“Madly in love” is a beautiful phrase, but, being mad and in love is an entirely different scenario. The romance between Joker and Harley Quinn is a non-stop maniacal bond. They are a couple who consider ‘destruction’ to be their kind of playfulness. They complement and contradict each other, but, despite the absolute doting appearance of their relationship might not reveal the fact that it is pretty much a one-way street. Just in case, you believe that Joker has been nasty to Batman, just get ready to be shocked.
Cruel fate jokes with Harley Quinn, the girl who goes to any acceptable/unacceptable distance for the Clown Prince of Crime. For her, he is ‘Puddin’, the reason behind her existence, her Alpha male. Harley Quinn is so deeply in love with him that she can’t understand how he abuses and manipulates her. From what was a successful career as a psychiatrist, she has come to become a stooge for the Joker. Harley Quinn gives her all to the Joker every time, but, never gets anything other than abuse in return.
Here we present to you ten instances when The Joker treated Harley like trash:
10. THE THREW HER INTO A PRISON WITH DEAD HARLEYS SCATTERED AROUND
The relationship between the Clown and Harley Quinn is based on exclusivity. They are both religiously devoted to each other, especially Harley who is totally immersed in her admiration for him. However, the Joker is occasionally unsure, and he steps back whenever he becomes too obsessed with Harley.
The wicked Joker knows how to change tracks, and once he tortured Harley by dragging her into a prison. He chained her to the wall in the darkness and then shone a torchlight on the corpses of various dead Harleys, all dressed in the famous red and blue attire. While Harley was bewildered by looking at all that, the Joker hurt her further by calmly saying, “I can tell you this. You won’t even be the last.”
We often hear that all is fair and love and war, but, this is taking things too far.
What’s worse is that wasn’t the worst part of that incident. As far as the other Harleys were concerned, taking into account the Joker that we know, it is certain that he managed to lay his hands on some cadavers and dressed them up to resemble Harley. The Clown Prince of Crime can indulge in any kind of sadistic pleasures.
9. HE LOCKED HER UP IN A SPACEBOUND ROCKET
While all the songs based on rockets are invariably associated with adventure or love, it might have been the Elton John song “Rocket Man” which inspired The Joker to send his lady love into the celestial space.
The problem was that the devotion and love from Harley Quinn were making the Joker mellower and it reminded him of his earlier relationships. For a moment, his human heart seemed to overpower his devilish life. He admitted, “It’s the first time in recent memory I’ve had those feelings.” Sadly, Harley got to hear his confession only when she was caged inside a space-bound rocket which the Joker had told her to step into. When she says, “Aww, Puddin’!” the Joker starts crying, before saying, “I will always treasure our days together, but sadly, inevitably, the time has come for us to part.”
After that, he broke into his unmistakable laugh and launched the Rocket saying goodbye. Luckily, Harley managed to control the spaceship and landed it in Robinson Park, where she met Poison Ivy.
8. WHEN HE GAVE HARLEY DYNAMITE LACED ROSES
The universal definition of insanity is: to repeat an act again and again while trying to get a different result with each effort. This definition puts Harley Quinn in the category of the most insane people. Despite the abuse meted out to her by her equally insane lover, who hurts her every single time by his words and actions, she still hopes to turn him around. That’s what insane love is all about.
Ever since she debuted in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, Harley Quinn has been subject to consistent torture. It is true that the Joker loves her deeply, his idea of being nice and funny is often of indulging in things that nearly kill her. You better be more afraid of The Joker when he is happy. There have been times when he has brought in bouquets of roses for Harley with dynamite sticks hidden inside. Although she has unfailingly managed to spot the burning fuse and rush to safety before the dynamite exploded, Harley still justifies his violence. “Boys will be boys,” is all that she thinks of such acts.
7. WHEN HE ALMOST PEELED OFF HER FACE
A comic book by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo depicted the Joker as a blood-thirsty lunatic. The comic showed, The Joker locate Harley and decides to convert her into his own clone. He makes her wear his tuxedo, lifts, and the bowtie, but, his wicked smile revealed that there was more to come.
“There’s just one thing missing,” he says. “That pretty face of yours…it spoils the reflection. I’m afraid it’s going to have to go.” Harley starts objecting, but, is silenced by the Biblical dialogue from the Joker wherein he claims to be the Adam to her Eve: “I pulled the pieces of you from my ribcage…you are my creation, and if you want to serve me, I need you to be perfect.”
Just to clarify, he asked for her face. That’s demented, and while Harley is initially aghast at the thought, she finally relents. Then she expresses her strongest fears: “Would you still find me beautiful?” The poor girl and her absolutely misplaced priorities. The Joker then took out his razor blade and then laughs out loud. “But I…didn’t feel anything,” Harley says. Luckily for her, that was because the Joker didn’t do it. He simply threw a hood over his head and stepped away smiling that he had won her absolute allegiance.
6. WHEN HE DIPPED HER IN A CHEMICAL VAT
Similar to the devil, the Joker also accepts nothing less than an absolute commitment from his subordinates. For his girl-friend, Harleen Quinzel, walking the walk and going crazy in Gotham City wasn’t adequate. After he broke her spirit and controlled her mind, the Joker then asked the former psychiatrist to redo her chemistry to join him in his world. He made her change her worldview, and to complete the transformation; he pushed her to undergo a physical change.
