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Harley Quinn was created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series in September, 1992. Harley didn’t make her comic book debut until a year later in “The Batman Adventures #12”. Since then Harley has become a staple in the DC Universe. Outside of Batman comics she has experienced fame of her own in Gotham City Sirens, a solo comic and in Suicide
Squad. It’s no surprise that her popularity has grown each year. My love and appreciation of Harley has grown as well. Referring to someone as your spirit animal has taken on the meaning of being a representation of who you are or who you want to be in life. Since this is the case I think it’s important for me to explain why Harley Quinn is my spirit animal. While Harley may not seem like an ideal role model for anyone due to her criminal activity and crazy demeanor, she does have some questionably positive attributes.
Once you look at who Harley is away from the Joker, you realize just how much of her craziness was his doing. Dr. Harleen Quinzel started out as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. Clearly she was very ambitious prior to meeting the Clown Prince of Crime and taking on the monicker Harley Quinn. It’s not easy to complete school, let alone to become any type of doctor. Granted, she didn’t exactly earn that degree by studying. She had plans for herself and she was willing to accomplish them by any means necessary. When she met the Joker she just wanted to be around someone who could make her laugh. Their relationship rapidly devolved into something unhealthy, but she was eventually able to escape him. She moved on to a life of independence, free of his control. This ability to survive, escape from, and learn from an abusive relationship may seem like something minor in her character development, but it is something many can relate too.
Harley has had some other interesting relationships within the DC Universe. She has even proven herself to be a loyal friend. There has always been some speculation about the nature of her and Poison Ivy’s relationship. However, there is no denying that the bond between them is strong. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. They joined forces in order to protect each other, while taking on some other villains. Harley has even joined forces with Power Girl. Over the years Harley Quinn has joined a roller derby team, she’s a part of task force x, and now has a group of Harley’s that all serve a different purpose to her missions. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have shown us that Harley cares deeply for animals. It’s been a common theme in The New 52’s Harley Quinn. Harley has an entire floor devoted to animals she’s rescued so they have a safe place to live.
Although I have been a fan of Harley Quinn from the age of seven there is one aspect of her personality which I have never understood or appreciated until more recently. That aspect being her sexuality. Harley Quinn has always appeared to be in charge of her sexuality. The early presentation of it went over my head. As an adult I wonder how some things made it into the cartoons and comics. Harley is unapologetic about her needs and when she finds someone attractive. She’s confident, which is extremely important in a time where body-shaming and slut-shaming are constant battles facing women. This has become the largest contributing factor in my love for Harley.
Harley Quinn went from a psychotic villain who made me laugh to someone that I admire. She has the ability to enjoy life and follow her passions. In all fairness, her execution is still of the criminal nature most of the time, but her intentions are good. Harley experiences many of the same struggles in her personal life that we can all relate too. The way she deals with problems may not be kosher but she does not let them determine whether or not she succeeds. She finds a way to conquer any challenge that comes her way. All of these things contribute to the reason Harley Quinn is my spirit animal. We can’t forget about her hair. No matter what rendition of Harley we are looking at, her hair is nothing short of amazing. Given the amount of fan art on the internet, I’m guessing I’m not the only one.