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Suicide Squad: Origin And History Of Harley Quinn

5 May 2015, 11:26 pm EDT By Ted Ranosa Tech Times
With the continued success of superhero films, fan interest in comic book characters is on the rise. To help bring new fans up to speed on the story of the Suicide Squad, here is the back story of one of the most well-known members: Harley Quinn.  ( DC Comics )

Fan interest in comic book characters is definitely on the rise especially after the recent success of superhero films such as Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Not to be outdone, DC is also gearing up to relaunch its own cinematic universe with Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and David Ayer's Suicide Squad.

People just cannot get enough of these stories that they have even gone back to reading comic books to get their superhero fix while waiting for the next flick.

With new fans clamoring to get to know more about the characters in these films, a quick rundown on the character's backstory can help bring them up to speed.

We start with one of the most prominent members of the Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn.

Character History

Compared to her fellow Suicide Squad members, Harley Quinn did not get her first big break in comic books. She was first introduced in Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s as an original character for the TV show.

Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, two of the show's producers, created Harley Quinn to serve as the Joker's companion and constant foil. She first appeared in the first season episode "Joker's Favor," voiced by Days of Our Lives actress Arleen Sorkin.

Quinn proved to be such a popular character in the animated series during its run that DC Comics decided to adopt her into the main Batman continuity in the comic books.

Harley Quinn's history was expanded in the one-shot graphic novel Mad Love written by Dini and Timm and published in 1994.

The story recounted how she first came to Arkham Asylum as a psychiatrist by the name of Harleen Quinzel. Dr. Quinzel started out wide-eyed and eager to help the wayward patients of the asylum. She, however, was most smitten by the diabolical charisma of the Joker.

The Joker took advantage of Dr. Quinzel's attraction for him, captivating her further with stories about his troubled childhood. He told her how he was abused by his father whenever the old man came home drunk. She soon developed an obsession for the Joker.

Throughout their time together, the Joker subjected Dr. Quinzel to numerous abuses, both physically and mentally. The highly educated Harleen Quinzel eventually lost her sanity and took on the identity of Harley Quinn.

She donned a red and white court jester's outfit and put on white makeup with a black domino mask around her eyes.

From then on, Harley Quinn has always been seen with the clown prince of crime in his plots to kill the Batman.

Aside from the Joker, Quinn is also known to have developed a strong friendship with other female supervillains, namely Catwoman and Poison Ivy.

She was first introduced as a member of Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad in Suicide Squad #1 published in 2011. Waller recruited Quinn to Task Force X together with Floyd Lawton, also known as Deadshot, and King Shark.

Appearances in Other Media

Throughout the years, Harley Quinn has made appearances in different media, including animated series and video games.

Quinn appeared alongside the Joker in the Justice League as part of her run in the DC animated universe. She was featured, together with Poison Ivy, in an episode of Static Shock.

Arleen Sorkin reprised her role as Harley Quinn for the full-length animated film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Today, Harley Quinn's popularity is driven by her appearance in the Batman: Arkham video game series. Her character was given a modern look and a darker take on her personality. The creators of the game removed her image as a comedic jester and instead turned her into a very troubled and violent young woman with a dark Lolita look.

She is once again voiced by Arleen Sorkin in the first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Tara Strong in succeeding games.

For the animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham, Quinn is voiced by Hynden Walch. She appears alongside fellow Suicide Squad members Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, King Shark and Killer Frost.

Margot Robbie will play the deranged villainess in David Ayer's upcoming film Suicide Squad slated for release in 2016.

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