Harley Quinn’s always been the abused side-kick of the Joker but with the public beginning to recognize emotional and physical abuse as signs of affection instead of what they really are; comic book writers have begun turning the tables for Harley instead.
Speaking at the San Diego Comic Con last weekend (via Screen Rant), DC writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly began explaining their motivations for writing Gotham City Garage, a Harley Quinn comic in which the Batman villain is no longer in a relationship filled with abuse and instead has the Joker as her lackey, not the other way around.
“A big part of the point of this book is that we’re trying to take the major assumptions that you make about the DC Universe, and across the board we’re trying to say, ‘Okay, let’s say you take those assumptions away. Where do the heroes come from? Who becomes heroic and why?
“Whenever we can shift that paradigm, we do. So over and over and over again when we encounter a new premise here, we think, ‘Let’s look at this person from when they were a child in this world, to where they’ve become, and figure out how they got here that isn’t the way you know from the DC world.”
“So in our universe, for instance, Harley Quin self actualizes. There is no Joker, so she doesn’t become Harley Quinn as a reaction to The Joker. She becomes Harley Quinn because of things in her own life that force her towards that rebel action. This Harley Quinn inspired The Joker, not the other way around. We have a Joker, but he’s her lackey, he’s following her around, he’s always trying to get her attention.”
In Gotham City Garage, Lanzing and Kelly’s version of Joker comes directly from a cyberpunk-inspired Gotham, looking like he had just “walked out of a William Gibson novel.”
This is definitely interesting news. After Suicide Squad ruined the Harley Quinn origin by romanticizing her relationship with the Joker, it seems like comicbook readers need more stories like Gotham City Garage. After all, who wouldn’t want an independent, unabused Harley and a Joker styled after the Neuromancer?
Gotham City Garage #1 hits shelves on August 16, 2017.