Dr. Harleen Quinzel (also known as Harley Quinn) is a major antagonist of the DC Animated Universe. She was originally a follower of the Joker (and somewhat his girlfriend), but also struck out on her own. She is in good terms with Poison Ivy.
She is a major antagonist in Batman: The Animated Series, the secondary antagonist of it's sequel The New Batman Adventures and one of the two main protagonists of the Gotham Girls spin-off series. She is also the titular main protagonist and anti-hero in the 2017 film Batman and Harley Quinn.
Batman: The Animated Series
Originally Harleen Quinzel was an intern at Arkham Asylum; she did so because she thought the super criminals were interesting. While she was walking down a hallway with Joan Leland, Harley heard the Joker whistling and walked over to him, where he winked at her.
Later as she went into her office, she found a flower on her desk with a note from the Joker. When she came to confront him about him being out of his cell, he surprised her by saying he felt he could relate to and share his secrets with her.
She then worked 3 months, trying to set up a session with The Joker, and felt she had prepared herself. However, it became clear that she wasn’t prepared at all (because The Joker was shown to be unpredictable). Joker told her that he was beaten by his father as a kid. He also told her a story of the only time he saw his father happy was at the circus remembering the clowns. He then added that he imitated the clowns with his father’s best Sunday pants, but was given a broken nose because he tore them. He then explains the downside of comedy: “You always take shots from folks who just don’t get the joke.”
Harley begins to feel sympathy for the Joker, and eventually the sessions turn around with The Joker as the doctor and Harley as the patient, explaining how she had fallen in love with him.
Later Harley becomes frightened when the Joker escapes Arkham for a week before being brought in by Batman. Seeing Joker broken in his cell she decides to break him out and robs a joke store, stealing a harlequin costume, as well as various other items. Then, after breaking into Arkham and knocking out a few guards along the way she reaches Joker's cell and wires the door with explosives; she breaks him out, saying “Knock knock, Puddin’. Say hello to your new and improved Harley Quinn.” Finally, she and the Joker escaped Arkham in a car.
Harley's first act was to assist Joker in attempting to assassinate James Gordon, by planting a bomb at his testimonial dinner. Batman subdued her after a brief fight. After that, she was an accomplice in virtually all of Joker's criminal schemes.
Sometimes, she would be kicked out of the gang when Joker's temper got the better of him. On one of these occasions, she teamed up with Poison Ivy, and the two became close friends and a successful crime duo.
During one of her solitary stints in Arkham, Batman offered her a pardon if she would help him track down Joker, who had stolen a nuclear bomb. She did so, though in a crazy, roundabout way that ended up being almost as dangerous to Batman and Robin.
After being pronounced rehabilitated by the doctors at Arkham, Harley was paroled, but her hyperactive personality and unfamiliarity with the "real" world (after being with the Joker and locked up in Arkham for so long) led to an avalanche of trouble that led to her unintentionally kidnapping Veronica Vreeland and being simultaneously pursued by Batman, Gotham gangsters, and the U.S. Army. She was returned to Arkham yet again, though Batman was more sympathetic to her, understanding how bad a day gone wrong could be.
The New Batman Adventures
Harley Quinn appeared in World's Finest: The Batman/Superman Movie as a rival and foil for Lex Luthor's assistant Mercy Graves; each takes an immediate dislike for the other. In the film's climax, Harley ties Graves as a human shield to a combat robot set to confront Superman and Batman, but Graves is rescued by the two heroes without suffering any harm.
Harley has hanged out with her best friend Poison Ivy in many episodes such as; Holiday Knights and Girl's Night Out. Where they cause mayhem and chaos towards both Batman and Batgirl.
In The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, Harley Quinn led Gordon into a trap. After an incident involving Commissioner Gordon was botched, Harley began to re-examine her life. Realizing in a crazed manner that Batman was the cause of Joker's obsession and insanity, Harley devised a plan to capture him. Much to the surprise of Batman and the Joker, her plan not only worked, but according to Batman was more likely to kill him than anything the Joker had ever devised before. However, Batman managed to escape by convincing Harley to call the Joker for approval, knowing the Joker would be furious at the idea of anyone other than him killing that Dark Knight. As expected, Joker was furious and threw Harley out of a window, nearly killing her and released Batman. Recovering in Arkham, Harley at last realized the Joker would never love truly her and was nothing more than an insane killer. However, she returned to her hapless devotion to him, upon seeing a single rose in a vase from him by her bedside table with a note wishing her well and a speedy recovery.
