[Warning: I do talk about the Suicide Squad comic, which may or may not have plot lines that match the movie. Read at own risk]
When the newest Suicide Squad trailer hit, I went on youtube immediately. While I have never read the comic book version of this group, I have always loved the Joker and, more importantly, his hench-lady and better half, Harley Quinn. While I enjoyed many shots from the trailer, and felt the rush of adrenaline that many fans had with all the action they packed in 2 and a half minutes, there was a worry that sprung up in my mind, especially when this particular shot was played.
It appears that we will be seeing a bit of Harley's backstory, and in that vein it will unfortunately be the one that was given to her in the Suicide Squad comics as well as continued into the New 52 universe, with her being thrown into a vat of chemicals and turning mad and into the Joker's pet.
This is a stark contrast to her true origin story, which in my opinion is much better. In the comic "Mad Love", written by her creator Paul Dini, her character became a psychiatrist to better understand her father who was a conman and abuser. In true Freudian fashion, when she takes on the Joker as a patient he manipulates her and she becomes part of the toxic and abusive relationship.
However, in "Mad Love" it is HER choice. She chooses to be with the Joker and all the trouble that comes with that. She is intelligent, and able to make decisions for herself, and in doing so gives into her evil side. Though, in the contrast to the tv show where she is inexplicably drawn to the darkness her comic half always had a bad side to her, even having her boyfriend kill a professor. To her, being in love is like being a criminal and it can push you to do bad things, and Joker is the ultimate criminal mastermind.
She even is able to gain some independence, with the help of her friend, Poison Ivy eventually and tries to accumulate being away from her man. It doesn't last forever though, as he always know exactly what to say to make her melt and come back.
Now, instead of a curious woman who falls for a mad man, we have a typical bad guy creating someone in his own image. It's no longer about love, but control over her, and it takes away the very essence of who Harley was as well as their relationship.
There is hope though
One of the storylines in the comics is that the Joker is presumed dead. Harley starts a prison riot and escapes to Gotham. This is sort of hinted at in the trailer when she says
What was that? I should kill everyone and escape? .... I'm kidding! It's the voices...That's not what they said
While everything is hinting that they will be let out of prison to do the dirty work the heroes won't, could it be that she will escape to find Joker on her own?
After all, she is dressed in Harleen Quinzel apparel in the trailer
And in these behind the scenes shots from last May, she definitely has a confrontation with the Joker.
In the comics, and the cartoon where she originated, she was a master of disguise, able to blend in and be normal. Perhaps she is able to break free of the "squad" and find Joker to confront him after their time apart. If that is the case, I will be happy to see it as we will be able to see the strong woman behind the kind of goofy facade that is Harley Quinn.
After all, her own teammates underestimate her, maybe we as an audience shouldn't either. No matter what incarnation there is always a method to her madness.
Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself: