Rocksteady Studios has revealed Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which makes it the perfect time to take a detailed look at Harley Quinn, a character that has seen major development over nearly three decades.

Harley Quinn: Origins

Quinn made her first televised appearance in 1992 on Batman: The Animated Series in the episode “Joker’s Favor,” and soon became a regular as Joker’s sidekick and love interest. Quinn gained popularity in the coming years and was given an origin story in The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, a graphic novel from 1994.

There, and in most other stories, she is introduced as Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, who works in Arkham Asylum. In that origin story, rehashed and adapted across several other stories and video games, Quinn is often portrayed as hopelessly in love with the Joker, doing whatever he says and often receiving little more than abuse in return.

Harley Quinn In The Arkham Series

For years, Quinn was mostly given the role of Joker's doting girlfriend, a sidekick that still played a key part in the Clown Prince's schemes in Gotham City. In games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, Quinn was a willing helper in setting up obstacles for the caped crusader to find and deal with. In Batman: Assault on Arkham, on the other hand, Quinn unwillingly transported a dirty bomb for Joker without being aware of her dangerous cargo.

Breaking Free From The Joker

As time went on, and as Quinn became more popular among fans, she was given more important roles within different stories. This usually meant that the Joker needed to be removed almost entirely, keeping the focus on her and her own development. In Injustice, the ending for Quinn highlights her personal growth, development of confidence, but also a mental break as years of abuse from the Joker make her snap and kill him at their wedding.


Harley Quinn As Her Own Woman

Recently, Quinn has received what is arguably her best character development ever beginning in the Batman: White Knight comic series. This revealed a second “Harley Quinn,” the creation of Neo Joker, and an interesting, alternate take on the relationship between Batman and Joker. That series is will worth a read to see one of the best stories in which Quinn is shown to grow fully from naïve girlfriend to a fully realized individual and puppet master in her own right.


The same sort of personal growth is explored in Harley Quinn, the television series that first aired in 2019. The premise of the show is built from the beginning on Quinn breaking up with Joker for his years of abuse, and forging her own super villain reputation, with the help of Poison Ivy and several others.

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Welcome To The Suicide Squad

The Quinn shown in the reveal trailer for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League looks like a mix of several versions we have seen over the past few years. Alongside other characters like Deadshot, Boomerang, King Shark, and several others, Quinn was drafted into the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller.

As the name implies, the Suicide Squad is a team of expendable villains forced to undertake dangerous missions, usually with a bomb implanted into their necks to ensure compliance. Don’t want to play along? Check out the short video below from Batman: Assault on Arkham to see what happens to KGBeast when he tries to walk away.

With the threat of an exploding head always in view, Quinn and the other members of the Suicide Squad, which change frequently depending on which comic, animated film, or film one watches, puts her into the role of team player. Once again, Quinn can show off her own unique skills in these situations without being overshadowed by Joker.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

It is too early to say exactly what will happen in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, but based on the trailer, it looks like Brainiac has arrived and brainwashed all of the super heroes in town, leaving it up to Quinn and the rest of the team to restore order. This version of Quinn might simply be following orders to avoid being killed by Waller, but we might also see her character lean into the Quinn of the 2020 animated film Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

In that story, Darkseid has basically taken over earth, and Quinn and the rest of the Suicide Squad join the resistance to fight back, finally earning the right to their team name in a gruesome last stand.

Without a doubt, Quinn has seen some of the best character development within the DC universe over the last three decades, and we cannot wait to see what she does in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Until then, check out some of the great comics and animated films that show off Quinn and her strong character growth!

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