Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
The story so far. So I went to meet Velma Dunkley at the abandoned amusement park, but instead of finding the orange clad teen sleuth, I was jumped by a couple of goons, who tied me up and hung me from a hook like a side of beef. As I slowly twisted upside down, who would show up but Batman’s nemesis The Joker. He then forced me interview him. After he was done I figured he would let me go or kill me, but instead he just left saying he had someone he wanted me to meet.
Behind me I heard more footfalls. “Who is it?” I gasped, afraid the Penguin was about to shove an umbrella between my ribs.
I hear a giggle then in a thick Fran Dresher-esque voice “Just little old me.” As I slowly twist towards the fun houses door, I see a woman about 5’ 7” dressed from head to toe is a red and black harlequin suit. It is Harleen Quinzel the notorious super hench-woman, Harley Quinn. “So Davey boy I hear you are interviewing people…and you seem to have forgotten me…” Then her face becomes a storm cloud of anger. “I am sure that my invite was lost in the mail…RIGHT!”
“Yes!” I shout back in fear.
She bends over so our faces are inches apart. “Oh well then that’s OK I am famous for my forgiving nature. OK so you want to know my story. Well I a psychiatric intern at Akrham Asylum and I my first big assignment was interviewing the world famous Mistuh J. Now depends on who was writing at the time, it is implied I wasn’t that good a student and basically got through med school by sleeping with my teachers…As if…Anyway I had this boyfriend in college his name was Guy. Well in school I come up with this theory that being in love is a form of insanity so I played with his mind until he shoots a teacher. Well the dude was a lightweight couldn’t handle the guilt so he begs me to kill him. And I do it making it look a suicide. And know what…I LIKED IT!”
She does a back flip and continues with her story. “I mean murder can be so hot…Any ways I fell for my dreamboat, and then one night after the awful Batman beat him up ever so badly and brought him back to Arkham, I decided I would bust him out of the loony bin. Now in the new DC world the story is pretty much the same but that from the start I get that my puddin’ is playing me, but I bust him out because my boss is stealing my research. Well Mr. J takes me to the same chemical factory where he fell in and pushed me in, turning my hoar red and blue and making my skin milky white…Hey after someone fell in to an open vat, they just kept on keepin’ a catwalk over it so an innocent girl could fall in. Someone should tell OSHA about this!”
“I will if you untie me.” I replied.
She looks like she is thinking about it then shakes her finger at me. “You are a tricky one Dave, OK next question.”
“Uh…OK…uh…Now you didn’t start out in the comic books right?” I ask.
“True that.” She replies. “Like X-23 or Agent Coulson, I didn’t get my start in the comic books, but rather Batman the Animated Series. Though now I am pretty much imbedded in the official DCU. I was voiced by the actress Arleen Sorkin, and some of the less crazy aspects of my character are based on her personality.”
“How did you become so popular, so fast?” I ask.
“How does any chick get dudes to like her?” She asks shrugging. “And let’s face it comic book buyers are mainly adolescent boys or men with the mentality of adolescent boys…” She waved her hands down her body. “I am cute. And have you seen those striperrific costumes they are drawing me in now. You know as my friend Jessica Rabbit says “I am not bad I am just drawn this way.” She then rubs her chin. “Also I am funny. I think that guys don’t get how attractive that can be in a woman. Men want someone who can make them laugh. Just look at me I am sexy, I hilarious and I am staby-staby crazy. I am the total package.”
“Well you are defiantly all threes for three of those.” I reply.
I think she almost blushes under the white pancake makeup. She does an exaggerated courtesy. “Well thank you.”
“OK…Keeping in mind you might kill me, but I got to know, how dose DC get away basically showcasing a physically abusive relationship?”
