Movie Reviews

Harley Quinn & Batman's Bond Is Rooted in Their Shared Fatal Flaw

Warning: contains a preview of Harley Quinn #18!

Gotham’s favourite troublemaker, Harley Quinn, is one of the more socially adept of Batman‘s rogues. Able to make friends wherever she goes, Harley seems to see the good in everyone. Batman, on the other hand, tends to be far more pessimistic and distrusting. However, the Dark Knight and Clown Queen of Crime have more in common than either would think.

Going solo is one of the best decisions Harley Quinn ever made. In the past decade especially, DC Comics has proven that Harley thrives the most when she’s out of the Joker’s shadow. Now with her own animated show and a fun, vibrant comic series, things are looking up for Harley. However, despite now working alongside the Bat-Family in Gotham and her own personal team of misfits, Harley is still generally seen as first and foremost a lone wolf. Now, it turns out that’s for the same reason as Batman.

Related: Harley Quinn’s New Costume Unveiled by DC in Street Vigilante Redesign

In the preview pages for Harley Quinn #18, by Stephanie Phillips, Georges Duarte, and Romulo Fajardo Jr., Harley reveals that she hates group projects. Reflecting on her school days while being chased by Killer Frost, Harley notes the different types of kids she often wound up stuck with with. The key culprits generally fell into three categories: the slacker who “just showed up at the end for credit,” the not-so-witty guy “who wasted time cracking jokes,” and the well-meaning one “who wanted to help, but was so incompetent they… made more work for everyone”. Of course, Harley describes herself as the smart overachiever – the one picking up everyone else’s slack. Strangely, this description is just as true of Batman, showing that while they may be very different people, they often approach teamwork in the same way. Enjoy a preview of Harley Quinn #18, below:

While Harley’s had numerous fun team-ups in her solo adventures, the Mistress of Mayhem has a tendency to go off on her own, opting for tactics that confound her friends. While her appearance has changed drastically since her days as a psychology student, it seems much of Harley’s personality has remained the same. Since working with others often feels slow and tedious, Harley will take the initiative to solve problems on her own. Similarly, Batman often disappears into the shadows, ditching his own teammates when he wants to follow a lead. Working in a team can be restrictive and Harley isn’t one to be held back. After leaving the Joker, Harley Quinn isn’t going to give up her freedom that easily.

Batman may have originally met Harley due to her alliance with Joker, but he’s since welcomed her as a hero and ally – even buying her a bat-themed toaster as a symbol of their bond. While it may not come naturally to Bruce, on an intellectual level he understands how badly he needs his family, and he seems set on giving Harley the same support – albeit in a way that’s often undercut by his authoritarian tendencies.

Introverts generally cherish their alone time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need friends. In fact, being alone is Harley’s greatest fear. Without Poison Ivy, Task Force X, or even Batman, she’d feel lost and hopeless. Both Harley Quinn and Batman are known for their amazing support networks – people that keep them grounded – but when the chips are down, they’re both prone to going it alone, believing that if they can’t solve a problem alone, seeking help won’t change anything.

More: Red Hood & Harley Quinn’s History Is the Bat-Family’s Last Big Secret

Harley Quinn #18 is available from DC Comics now!

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