Real Name: Harleen Quinzel
First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series
Powers: Immune To Most Poisons and Toxins. Harley is a Gymnast and Possesses Superior Strength and Agility.
Affiliation: Suicide Squad, Gotham City Sirens, Secret Six
Love Interests: The Joker
Did You Know: Not only does Harley Quinn have a daughter named Lucy, but she made her first appearance in a television cartoon, not in comic books like most characters.
A Little History
As a teenager, Harley was a star gymnast who was given a scholarship to attend Gotham University. Unfortunately, she didn’t wish to pursue gymnastics but rather pursue psychology. Not one to take the time to study, Harley found ulterior methods to gain a passing grade. Her degree landed her a job at Arkham Asylum as a new clinician.
When asked why she chose Arkham she responded by telling that she was interested in a high-profile case that she could build her reputation on. She asked, where better to do this than at Arkham? She got her wish as she was assigned to Joker. However, he proved to be more than just a high profile case and no matter how many times she was warned, she couldn’t stay away from him.
On her desk, she found a singular rose with a note attached to it. The note asked her to “Come down and see me sometime” and was addressed simply from J. Out of sheer curiosity, she traveled to his cell to ask him how he was able to get out of his cell to deliver the note.
Instead of answering, he mentioned how much he liked her name. He pointed out how easily Harleen Quinzell could become Harley Quinn, the “classic clown character.” As she left, he subtly hinted how she was able to bring a smile to his face. He continued by mentioning that he wished to confide his secrets in her.
Intrigued, she worked diligently for months to let Arkham interview Joker. Eventually, she got her wish and Joker proceeded to tell her about his troubled childhood. He went on until he told a story of the one and only time he saw his father smile. He decided at that point that he wanted nothing more than to see his father laugh again.
Their sessions continued for weeks. As they continued, Harley begins to realize that Joker was not a psychotic killer but instead, a troubled individual who only ever wanted to make his father laugh. He even convinced her that Batman was constantly foiling his attempts at laughter.
The two became so close that at one point he was the one interviewing her. One day he escaped only to be brought back beaten up by Batman. Horrified by what had happened, she ran to Joker. Batman couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
That night she ran out got a costume and some bombs with the goal of helping Joker escape. After the dust settled, Harleen Quinzell had become Harley Quinn.