She goes over to a carnival test your strength machine left conveniently in the funhouse and picks up the oversized wooden hammer. “Well basically we get stuff pass the censors because it is funny. We are kind of like the Bond movies in that way, sex and killing all over the place, but as long as we frame it in a humorous situation we can put it on a kiddies show. Think about, it was the same thing with Billy Shakespeare, he had people offing kings and making the beast with two back all the time, and in the Fifteenth century too, but he knew that if he didn’t want to have some his highness or another cutting off his head, he’d have to put a metric ton of comic relief before and after the deeds. And if it worked for Willie it sure the heck can work for us.”
“OK how about the “brake into comics” contest where people sent art of you killing yourself in a bath tub?” I demand to know.
Harley Quinn pouts and blows a puff of wind at her bangs. “OK, let’s face facts, DC grabbed the idiot ball on that one. First off it was a dream sequence but they didn’t say that up front. And it was pretty insensitive to do it right before national suicide prevention week. I mean sometimes I think when it comes to comic books and their treatment of women the inmates are running the asylum, but that isn’t my fault. Blame it on the old boy network that writes the titles and the market share that buys misogynous titles.’
“Care to comment on the Harley Quinn ending for the video game Injustice: Gods Among US?” I ask.
“Oh…That.” She spats. “OK so as a player you get to kick evil superman into the phantom zone…Yada yada yada…Well then after finding my pudin’ in some other dimension I marry him. Yea team me. Then he lovingly shoves my face into the wedding cake, and I snap and stab him to death. It supposed to be because of all those years of pent up resentment about being abused, but I think it may also have something to do with the fact Mr. J is this perfect goal and once I have him then what do I do?You don’t want what you were chasing in the end, when you no longer have to struggle for it.”
“Joker told me that his end game was to get people to think like him if that is so, then are you his first convert?”
She nods her head so furiously I am afraid it will fall off. “Absolutely. Mr. J. has opened my eyes. I am his disciple, I am his convert, and his missionary. We spread the message of how happier you would all be if you were crazy like us.”
“Would you say you are an example of all the girls wanting a bad boy?” I ask.
“Davey boy I am going to explain something to you that men have tried to understand for years and couldn’t. OK, so we all know about the good girl, who falls head over heals for the bad boy, and gives up everything for him. He honor, he family, everything, do you know why?’
“Uh…She thinks she can change him.” I hazard a guess.
“Oh boy have they sold you a bill of goods.” She says shaking her head. “Maybe she lies and tells that to her her mom, tells her friends, maybe she tells it to herself, but it is still a lie. The reason is he is an excuse to be bad. It’s not the boy, Dave-o. It is the girl. She wants to be bad, but she needs an excuse.”
I am not sure I believe that but I can see it being true in her case. “So have you ever heard of Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome and do you suffer from it?” I ask.
“The medical term is Hybristophilia, it is a paraphilia of the predatory type in which sexual arousal, facilitation, and attainment of orgasm are responsive to and contingent upon being with a partner known to have committed an outrage, cheating, lying, known infidelities or crime, such as rape, murder, or armed robbery.” She sounds like she is quoting from her old psych 101 text book. ‘Sure I got it, got it bad but know who has it even worst, my Pudin, I mean I keep trying to get him to take a ride on his Harley.” She begins to pantomime riding a motorcycle making motorcycle noises. “But he is just thinking about killing Batman the Dork Knight. I mean the only time I get some nookie is when he is all excited about killing The Bat.”
I really regret starting her down this path so I try to change the subject. “What about Batman Triumphant?”
She swings the oversized hammer at me and spins around until she falls on her butt. Harley is so mad I think she can spit. “Batman will never triumph, Mr. J will win…” then she begins to laugh. “Oh you mean the movie. OK, it was supposed to be the next Batman movie after Batman and Robin. But that movie stunk worse than the stink bomb I planted at Gotham Central Station.” She waves her hand in front of her nose to push away an imaginary smell. “Well it was going to have me not as the Joker’s lover, but his daughter, and I would be played by the singer Madonna. But alas it will never be. Apparently the franchise is easier to kill than the real Batman.”
