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Harleen Quinzel (Prime Earth)

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Quote1 Nothing says "l'Chaim" like a girl dressed in a stripper clown outfit wielding a hundred-pound mallet. Quote2
-- Harley Quinn src

Harley Quinn is the former girlfriend and sidekick to the Joker; a criminal psychologist turned flamboyant criminal menace. While her intentions are typically good, her methods often betray her insanity.

Origins

Harleen Quinzel was born in Canarsie, Brooklyn, New York, the oldest of four children and the only girl. Her interest in criminal psychology grew early in her childhood, and blossomed when she met a boy named Bernie Bash, who turned out to be troubled enough to commit murder as a way to prove his love for her. Despite his crime, Harley later broke into his house and stole a stuffed beaver from his father's taxidermy shop as a memento of their relationship that she would keep with her into adulthood.

She was an Honor Student and a Gymnast. She attended Gotham University and initially went to college for Veterinary and Biological Science, but for some unknown reason she left that field to pursue Psychiatry. She excelled in her field, eventually earning a place as a psychiatrist at a prominent hospital, but her interest in criminal psychology led her to transfer to Gotham City's famed Arkham Asylum. Soon discovering that the other doctors could not penetrate the minds of their patients, Harleen went undercover as a patient herself. The Joker - whom she had thought was misdiagnosed by his previous doctors - saw through her disguise, and opened up to her.[2] Her confidence and savvy in the face of the Joker's madness impressed him. On their tenth session, he revealed to her that he knew about the fact that her father had been killed by a drunk driver who had had the connections required to get off without any punishment. As a gift to her, he presented her with the driver's finger as proof that the man had been brought to justice. He then promised that he could teach her how to become as powerful as he had, by failing to care about life's rules.[3]

Unfortunately, Harleen's supervisor, Dr. Sterano, discovered her crush on the Joker after stealing her psychiatric notes with the intention of publishing them as her own. In a rage, Harleen tried to kill Sterano, but was interrupted by the guards. Rather than surrender, she killed a guard and broke the Joker out of his cell. That night, the Joker took her to the Ace Chemical Processing Plant where his persona had been born, and promised that this would be her birthday. Realizing his intention, she had struggled, but he shoved her into one of the chemical vats and watched her sink to the bottom. Afterwards, he drained it and found her inside, alive, but changed. She had lost touch with reality, which meant that she could do whatever she liked. He dubbed her Harley Quinn, and the two of them were together - until he tired of her.[4]

Freed of the constraints and strict regiment of her former life, Harley chose a uniform for herself, forming a mosaic of all of the people she was or wanted to be. Any guilt for the crimes she committed as Harley Quinn was repressed along with Harleen Quinzel.[5]

Kicked in the Teeth

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Suicide Squad

Harley Quinn was arrested by Black Canary while on a murderous spree of revenge against the lawyers who put the Joker away. While on death row at Belle Reve prison for her crimes, her cell filled up with gas, and she was implanted with a micro-bomb to insure her obedience. She was made to undergo torture in order to test her loyalty, and was finally inducted into Amanda Waller's Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad[6].

Waller put the team to work on tracking the metahuman terrorist organization called Basilisk, with their first mission being to contain an outbreak of a zombifying virus and collect a newborn baby from the scene who could hold the cure[7]. While on downtime between missions, Harley seduced Deadshot, unaware that he may have been secretly infected with the virus[8].

Their next mission saw Captain Boomerang joining their team as leader. Offhandedly, he mentioned that the Joker had disappeared and was presumed dead. After the mission was complete, they returned to Belle Reve, where a guard accidentally deactivated Harley's micro-bomb before she was safely in her cell. Naturally, she escaped and caused a prison riot, which her teammates were given just eighteen minutes to end[9]. After succeeding, Waller gave Deadshot the treatment he needed for the virus and promised an hour with his daughter Suchin - however, she wouldn't give him the full hour until he and the rest of the Suicide Squad found Harley Quinn, and brought her back dead or alive[10].

The Hunt for Harley Quinn

Harley had escaped to Gotham City to confirm the rumours about the Joker's death. She went to Arkham Asylum and enlisted the help of several escaped inmates to help thwart the Suicide Squad's attempts to find her. While there, she kidnapped Dr. Sterano and demanded to know whether it was true that the Joker had been killed. She revealed that he was supposedly skinned alive, and that his face was being kept at Gotham City Police Headquarters in evidence. Hearing this, Harley murdered Sterano, finally. In the meantime, though, the Suicide Squad had gathered the same information from one of the escaped inmates, and watched from a nearby rooftop as Harley surrendered to the police and was taken inside the station - exactly where she needed to be.[3]

The Squad created a diversion in order to pursue her unfettered, but the distraction also allowed Harley to get to the evidence room and steal the Joker's face. On her way out, she encountered Deadshot and knocked him unconscious. He woke unmasked and tied to a chair in the dark. In her insanity, she stretched the severed face over Floyd's own, and began talking to him as if he was the Joker, demanding to know why he left her. Unsure of what to do, Floyd played along, claiming that she should prove her love by killing all of Batman's distractions; his family. In her joy, Harley was too distracted to notice Floyd pulled his gun, and shot her in the gut.[4]

Basilisk Rising

After her brush with death, Harley's mental state deteriorated, and gave way to a form of dissociative identity wherein she claimed to be exclusively Dr. Harleen Quinzel. This annoyed Waller, who still needed Harley Quinn, and would have let Deadshot kill her otherwise[11]. Despite the protests of her teammates, Harleen rejoined the Suicide Squad for yet another mission to catch the leader of Basilisk, known as Regulus.