In the Batman Beyond movie, Harley's final act assisting Joker was in capturing and torturing Robin into insanity, then adopting him as their "son", J.J. While Batman pursued Joker, Harley fought with Batgirl in the ruins of Arkham. In the fight, both women toppled into a deep pit. Batgirl managed to grab hold of a ledge, and tried to pull Harley up, but her sleeve tore, and Harley seemingly fell to her death. With no body ever recovered, Barbara Gordon suspected that Harley may have survived, but she never resurfaced again. Without the Joker around, she apparently gave up her criminal career and, at some point, mothered or adopted at least one child, who in turn gave her at least two grandchildren, the Dee Dee twins, Delia and Deirdre Dennis. After getting arrested for assisting the returned Joker in his plan to control a weapons satellite, the twins were chastised for what disappointments they were by their "Nana Harley."
Harley makes an appearance in the Static Shock episode "Hard as Nails", where she and Poison Ivy trick a metahuman named, Allie Langford AKA Nails, into helping them in their plan to raid a ship carrying gold in exchange for a cure, but halfway through the heist, Allie felt remorse. She backed out of the deal, and demanded the cure. To her shock, Harley and Ivy revealed that the cure was a fake, and she had been lured into joining them. Harley knocks Allie off the ship, but Static and Batman were able to save her. Static makes his way down to deal with the duo. Harley proves herself a formidable foe, by easily avoiding his electric bolts. However, he sends electricity bolts over every inch of the deck, which eventually converge on Harley, taking her out. While Ivy was taken down by a angry and betrayed Allie. Harley and Ivy are taken back to Arkham by Batman afterwards.
Harley makes her final appearance in the 2-part Justice League episode "Wild Cards", assisting the Joker once again in their plan to destroy the Justice League.
Harley Quinn is Poison Ivy's roommate and partner-in-crime in committing various crimes and trying their best to get rid of Batgirl so many times, but failed again and again. In many episodes centered on her, Harley does everything she can to get rich quick by any means necessary. Her greed and incompetence gets the best of her in many of her schemes as it lets Batgirl turn the tables on her and foil her plans.
Friends and Allies
- Joker - Boyfriend and Lover.
- Poison Ivy - Best Friend and Sister-figure.
- Livewire - Friend and Ally.
- Two-Face - Ally.
- Scarecrow - Friend and Ally.
- Riddler - Friend and Ally.
- Mad Hatter - Friend and Ally.
- Killer Croc - Comrade and Ally.
- Ventriloquist & Scarface † - Friends and Allies.
- Royal Flush Gang - Allies.
- Catwoman - Sometimes Enemy and Occasional Ally.
- Batman - Sworn Enemy and Greatest Foe.
- Nightwing - Enemy and Rival.
- Batgirl - Archnemesis.
- Robin - Enemy.
- James Gordon - Enemy.
- Harvey Bullock - Enemy.
- Renee Montoya - Enemy.
- Superman - Enemy.
- Supergirl - Enemy.
- Lois Lane - Enemy and Hostage.
- Static - Enemy.
- Justice League - Enemies.
- Floronic Man - Enemy.
- Dora Smithy - Enemy.
- Harley Quinn is the second most recurring villain of the DC Animated Universe (behind Lex Luthor and ahead of Joker).
- Harley serves as the most comic relief character in the DC Animated Universe.
- Unlike the the other villains (besides Poison Ivy), Harley is more of a Protagonist Villain; as she served as the main protagonist in the Batman: Harley & Ivy comic mini series, the main protagonist in episodes Harley & Ivy, Harlequinade, Harley's Holiday and Mad Love, one of the four main protagonists (but most recurring one) in Gotham Girls, titular main character of the 2017 film Batman and Harley Quinn and other spin-offs.
- Harley Quinn is by far the most popular character of the DC Animated Universe.
- Harley seems to serve as the arch-nemesis of Batgirl (especially in Gotham Girls).
- Harley kind of serves as Joker and Poison Ivy's conscience and soft spot.
- Harley Quinn is the most sympathetic of Batman's Rogue Gallery (besides Catwoman, who is an anti-heroine, Mr Freeze, and Two Face).