In the path-breaking story by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm titled Mad Love, the Joker lured Harleen with a carrot. However, she went to do it all by her own free will. Harleen herself chose to become Harley Quinn. She unflinchingly jumped into the chemical vat, which is a deviation from the original story in the New 52, which had shown the Joker forcibly make her do that. While a few fans were offended by the change, the eventual result was the same, and the Joker continues to get whatever he demands.
5. HE THREW HER OUT OF A WINDOW AFTER A FAILED JOKE
We know that The Joker is not only a sadistic comedian but, he is full of envy too. Therefore, when he fails to understand a joke, he might turn murderous. Such a thing happened in The New Batman Adventures when Harley modified Joker’s plan to capture and murder the Batman. The Joker’s mega plan was to feed a starving school of piranhas with Batman, but, being unsure of how the flesh-eating fish would react, Harley decided to hang Batman upside down to change his view. Although she felt that she had made the joke better, the Joker was rattled by her, screaming, “If you have to explain a joke, there is no joke!”
Harley realized that the Joker had lost it, she picked up a decorative swordfish to defend herself, but, the Joker snatched it away from her. Madder than ever, he says, “You’ve forgotten what I told you a long time ago. One of the painful truths of comedy…you always take shots from folks who just don’t get the joke!” Swinging the swordfish like a baseball bat, he slams her like a line drive, out of the building’s window and plunging down into a pile of garbage.
4. WHEN HE TOSSED HER TO THE HYENAS ON THEIR ANNIVERSARY
Just in case you feel that above things were dangerous, you have not yet read about the seventh-anniversary present that Harley gave to Joker. While most of them give cakes to each other, Harley was herself the cake. Drenched in the pudding for her “Puddin,” she took the nice, but, daring step, and she did it with confidence.
She affectionately sang, “Happy anniversary, Mr. J. You’re really swell and okay. It’s seven years to the day, take the night off…let’s play.” No matter how seducing this song was, it made the Joker furious. With black piercing eyes, he went near Harley and told her “I’m not in the party mood.” With a powerful push, he sent her plunging down into a back street teeming with hyenas. Then he tastes the pudding and is disgusted: “Sweet kid, but a lousy cook.” While the Joker hated the dessert, the pack of hyenas found Harley to be yummy.
3. WHEN HE HANGED HARLEY WITH A CHAIN TO TEST HER LOYALTY
The longer Harley stays with the Joker, the more her life is endangered. Suicide Squad #14 showed a slightly confident and opinionated Harley, but, it wasn’t possible for her to enjoy her life without being ravaged by her boyfriend. “Is there something on your face, Harley? There it is. Here, let me get it off.” Slam! The Joker smashes her and then says, “Got it! I think it was a small touch of hubris.” Talk about mutual-dependency.
This sequence exemplified their entire arc in Death of the Family, wherein the Joker became afraid about Harley once again becoming Harleen Quinzel. A short while back, she had hoodwinked Batman into the vats at Ace Chemical, the very place where she had become a psycho from a psychiatrist. Her success invokes paranoia in Joker, and he asks her about what was her state of mind. Harley had barely murmured about holding onto some secrets when the Joker hanged her up with a metallic chain and screamed: “Then why don’t you hang out and tell me a few, Harley?!”
2. WHEN SHE WAS PREGNANT AND HE DIDN’T NOTICE HER FOR A YEAR
Just think about a world in which Joker and Harley Quinn indulge in a physical relationship. The idea might be scary, but, that’s what happened in Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two. When she found out that Black Canary is expecting Green Arrow’s child, Harley confessed to being pregnant with Mr. J’s child. While the normal expectation would be to see the Joker become immaculately focused and caring father, he turned out to be just about as bad an expecting parent as anybody ever in history.
She knew that the Joker wouldn’t approve her pregnancy. Thus, Harley Quinn deserted him for one full year and gave birth to their daughter Lucy. “When I came back to my Puddin’, he was so funny. He acted like he didn’t even notice I was gone.” There is no doubt that the Joker would have noticed her prolonged absence to take care of their child. Lost to his world, he just ignored the whole thing. That’s how Mr. J is.
1. WHEN HE TORTURED HER TO INSANITY
Fans of the Suicide Squad comics criticized the David Ayer’s cinematic version lacked in chemistry. While the film had its tender moments, it was disturbing to see how the Joker used electrotherapy to torture Harleen. Although the cinematic version showed this sequence briefly, it stretches to over a minute in the extended version, and that’s sheer physical and psychological terror.
Even though the theatrical cut significantly reduced his presence, the lengthier look at Jared Leto’s portrayal of Joker reveals the monster that he is. He is demonic, angry and totally dominates Harley physically. He tortures her insanely. “I wouldn’t want you to break those perfect, porcelain-capped teeth when the juice hits your brain.” The Suicide Squad movie showed Harley with some sort of freedom (she fell rather than jumped into the chemical vat, though, she wasn’t pushed into it). However, it is apparent that she is Joker’s prey. If the torture scene had been any longer, it would have resembled the Hannibal’s Lecter.