"he acted like he didn’t even notice I was gone"
A day or so ago, I saw that someone tried to start a new meme based on the Morticia and Gomez Addams love meme using The Joker and Harley Quinn.
A few found this funny, but most, myself included, were able to recognize how fundamentally flawed the post was:
Morticia and Gomez are wonderful together. They support each other, communicate as equals, go out regularly, dance, sing, engage in what sounds like VERY moist public displays of affection, and love and protect their children equally and without fail. The other can do no wrong because the other has no desire or inclination to hurt other.
They are the people we all wish we could be.
Exuberant, exciting, and the embodiment of trust and loyalty without a price:
If you're in the family, a friend, a guest, or a stranger they love you and will welcome you with open arms.
If you don’t like it, well, there’s the door:
Lurch will escort you out.
"i've made so many mistakes and there's no one left who believes in me"
Whereas, the Joker and Harley Quinn…
Dr. Harleen Quinzell was introduced in Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series. She was one of several characters that successfully translated from the series to the comics, including Renee Montoya. She was created primarily to act as an everyman, so the Joker would have someone to explain his plans to so we, the audience, wouldn’t be in the dark.
She was goofy, silly, athletic, loved animals, and had a penchant for sexual related puns (“Wanna rev up your Harley?”)
She also suffered from the worst case of Stockholm syndrome this side of Beauty and the Beast’s Belle.
"my puddin's a little rough sometimes but he loves me, really"
The Joker was regularly cruel to her, often going out of his way to belittle, demean, and be a bastard to our young lady, who, without fail, defended him as being “an artist” and “one of kind”.
She was a literal victim of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse.
Whether the Joker loved her or not is besides the point. This is such a commonly known thing that in searching for images for this piece I typed "Jokers hits Harley" into Google, and it auto-corrected to "Joker beats Harley".
When Google says you're a piece of shit, you're probably a piece of shit.
"have you ever loved someone you knew was wrong for you"
It wouldn’t be until Gotham City Sirens, and Final Crisis, that we would see the good Doctor Quinzel finally recognizing that there was a problem, and to start building healthy support groups and moving away from the Joker.
This is best seen during the Death of the Family event in which the Joker decides to "clean house", and kill the Bat-Family, and Harley, as impediments to his ongoing war with Batman.
She admits that she has a problem and that they can no longer see each other.
To me, this is Harley at her best.
Regardless of the outfit, whether harlequin, cheerleader, biker, et al, that’s when she’s at her most beautiful and magnificent.
"are you going to kill me"
When she looks her monster in the face, and says “Enough is enough! I don’t need you in my life!” When she comes full circle from the eponymous schoolgirl with a crush, and becomes a real person, with real decisions, and real plans.
To all the Harley Quinns’ out there:
We love you and we’re waiting to watch you explode with majesty and power.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Abuse Website
"just because i love you doesn't mean i belong with you"
Originally published in Outright Geekery.