“Uh…You want to talk about Poison Ivy?” I ask.
“Oh sure Pammy is my best friend. When the Joker kicked me out, she took me in. She shot me up with venom so I have supper strength, enhanced coordination and made me immune to toxins. Sometimes Red and me hook up with Cat Woman and we call ourselves The Gotham Sirens.”
“I mean…you want to talk about your relationship?” I urge.
“Silly aren’t you listening? I told you she was my best friend.” She replies with a laugh.
“No…are you intimate?”
“Oh yes. I tell her things I would normally only tell to Pudin.” She beams.
“OK, do I have to spell this out, do you are do you not have a sexual relationship with Poison Ivy?”
She crosses her arms over her breast and scowls. “You know Dave you ask a lot of woman in your interviews if they are lesbians, if I was a psychologist I would say you have issues…Hey I am a psychologist…and buster you have issues.” She pouts and then says. “OK, officially it’s left up to the audience’s imagination. And believe me if you look up all the Harley and Ivy slash out there, fanboys have got a lot of imagination. But DC never officially says weather or not we you know…did it. I mean there’s lot of double entendre, she is over protective of me, a few almost kisses fake outs, or real kisses on the forehead. She says she loves me but it is never resolved if she loves me like a sister or like a bunny in heat way.”
Then Harley her lips. “In this universe at least. Now in the other dimensions away from their prime sales world, DC isn’t as squeamish about the possibility of me and Miss Isley being an item. There is this Elseworld’s where Lex Luthor is this big time music producer and me and Pam are…how do they state it…an alternate lifestyle folk rockers, if you get the meaning, hint, hint. And then in Thrillkiller 62 set in the sixties in another universe, where the Joker is a woman called Bianca Steeplechase, and my name is Hailey Fitzpatrick, and well there is no question in that story. Now the writers over at DC may be trying do what Joss Weadon did with Willow in Buffy, where they give the first hint of her gayness from her alt dimension vampire doppelgänger, but as I already said how promiscuous I am often changes with the writer of the moment.”
“Have you ever been with anyone other than The Joker?” I ask.
“Oh sure.” She replies flatly. “Besides Guy, I kissed Batman twice, but that was because he was being nicer to me than Mr. J, at the time, when I was in metropolis I had a thing with jimmy Olson, didn’t end well. Poor kid just didn’t know how to date a psychopath. Then I got pretty hot and heavy with Deadshot when I was with the Suicide Squad, but it was you know, just sex. The only one I truly loved was my Pudin.”
“Besides the Animated series what are some of your favorite TV, movie or video versions of yourself?” I ask.
“Well I got to love Mia Sara in The Birds of Prey. She was more crazy psychologist than killer clown, but I mean that is scary. What do you do, when the doctors arn’t out to help you? I mean your shrink is the one person you are supposed to trust, am I right? Oh and I go gaga over the scene in Arrow, where I am locked up in this government prisons and this man and woman are arguing and I yell out. “You need some cousliling I’m a trained therapist.” It was only a cameo but it is opening up a whole possible story line for me in that show. You never see my actress Cassidy Alexa’s face, but she did it in white clown makeup just to get into character. And in Arkham City the video game I am portrayed by voice goddess Tara Strong. But for my money I would go for the Lego version of me in The Lego Batman game.”
“So hey now that you have opened up. What you say you let me down and untie me and we can go get a burger and fries and maybe catch a movie?” I suggest.
“No can do Dave-o. I told Mr. J. That I would give this interview a smashing conclusion. Meaning I am going to smash your brains in with this hammer.” She raised the oversized hammer to hit me with it in the head. When an explosion knocks down the door. In rushes Batman, Batgirl, Robin Commissioner Gordon and a dozen Gotham coops. “Ah Shucky darn.” She swears and blows me kiss. Tootles.” And rushed off, leaving me hanging upside down.