However, over the course of the mission, they discovered that someone on the team was a traitor[12]. Even so Waller sent them all in search of Regulus in South America, but their plane was destroyed by a sleeper agent, and they ended up captured by a primitive native tribe intent on sacrificing them.

They were saved at the last moment by Basilisk agents, at the order of Black Spider, who was the traitor all along. He had managed to implant hypnotic suggestions into the minds of every member of the squad except for Deadshot and Harley, leaving the pair of them to face their hypnotized companions[13]. With some effort, the pair managed to snap the others out of their hypnosis, but not without taking casualties. Regulus appeared, and took Deadshot hostage, providing Harley with the dilemma of whether to risk hitting him. Before she could make a move of her own, Deadshot fired a shot through his own chest, and killed Regulus and himself.

Running With The Devil

At Deadshot's funeral, a sudden gas attack caused everyone in attendance to collapse - except Harley. This is because she is immune to Joker Venom, which was employed for just this purpose. The Joker had returned. Despite her happiness at seeing him alive, if disfigured, he brutal and vengeful, having learnt already of her dalliance with Deadshot. He had sensed a change in her, and he didn't like it. He agreed, though, to forgive her if she would do him a favour.[14]

Dressing in the Joker's old Red Hood get up, Harley was forced into meeting Batman at the old Chemical Mill with the Joker's tape-recorded voice attached. She managed to convince the Batman well enough to trick him into falling and being trapped within an overfilling vat of chemical waste. Upon hearing his demands to be freed, Harley turned to leave warning him that the Joker, her once true love, had changed.[15] The Joker had heard, her though, and he wondered if she hadn't changed, threatening to cut off her face to as a test of her loyalty. She claimed to be the same as always, but he disbelieved her, choking her into unconsciousness with a chain. She woke to be attacked by her own Hyenas, intentionally infected with rabies by the Joker. She had to kill them both, reluctantly, to survive. Consumed by rage, she attempted to kill him as well, but he evaded her and left her for dead.[16]

She'd had to slit her wrists to get out of his handcuffs, but Harley survived. When Deadshot recovered from his own wound, he went to see her in the infirmary, and she broke off their relationship, insisting that she was too good for him or the Joker.[17]

Hot in the City

While hiding out in one of her old storage spaces, Harley discovered that the Joker had planted a bomb there, and it burned down her apartment. She collected the taxidermy beaver she'd dubbed Bernie (after her first love, Bernie Bash) from the wreckage, and made her way to the street, where a mysterious man in a limousine informed her that she had been bequeathed a four-story property in Coney Island by an anonymous benefactor - a former patient.[18]

While moving herself from Gotham to New York, an assassin attempted to take kill her, and was rewarded for his efforts to claim the bounty on her head with his own beheading by Harley. After rescuing a dog from an unfriendly owner, she made her way to her apartment block in Coney Island, which she learned was home to a freakshow. Big Tony, one of the tennants, greeted her and showed her around. The next morning, she disguised her bleached skin, and took job interviews first at a senior citizens' home as a therapist, and then a second job on a roller derby team. After returning home, a second assassin made an attempt on her life, and she was rescued by Big Tony. After searching the body, they discovered that a bounty had been placed on her.[19]

Harley later happened upon a protest against a high-kill animal shelter, and after learning that the protesters have been prevented from adopting anymore animals, she and her friend Poison Ivy decide to break in and free the dogs before they're euthanized. Unfortunately, they simply ran wild, and Harley decided it would be best to adopt them all.[20] At her job at the Free Spirit Assisted Living Home, Harley met a man named Sylvester Borgman, who claimed to have been a hero during the cold war, and recruited her to finish his final mission for him - killing off the eight Russian agents who put him in a wheelchair.[21] After knocking two of the agents off, the other six were warned of Sy's campaign against them.[22] They ended up in a confrontation with one of the others in the Prospect Park Zoo, where all of the animals were released. After killing every one of the villains, Harley returned home to find that Poison Ivy had captured yet another assassin.[23] After a series of botched attempts to trap the assassin, the two discovered that it was Harley herself who had called the hit on herself, having done it in her sleep.[24]

Power Outage

While filling in for a role in the cabaret show at the freakshow in her apartment block, Harley inadvertently caused a riot, and in the confusion, she was arrested by a man posing as a police officer, who was in fact a crazed, love-struck stalker. After humouring him a while, she insisted he get some help, and headed to her impending roller derby game.[25] In the game, Harley ended up killing her opponent, causing some distress. Afterward, she was introduced to Mason Macabre, son of the wax museum's curator Madame Macabre. Though she found him handsome, he slipped off. Having been out with the derby girls all night after that, Harley watched the sunrise and was surprised by the sudden crash of Power Girl tumbling down from the sky next to her.[26] Harley's first call was to Big Tony, who brought Mason with him to the crash site. They soon discovered that Power Girl had lost her memories. Harley saw this as an opportunity to create a superhero duo of the two of them, and convinced Power Girl to participate in the freakshow as a strong woman. While out together at a food court, the pair were attacked by Sportsmaster and the Clock King.[27] Armed with a teleportation device, Clock King sent them adventuring all over the universe.[28]

Harley Quinn & Power Girl

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After playing on Power Girl's amnesia a little while longer, including taking part in the freakshow, Harley had to contend with the inevitable return of her new friend's memories. Despite her anger, Power Girl had become friendly with Harley, and took pity on her, deciding to mercifully tie her to the tip of the Eiffel Tower and abandon her there.[29]

Kiss Kiss Bang Stab

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Powers

Abilities


Weapons

Harley Quinn is a fan of Wonder Woman.[30]

Related


Footnotes



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