Harley Quinn

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Harley Quinn, her real name being Dr. Harleen Francis Quinzel is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of Batman. The character was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, and first appeared on Batman: The Animated Series in September 1992. Due to her huge popularity in thr show she later appeared in DC Comics’ Batman comic books, with her first comic book appearance in The Batman Adventures #12 (Sept. 1993).

The character is a frequent accomplice and girlfriend of the Joker and a girlfriend of the supervillain Poison Ivy, from whom Harley Quinn gained an immunity to poisons and toxins. Harley Quinn’s origin story relates that she met the Joker while working as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, where the Joker was a patient. The Joker was kind and yet manipulative with her, leading her to fall in love with him. Later she donned her costume and helped the Joker escape from Arkham Asylum.

She has gone on to have multiple solo comic book series, her current one receiving rave reviews from critics and fans.

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The Clown Prince of Crime

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The Joker is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane, and first appeared in Batman #1 (April 25, 1940). The Joker was originally planned to be killed off during his initial appearance, he was spared by editorial intervention, allowing the character to endure as the archenemy of the superhero Batman.

In his comic book appearances, the Joker is portrayed as a criminal mastermind. Introduced as a psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor, the character became a goofy prankster in the late 1950s in response to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, before returning to his darker roots during the early 1970s. As Batman’s nemesis, the Joker has been part of the superhero’s defining stories, including the murder of Jason Todd—the second Robin and Batman’s ward—and the paralysis of Batman’s ally, Barbara Gordon.

The Joker has had various possible origin stories during his over seven decades in publication. The most common story involves him falling into a tank of chemical waste which bleaches his skin white, turns his hair green, and his lips bright red; the resulting disfigurement drives him insane. Even Joker himself has stated that he doesn’t know his origins.

The Joker possesses no superhuman abilities, instead using his expertise in chemical engineering to develop poisonous or lethal concoctions, and thematic weaponry, including razor-tipped playing cards, deadly joy buzzers, and acid-spraying lapel flowers. Although the Joker sometimes works with other supervillains such as the Penguin and Two-Face, and groups like the Injustice Gang and Injustice League, these relationships often collapse due to the Joker’s desire for unbridled chaos.

In the1990s a romantic interest for the Joker was introduced in his former psychiatrist, Harley Quinn, who becomes his villainous sidekick.

The antithes of Batman in personality and appearance, the Joker is considered by critics to be his perfect adversary.

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The Joker and Harley Quinn

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The Joker and Harley have one of the most complex and twisted love affairs in comics. As with all people, Joker is abusive and manipulative towards Harley, but just as often there’s evidence of camaraderie, playfulness, and genuine affection towards her. She’s the only person who’s managed to become intimate on such a long term basis with the Joker and, while he generally accepts their relationship, we even see the Joker’s occasional moments of confusion and discomfort which results in attempts to kill her.

Tomorrow I’ll dive into both characters.