This article contains spoilers for Harley Quinn #11.
When Harley Quinn was created, she was a girl obsessed with her toxic, abusive boyfriend. But since the New 52, writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have turned Harley's world around in the best way possible. She has reinvented her life and is finally independent.
As Harley's story continues, we have entered a new arc titled "Joker Loves Harley," starting with Issue #11. I'll admit, I was worried that this plot would bring her back to her dark days. But this time around, Harley rose above her demons, and I'm immensely proud of her for that.
But before we discuss Harley Quinn #11, let's go back to Issue #9 where all of this started. This also marks #TheJoker's first appearance in DC Rebirth.
Roller Derby Madness
It's been a while since Harley has participated in roller derby with her team. She arrives at the skate club to find out that she would be facing off with an angry, former rival. Usually, no one stands a chance against "Killer Kwinn," but this night was different.
It was clear that Harley was reaching defeat, but that all went away when a shot was fired that killed her opponent instantly. But who was the culprit?
This issue ended with Harley entering her apartment to find that the Joker has creepily made himself at home. In her last series, Harley had an incredible, emotional moment of closure with him. So, what could he possibly want now?
The Clown Prince Of Crime Returns
Fast forward to Issue #11 — we pick up exactly where we left off. Harley is shocked to find the Joker in her home. But did she succumb to her past romantic feelings and run into his arms? Not at all. She is truly over him.
Though Harley insisted that she wanted nothing to do with him, he kept persisting. He proposed that they go on a date the next day to have "a conversation between two adults." But this time, he promised that he was serious.
While Harley was confused, curious and anxious (who wouldn't be?), she remained calm and collected throughout this issue. She is unbreakable. And luckily, she had her protective friend Red Tool as a distraction. The story ends with the Joker waiting for her at the boardwalk, roses in hand, when he gets a surprise visit.
We All Know The Joker Will Go Back To His Old Ways
This is inevitable. But how did the "reformed" Joker come to be, and what is he hiding? Even though he was acting sweet and romantic, there was a creepy and sly aura underneath. It turns out that in Harley Quinn #12, we will see the Joker that we're all familiar with. Here is the comic's description as follows:
"'JOKER LOVES HARLEY' part two! Don’t ship Joker and Harley too hard! In this issue, the 'reformed' Joker deceives Harley, and when that happens, she goes for his throat!"
Issue #13 will be the conclusion of this arc and will reveal the mystery behind the gentle Joker. I personally hope this will be the end of Harley and the Joker, once and for all.
This issue was extremely well written and left me wanting more. I can't wait to see what the rest of this arc has in store for us. Conner and Palmiotti have shown us that this is the Harley we need and deserve: a brave, independent woman who controls her own life and doesn't rely on a man. Someone who we can aspire to be, rather than find faults in. Harley puts the hero in antihero.
In the comics, we shouldn't worry much about how Harley is portrayed. She is fearless and can take on the world. This story exceeded my expectations, and it's only just begun.
Harley Quinn #11 is available now at a comic store near you. Issue #12 will be released on January 18, and #13 on February 1.
Stay with me, as I will discuss the rest of Harley's comics in the coming weeks! Also, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!