The best Harley Quinn storylines ever

When it comes to girls being bad, Harley Quinn is the top of the DC Universe bad girl list. Here are some of the best story lines featuring her.
“Oh, come on, Puddin! Don’t you wanna rev up your ‘Harley’? Vroom vroom!"

Calling all Puddins’, Batsy dorks, comic nerds and little monsters, let’s take a trip to the wildside for the QUINNtessential Harley Quinn stories that have made her a superfan favourite. If you love Margot Robbie’s vexed interpretation of the character, her TV & comic book origins or even just love dressing up as Harley Quinn for fancy dress parties, then this is your Harleyarious
Guide To All Things Harley.

Margot robbie as harley quinn
“I’m known to be quite vexing- I’m just warning you”

Harley’s origins
Created by writer Paul Dini and artist Bruce Timm, Harley Quinn made her debut in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. The following year was her first comic book appearance. In 1994, her back story was developed, including how she fell for the Joker and transformed from Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, PhD to Harley Quinn. Since then, her transition from TV to comic book to movie mythology has been loaded with endless surprises – particularly her complicated relationships with the Joker and Poison Ivy. 

Harley’s look

two harleys

Originally, Harley wore a full-body red and black costume, but after DC’s relaunch in 2011, she was revamped for The New 52 with a sleeveless top, elbow pads, tight shorts, knee pads, boots; and her hair colour was altered to half-red and half-black. It wasn’t until DC Rebirth in 2016 that Harley took on the look we know from Suicide Squad – acid blonde hair with blue and pink dip-dye, tight shorts, ripped T, satin jacket, fingerless gloves, fishnets and lace up boots. 

Our 5 favourite Quinntonesque storylines...

#1. Mad Love
Harley Quinn’s iconic origins story, first in comic book form and then adapted for TV in Batman: The Animated Series. Much loved, highly praised and award winning, Mad Love created Harley Quinn’s back-story, including how she fell for the Joker and transformed from psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel to Harley Quinn. Also reveals how she comes up with the idea to kill Batman after the Joker failed to do so. Even though she comes across as a ditzy trickster, Harley is actually very smart, cunning and resourceful - that’s why we love her so much.

#2 Harley and Ivy

“Aren’t you that plant lady Poison Oakey?” 
“This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship”

So begins the complicated relationship between Harley and Poison Ivy. After banding together for a chaotic crime spree, Harley begins to see Ivy as more than an accomplice – more like a best friend. But this is a friendship that goes through a lot of trials and tribulations, including a triangle relationship between Harley, Ivy and the Joker. There’s a definite subtext to Harley and Ivy’s relationship – so much so that creators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm have publicly talked about their romantic interest in each other.

# 3 Joker’s Asylum
Set on Valentine’s Day, this storyline delves into Harley’s love and growing obsession for the Joker. 
She escapes from Arkham Asylum determined to meet up with the Joker, but when she gets to his current base of operations, she discovers he has been kidnapped by a leading crime family. They intend to auction him off to a crowd of his former victims, who want revenge on him. But Batman has intervened, captured Joker and returned him to Arkham. So Harley willingly turns herself in so she can be re-united with her deranged lover. What a girl will for love! Needless to say, their re-unification doesn’t go to plan and her idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner goes seriously awry.

#4 Harlequinade
When the Joker steals a huge bomb that could destroy all of Gotham, Batman decides he needs the help of someone who knows Joker best: calling Harley Quinn! Batman’s offer comes with a sweetener - he promises to help her get out of Arkham in exchange for her help. Full of double-crossing delight and revelling in a fun dynamic between Batman and Harley, this storyline shows Harley at her best – headstrong, hilarious and even singing an ode to Joker that focuses on their dysfunctional relationship – “Say that we’re Sweethearts again”

#5 Detective Comics Vol 2 23.2: Harley Quinn

Delving into Harley’s time as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, this storyline reveals how Harleen was drawn into a world of chaos and insanity, even pretending to be a patient there to try and understand their minds – but she meets the one mind she can’t control. If she wasn’t crazy when she fell for the Joker at Arkham, she sure was messed up afterwards! We also learn what got her into so much trouble that she was ‘recruited’ for the Suicide Squad!

This is just a tiny taste of Harley’s escapades – and there are so many more brilliant storylines that give her even more light, shade, texture and colour. For the full Harley Quinn experience, check out the DVDs... the comics... the movies...  

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