Harley Quinn Characterization and DCEU Omniverse

Based on DCEU omniverse, where all of the past is still “real,” have DC and DC fans considered what this means about Harley Quinn, a complicated character? Especially when we previously understood that there was both a Harleen Quinzel and a Marian Drews on Earth 1 alone, as well as Harley Quinn on Earth 3 (killed by Owlman in Countdown #32), and Hayley Fitzpatrick in Elseworld mini-series Thrillkiller. Is there really just “one” Harley Quinn now… or?

Because if all of the past matters as part of canon, then I see that DC has a problem with the Harley Quinn character. She is not just a “reformed criminal,” she was also in some storylines an actual mass murderer. And that may apply to other characters too, but let’s be clear, Harley Quinn on Earth 1 had a history of deliberately killing police and vulnerable individuals. That can’t just be airbrushed away, without some explanation.

In Detective Comics Volume 2, Issue 23.2 (November 2013) “Harley Lives,” Harley Quinn developed and distributed a handheld gaming system - with a software that causes the device to explode when updated - blowing up children across the city. Was that some other Harley Quinn other than Harleen Quinzel? Because I fully understood that as Harleen Quinzel. That’s what she called herself; the issue had her origin with her family.

So isn’t this the same Prime Harley Quinn (Harleen Quinzel) being viewed as a “anti-hero” type figure in current story lines? Or is that a different Harley Quinn altogether?

The question really came to mind, yesterday, April 4, when I saw DC post on Twitter a message for Harley Quinn to with Happy Easter. It just seemed so odd. If this is really an anti-hero charater that was also mass-murdering children, would you want to have her portray a holiday message? Or is this a different Harley Quinn?

As we recall at the end of Dark Multiverse wars, there a question raised as why there was not a “Dark Harley Quinn” opposite. In Dark Nights Death Metal Issue 4, (psychotic) Robin King goes to hand Harley Quinn “the mallet she tried to kill me with on my world,” so was she part of the Dark Multiverse? We have to assume so, but Robin King also states, “So ever wonder why you never see a Harley who laughs? Your parents knew, ‘Harleen Quinzel.’ In folklore a harlequin started as a minion of the devil. So my theory is you use these things to bash the truth away. That deep down you are much more evil than Joker.”

Will the real Harley Quinn please stand up?

The real Quinn is a psychotic murderer.

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That was what seemed obvious to me too, Matthew. It seems troubling to see psychotic killer treated as “heroic” character.

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I think the thing with the “Omniverse” is that at the very least, all these stories matter in that they have their own universe where it happened and ultimately it’s up to the creators working on the books to use it or not. So if most creators have basically ignored what happened in that Forever Evil tie-in (which they should because it was a freaking awful book in general), then I see no reason why they wouldn’t continue to do so.