Watch the soap opera inspiration for Harley Quinn

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I never would have guessed that was the origin of the character. What a great collaborative effort between Dini and Sorkin. I hope the latter gets a cut of all that merch loot.

By the way, this set of panels from the character’s origin story, taken alone, are kind of chilling:

Also, I’ll excerpt this discussion from the article about how the character was portrayed in the “Arkham” video games and in the comics afterward:

Gone was the iconic red-and-black jumpsuit, replaced by thigh-high boots, a red-and-purple corset that barely covers her breasts, and — given that the whole game took place inside an asylum — some scraps of white doctor’s robes, stained with blood. Her face was still painted, but her jester’s cap was replaced by two massive, blonde pigtails. It was, to put it mildly, a very different visual approach to the character.

“There was a huge outcry for a lot of people who really like Harley Quinn,” recalled famed pseudonymous comics journalist “Sue” of the site DC Women Kicking Ass. “It was clearly a little bit of pandering.


A sequel called Arkham City hit shelves in 2011, and although Harley had her original red-and-black color palette back, the costume was still more dominatrix than clown.


But the games were just the prelude to an even bigger outcry from fans and critics. The real bone of contention came out of the comics. […] The cover prominently featured Harley, hips cocked, hair dyed, and wearing an even more revealing corset than the one she’d worn in Arkham Asylum.

“It’s that classic idea of ‘show us as much skin as possible because it’ll bring in those teenage boys,’” said Laura Hornack, a Harley Quinn superfan from Germany. She launched an online campaign attacking the visual change and even went so far as to organize a protest at 2011’s San Diego Comic-Con. Turnout wasn’t great, but she wasn’t alone in her skepticism about the character’s direction.

Which goes to my point in the on-going discussion of video games that the industry’s targeting of poorly socialised adolescent males of all ages as its most important demographic is at the root of problems like the Gamergators.

So when she went to a screening of the faux-medieval The Princess Bride, an idea struck her: Why not do a fairy-tale dream sequence on Days?

Why not? As I recall, one soap opera later had a whole supernatural plotline about a witch shoehorned into its otherwise mundane drama about the empty lives of pretty suburbanites causing useless and stupid problems for each-other.


I’ll play! Evil billionaire plots to use a weather machine to create a new ice age; Luke and Laura save the world! :wink:


Well this origin story for Harley Quinn is more interesting than the Suicide Squad version.


Twins, clones, a cameo by Smokey Robinson, nothings off limits to a soap. Hell, Dark Shadows was a mundane, vaguely-gothic soap until they were on the verge of being canceled… so they just leaned into vampires, witches, and werewolves all the time. (Which was, of course, a huge success.)


hard to believe she’s only been around such a short time. It feels like she’s been in the storylines forever.


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