No, the character is most certainly not worthless. The Joker's run-ins with Hush and Jason are not related to Harley. What happens to him- and indeed all comic characters- is at the descretion of the writer. Because of who the Joker is, a great many writers choose to have their new characters have a run-in with him in attempts to "prove" how tough said characters are. Look back; the Joker as ostensibly had his butt kicked by lesser characters a lot. I like Morrison's Joker, but he's not the only writer to ably express the Joker's menace. The problem with Harley is that few writers have a clue as to how to write her. They tend to write her as purely comedic instead of exploring her wickedness. Truth is, they've been writing her as a heroine or anti-heroine for about as long as she's been in the mainstream comics. She could be both awesome and a fitting companion to the Joker if writers would let her be what she is- a villainess.
tara_la_reine's forum posts
Harley is very smart- her series mentions that she has a genius-level IQ, and she's pulled off plenty of neat stunts. You have to understand, though- the appeal of madness for Harley is the lack of responsibility. This is a trick men have been pulling w/ regards to housework for eons: just play dumb until they give up. No one who believes that Harley is a silly, crazy girl is going to expect much from her- and that's exactly what she wants. There are many, many instances of her using her ditzy image to her advantage. Beyond that, she is also quite simply insane and has regressed somewhat, resulting in her naughty little girl persona. I also suspect her self estreem is considerably healthier than she lets on. She is usually submissive to the Joker and to Ivy, but she also lashes out at both of them when they really push her.
As for the 'sleeping with her professor' thing, there is considerable room for interpretation. A psychiatrist has to have two things- a medical degree and a psychology degree. 'Mad Love' shows that *Batman* believes she slept with her professor to have her thesis grade changed from a 'D' to an 'A+', though we don't learn why he thinks this is so. That would obviously concern her psychology degree, but it says nothing about her undergraduate work or her work as a grad student up until that point. A couple of other issues- notably 'Batman' #663- posit that the thesis she originally made a 'D' on was in fact brilliant beyond her professor's ken and eventually became the founding document in a whole new line of thought w/ regards to the Joker's psychosis. However, her introductory issue into mainstream canon has her telling Batman that she "slept [her] way through med school", which frankly seems virtually impossible given the hands-on nature of med school. She could easily be lying to play on her ditzy image. Besides that, such a circumstance does not address her psychology degree. Her series indicates that she might not have slept with her professor at all but rather blackmailed him after a chain of events that ended with her college boyfriend committing murder and then suicide.So, yeah- it's not so straight forward. All of these scenarios show that Harley possessed cunning, determination, and disregard for the rules- all traits she still exhibits, if you read between the lines.
greenenvy- these 'Joker's Asylum' one-shots are really focused on the one titular character, and Ivy already has hers. It totally got my hopes up for GCS's art. :-/
I am a JxHQ shipper, yes, but I think Harley is really in character in this issue. I really appreciate that this issue actually shows what kind of havoc Harley can wreak. She is a villainess, and my least favorite thing going on right now is how she and Ivy are being turned into anti-heroines with few teeth left. Villains aren't meant to be role models. They are meant to show us our own foibles, and Harley has one that is quite commonplace among women. That's why she needs to keep it.
I can see where you're going w/ the whole 'Charlie's Angels' thing- or 'Eddie's Angels', in this case- and I think it'd be cute, but I have one real problem with it. Why in the heck would they take all of the Gotham supervillainesses and turn them into...what, anti-heroines? (Okay, Sugar's still around and I like her, but she's not exactly a butt kicker.) We have so few bad girls w/ real personality in comics, and these ladies are among the best. It makes some sense in terms of Catwoman, since she has been primarily a thief in a love/hate relationship w/ Batman. But Harley and Ivy? Harley, the adorable, amoral murderess in love w/ *the Joker*? Ivy, the misanthropic plant woman who takes eco-terrorism to a whole new level? Why can't they stay bad, when they do such a good job?
I think it's simplistic to say that the Joker/Harley dynamic mirrors a classic domestic violence story. Physical violence does exist in the relationship between the Joker and Harley, but she is hardly a battered woman. She is every bit the homicidal whackjob the Joker is, and she has proven willing and able to dish out every bit as much as she takes, and sometimes more. The Joker shoots an effigy of her here, but Harley actually shot the Joker back in Batman #663. He attempted to send her off into space in a rocket in her introductory one shot, but she turn right around and beats him with a mallet and a wrench, planning to kill him. Harley stays- or comes and goes, more to the point- because she chooses to, not because he forces her to. She works in terms of feminism because she has a variety of options and goes with the one she wants. Feminism is about giving women options, not about dictating which ones they should take. Harley is ferociously determined and self-determining when she wants to be.
I just love the notion that a comic w/ just female characters in the spotlight is automatically under suspicion of being a gimmick, one giant cliche, and lacking substance. A comic w/ just male characters in the spotlight might be considered those things if there was a gimmicky, cliched, shallow element involved, but no one would ever assume that simply because the comic focused on male characters. Furthermore, no one would be wondering which of the male characters "wore the skirt" in their group or what other male characters could be put in the series. :/
Ivy, Harley, and Catwoman are three terrific, well-rounded characters who can easily carry a monthly series, and this comic has the good fortune to have a writer that understands them. I picked up the first issue and enjoyed it. There was exposition everywhere, of course, but the story still has kinetic energy. It's going someplace. Catwoman is feeling weak and uncertain after her ordeal, so it's a good bet that part of the story will involve her trying to get her mojo back. Harley (who seriously needs some different duds) has been in Metropolis for quite a while but is back in Gotham w/ her bestie, Ivy, who is gorgeous and misanthropic as ever. The artwork is really, really cheesecake-y and there are some nice individual frames, but I'm not blown away. I'm planning to follow the series, anyhow.