The relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn is one of the most famous in the world of animation and comics, both being antagonists of the Batman character. They are so charismatic that they have generated great admiration from the public. Certainly they are essential in the Batman universe, they enjoy a high reputation and bring humor and tension to the fictional city of Gotham.Yes, Batman would not be the same without the Joker … And the Joker would not have the same charm if Harley Quinn was not there. But what kind of relationship do these two characters have?
If we analyze this relationship a bit, if we dig a little deeper into these characters, we will quickly realize that something does not fit, that it is not a healthy relationship and thatHarley Quinn is probably experiencing a manipulation situation she can not escape.
Characters: Joker and Harley Quinn
The origin of the Joker is a little blurry. The versions of his past change at his convenience and his character is shrouded in a halo of mystery.Its characteristic appearance (green hair, white skin and red lips) is due to a fall in a repository of chemical residues that have forever changed its appearance. The Joker, as its name suggests, is a joker: it has a somewhat circassian appearance and his macabre plans are accompanied by touches of humor, card games and elements that we associate with clowns.
This is not the only enemy of Batman but it is however the most charismatic.He is an ingenious, manipulative, liar, selfish and egocentric character, with a psychopathic profile, who delights in the suffering of others.The Joker does not like anyone except himself. He looks for diversion and laughter, like a child, and no matter the wrongs he causes.
There are an infinity of versions of the Joker and many differences between them: there is that of the comic strip, the animated series, the films and the various actors who have taken charge of interpreting it … However,his image and personality make him easily recognizable by the general public.
Harley Quinn is his eternal lover. We learn a little more about her inMad Love. Her real name is Harleen Quinzel; she was a great gymnast, and thanks to that she had a scholarship to go to university; she studied psychiatry and obtained very good qualifications, even though it was not very honorable.She ends up working at Arkham Asylum, where is interned the Joker.
When she meets the Joker in Arkham, she is fascinated from the start by her personality. We see inMad Lovethat he is very sincere with her and that he tells her traumatic experiences of her past, experiences that will ultimately prove to be false and that Harley is not the only one to know.But she begins to fall in love and, blinded by this love, becomes unable to see the psychopath that is the Joker: she sees only one person who has suffered and Batman, for her, is his great enemy.
That's why she steals a disguise of Harlequin, in honor of the nickname given him by his beloved Joker, and makes him escape from Arkham. From now on,his criminal career will begin and gradually build his character, a woman fascinated by jokes and having the appearance of a circus character, who has two pet hyenas.
The Joker sees Harley as an opportunity to escape Arkham, a person he can trust because his devotion to him is endless.She is madly in love and he will take advantage of this situation.
The toxic relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn
The Joker even manages to mistreat her physically and psychologically. He's also trying to kill her.But Harley is not aware of this manipulation, she is submissive and devoted and is content with small demonstrations of affection. Even if there are some episodes where we see it a little rebel and live a little more in reality; for example, when she allies with Poison Ivy and tries to go ahead with her new friend.
In the end, we realize that the majority of his actions are done to try to impress the Joker.For Harley, the opinion of the latter is fundamental and will determine his actions as well as his decisions. As we see, the relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn is a clear example of toxicity.
Harley Quinn is always at her disposal and dreams of ending Batman because she thinks that by doing this, she can fully enjoy their relationship. In other words, she is looking for culprits to justify the Joker's attitude and still has arguments to defend it.She is mistaken in believing that their love is reciprocal and that one day they will live happily ever after.
All this pushes Harley to improve a Joker's plan to successfully kill Batman. By doing this, she proves her intelligence and almost succeeds in ending it. The irony of the story is that the own Joker, out of pride and unwillingness to accept that Harry was smarter than him, pushes a building and saves Batman.
It is true that,sometimes, we observe some feelings of the Joker for Harley. However, in the majority of cases, it is manipulation or madness of the character.It is possible that the Joker feels something for her but his pride and love for himself are much stronger.
Harley has idealized the Joker, the relationship and everything around it.She has completely lost her lucidity because of her sickly love, which the Joker feeds with tiny demonstrations of tenderness to ensure his loyalty.But if there is one thing for sure, it is that all this has created a huge insecurity at Harley. We see it when her great enemy Batman manages to manipulate her more than once, generating in her a great fear and insecurity, while he tells her the truth about the Joker.
Suicide Squad, an updated version
After the release of the filmSuicide Squadin 2016, the charactersJoker and Harley Quinn have become very popular.The Joker is performed by Jared Leto, actor and singer well known to the youngest audience. Harley is played by Margot Robbie.
We have of course seen other Joker at the movies, like Jack Nicholson for Tim Burton's movie. The most publically acclaimed and critically acclaimed Joker was the one played by the late Heath Ledger.However, there is no doubt that this new version updated, with an aesthetic more in keeping with our times, has created a new image of the character that has spread among the youngest audience.Although the impact of Harley Quinn was even greater, it was the first time this character was adapted to the big screen. Its aesthetic renovation has caused a great impact.
InSuicide Squad,the relationship is not deep enough and we see a Joker much more compassionate with Harley, although he is also very cruel. The character of the Joker also takes second place.The Harley'sSuicide Squadbetter reflects the essence of the character, his madness, his love for the Joker and even his desire to live a normal life and start a family with him.
The problem arises when we try to see what they are not. The Joker is still a psychopath and Harley a submissive woman.They are nonetheless charismatic characters, attractive, fun, intelligent and, it is not a shadow of a doubt, the universe of Batman would not be the same without them.
They are characters who mark a style, they are the perfect prototype of the "villain", butthe relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn is the clear example of what we DO NOT want, a toxic relationship.
Their madness is even contagious, even dangerous, and we must not see them other than what they are: comic characters.Characters who represent the archetype of the villain,who can fascinate us; however, we must be aware that, in the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn, reason shines through its absence, and this is not acceptable in real life. As we have seen, his analysis is very interesting and we could observe the relationship as an example not to imitate, without being an obstacle to enjoy their story and learn from everything that happens to them.
"Everyone sees the Joker laughing, Harley sees him crying"
-Arleen Sorkin, voice of Harley Quinn in Batman-