I asked this question on FB a while ago, and got some interesting answers, so I thought I'd try here with a  mostly different group of people.

1)Do you think of Harley as a hero?

2)Do you think that DC intends us to think of her as a hero?

3)Do you think that I'm missing some important point here?

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1.No

2.Maybe, or at least as not a villain

3. I think DC wants her to be perceived as not being evil because she is a hero to a lot of women out there, or at the very least they relate to her. Or at least that's DC'S perception. 

Mind you, I'm not against the idea of a villain reforming. I like the idea that someone who started on the wrong path can correct themselves.

However, I do think that how the reform is handled depends on the level of the individual's crimes.  It's easier to accept a person who did a few robberies reforming than it would  be a mass murderer.

Has Harley ever killed anyone? At the very least, someone who ran with the Joker must be at least an accessory to several murders.

I don't think of Harley Quinn at all. I think the key word on your query is "now." I've read only two Harley Quinn comics that I recall, Mad Love and the one with the Alex Ross cover, both one-shots by Paul Dini, both more than 20 years old. FWIW, she didn't do anything particularly "heroic" in either of those. Has she been in anything since?

I'm not entirely sure if you're being sarcastic or not, because she's been in rather a lot, yes.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I don't think of Harley Quinn at all. I think the key word on your query is "now." I've read only two Harley Quinn comics that I recall, Mad Love and the one with the Alex Ross cover, both one-shots by Paul Dini, both more than 20 years old. FWIW, she didn't do anything particularly "heroic" in either of those. Has she been in anything since?

Well, it's comics -- she's been in a lot of stories, and created a lot of violence and mayhem. In a lot of those stories, the violence and mayhem wasn't taken seriously; it was handled tongue-in-cheek, like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. But in other scenarios, Harley has almost definitely killed. I haven't read many of her Suicide Squad appearances, but she almost certainly has there. Then again, since she was working for the government, were those crimes? Depends on the administration in power. But by working with the Joker, she certainly caused a lot of harm, almost certainly including death.

But honestly: I think of her as a hero* these days. A flawed, interesting hero with obvious anger-management issues. One who's working to overcome her villainous beginnings as a henchman of the Joker, and trying her best to help her friends and neighbors. 

Do I care about the severity of the crimes she committed before her change of heart? Nah. They're not part of the story I'm reading, and they're only as relevant as the writer wants to make them. For the most part, I'm happy to put the details down the memory hole, like Reed Richards's and Ben Grimm's military service in World War II. 



The Baron said:

Has Harley ever killed anyone? At the very least, someone who ran with the Joker must be at least an accessory to several murders.

In the first Harley Quinn solo series, she was presented as out of touch with reality, so when she killed, she didn't realize it; she perceived it happening kind of the way we see Elmer Fudd blasting Bugs Bunny with his shotgun and Bugs retaliating with a stick of dynamite. In her mind, both of them would be back in the next cartoon; but from other's point of view, there would be a bloody (offscreen) mess. That was the series I liked best.

In later series -- I'm thinking of the recent one begun by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, but was handed off to others -- Harley Quinn killed, but the people she killed were worse bad guys, so we readers are supposed to think that's okay. 

To your questions: 

1) Do you think of Harley as a hero?  No, I don't.

2)Do you think that DC intends us to think of her as a hero? Yes, I do.

3)Do you think that I'm missing some important point here? No, I don't.

Rob Staeger Johnson is right!

That's the best prescription I've ever read for enjoying the story in front of you.

As to the various questions raised, yes, I do think DC is positioning her as a hero, or at least a sympathetic protagonist. She has helped Batman a few times lately, and is generally treated as an ally in the Bat-books -- or, at least, not as a criminal.

And yes, she is legally complicit in The Joker's murders when she was with him (where she also killed a few people herself), plus she deliberately and sanely killed people during her "serious" turn in Suicide Squad (which didn't last long), and not as sanely in other Suicide Squad runs, and definitely killed people in the Dodson-illustrated Harley Quinn series, but perceived everything in cartoon form where people weren't dead, they just had X's over their eyes. Those are the ones that I'm familiar with, but I haven't read all her various series over the years, where there are quite likely a few more murders.

Various arguments can be made to excuse most of them (insanity, limited capacity, government sanction). But if that doesn't do it for you, as Rob says, they can all join Mopee at any time, and are only as relevant as the current story says they are.

I recall a scene from "Mad Love" that states that Harleen Quinzel was no angel before she ever met the Joker! So I don't see her as a hero, more like a chaotic ally to use a D&D term.

DC sees her as a "hero" in terms of merchandising and profitability. She was limited as the Joker's moll/doormat but as a "survivor of domestic abuse" she's a goldmine!

Are we all missing the point? Being hot forgives everything? 

Being profitable forgives everything.

Philip Portelli said:

Are we all missing the point? Being hot forgives everything? 

"I asked this question on FB a while ago, and got some interesting answers..."

So what was the consensus on Facebook?

As I recall, the consensus was that she does count as a hero now.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I asked this question on FB a while ago, and got some interesting answers..."

So what was the consensus on Facebook?

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