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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A "hero." Huh.

I think of her as an unethical psychologist.

Is that no longer part of her backstory? Joker's therapist? 

I gather that's all still there, but that she is seen to have reformed and gotten better.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

A "hero." Huh.

I think of her as an unethical psychologist.

Is that no longer part of her backstory? Joker's therapist? 

Captain Comics said:

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.

Although Harley is a more extreme case, this reminds me of their earlier transitioning of Catwoman into a hero.

If Wolverine and the Punisher can create a virtual path of dead bodies and still be called heroes, I guess so can Harley.

At least far as DC's marketing department cares, anyway.


Myself, I wish there was a bit more concern about those things.

But ultimately Harley's sort-of-face-turn seems to me to be to a large extent a result of her sympathetic portrayals in various motion media, starting with the Paul Dini Batman and more recently the live action movies, particularly Birds of Prey.

I realize it wouldn't be visually exciting, but maybe they should show Harley being treated for her mental illness in order to justify putting her crimes behind her.

Without the criminality, is there a character? Isn't she then just the Harlequin from the 1970s Teen Titans?

It's her story that makes her as popular as she is. If you take away her time being in an abusive and twisted relationship the Joker, she becomes a fairly uninteresting side character.

A lot of her popularity can be traced back to Arlene Sorkin's portrayal which injected her with some charisma, but without that particular backstory given to her by Paul Dini she is just another side character. Dini added touches that made her relatable to many women. 

Luke Blanchard said:

Without the criminality, is there a character? Isn't she then just the Harlequin from the 1970s Teen Titans?

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