Harley Quinn’s Origin Retold in “Harleen”

by Jay
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Prepare to entire the mind of a psychiatrist…gone mad.

In Love.

Who Is The Real Harleen?

Iconic villain-turned-antihero Harley Quinn, birthed as a one-time character in 1993 on the iconic Batman: The Animated Series, has done it all. From The Joker’s sidekick, solo villain, and finally to antihero, Dr. Harleen Quinzell has undergone an evolution. She has also resonated with fans for her offbeat, zany behavior and vulnerability. She’s crossed over from animation to live action media. And now her origin story will be retold under the direction of writer/artist Stjepan Sejic in the miniseries Harleen. It is one of the first titles under DC’s Black Label.


The creation of Paul Dini, both he and BTAS executive producer and artist Bruce Timm first covered Harley’s backstory in the one-shot Mad Love. Her origin has become as memorable as that of The Dark Knight. Even former Batman editor Denny O’Neil compliments Paul’s creativity in tying Batman’s nemesis into her creation as a one-sided infatuation. But Stjepan wants to delve deeper into the events that lead her down the road to villainy. “It is a story of her road to hell [with good intentions],” he explains, [and] a smile that cost her her soul. More than anything it’s a tale about good people falling, Falling in love falling from grace, falling apart.”

Layers To The Madness

Sejic’s take on Harley’s story sees Dr. Harleen Quinzell upgraded from a new Arkham intern to a revolutionary promoting a radical new treatment of mental illness. However, the medical community deems her method unorthodox and she fails to draw support. In desperation, she targets the Joker as her first test subject. Unfortunately, for Harleen, what begins as treatment becomes a trip down the rabbit hole of her own sanity. Sejic’s tale will see Harleen slowly pulled into madness through a twisted love and emerge as the Harley we all know and love…and pity.

Harleen #1 will hit newstands on September 25th, as well as be available for download the same day.


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