Since her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn has played many roles. Depending on the story, she has been an underling of Joker, a goofy anti-hero, a villain in her own right, and much more. This raises the question of just what the core of Harleen Quinzel’s character truly is.
Harley breaks the fourth wall to ponder this question in “Harleys All The Way Down.” Written and drawn by Bruno Redondo, the story kicks off Harley Quinn: Black & White & Redder #6. The comic opens with a captive Nightwing and a giant dodo covered with explosives. However, the comic quickly turns from action to introspection as Harley ponders “my role in the grand scheme of the DC Universe.”
Harley points out that, even as they are moved from medium to medium, most DC Comics characters remain the same. Batman is always “a rich, traumatized orphan,” and The Flash is always “the Fastest Man Alive”. By contrast, Harley changes who she is “every time a new team gets their grubby mitts on my character.”
Harley is defined by her adaptability
Harley Quinn concludes that she is defined by her ability to transcend the limits imposed upon her. It doesn’t matter how violent she is or how skimpy her costumes are. It doesn’t even matter whether she’s a hero who means well, a villain who doesn’t, or an anti-hero who isn’t sure what she wants.
At the end of the day, Harley Quinn is a woman who defies definition. The fact that she can stretch in so many different directions and not break is proof of her character’s strength. The comic concludes with Harley challenging DC to keep changing her because the only thing she can’t be is a cliche.
Harley Quinn: Black & White & Redder #6 is now available in comic shops everywhere.
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