC villain as he is, even leading her own team in DC Extended Universe's upcoming 'Birds of Prey' movie.
The adorably violent former therapist has evolved into a very well-rounded character in the comics. However, her appearances in other media have so far failed to really do justice to this evolution. DC Universe is set to fix that by giving her her own animated series featuring none other than ‘Big Bang Theory’ star Kaley Cuoco as the voice of Harley Quinn.
The adult-animation series focuses on a freshly single Harley, all set to make it on her own in Gotham City. She will be joined by her former cellmate Poison Ivy and her friend Catwoman as she tries to make an identity for herself outside of her relationship with the Joker. More details are set to be revealed by DC Universe at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 but just that premise alone has already given Harley a chance to be the person she is meant to be.
Since her first appearance on ‘Batman: The Animated Series’, Harley has always been the Joker’s girlfriend and little else. Despite the fact that the Joker treats her as little more than an extremely loyal henchperson, she continues to love him and does everything possible to try and please him, even going so far as to try to kill Batman.
Even when she appeared on ‘Suicide Squad’, her character was completely defined by her dedication to the Clown Prince. The fact that so many fans seem to think Joker and Harley’s relationship is something to aspire to further problematizes things. Harley’s portrayal on-screen has so far suggested that being with the Joker and being used by him is somehow what gives meaning to her life. Not only does this encourage toxic relationships, it turns her into little more than an excuse to bring in the Joker, which is exactly how she was used in ‘Suicide Squad’.
This is in stark contrast to the comics where, over the years, Harley has proven time and again that she is more than a crazed henchperson or someone’s girlfriend. The comics-version of Harley has truly become her own woman and ending her relationship with the Joker is the best thing that ever happened to her.
In the comics, Harley has gone on to forge strong relationships with many characters after her split with the Joker. She has gone from being a violent villain to a still-violent antihero and even entered into a relationship with Poison Ivy. And unlike the Joker, Ivy truly reciprocates Harley’s love and affection.
The ‘Harley Quinn’ animated show gives the hyperviolent antihero a chance to be more like her comic-book counterpart. It giver her friends in Poison Ivy and Catwoman, it gives her a chance to step out of the Joker’s shadow and, most importantly, it gives her aspirations of her own. Sure those aspirations are to earn a place on the villainous Legion of Doom, but you do you, sister. For the first time, Harley has a chance to really come into her own on-screen and we couldn’t be happier for her.
‘Harley Quinn’ will arrive on DC Universe in October 2019.