Harley Quinn: Suicide Squad and the Joy of the Most Loving and Loathing Comic Book Character of Our Time (Book) (Harper Design) is a bit like its title character: multi-faceted, complicated, and controversial. This beautiful hardcover book celebrates Harley Quinn’s legacy with illustrations from dozens of amazing artists throughout history including Patrick Nagel, Robert Williams, Minnie Mouse, and so many more.
But the fun of Harley Quinn is that no matter how hard you try, you can never quite pin her down. Her true self is always just one quip and a lobbed grenade away. She lives to sidestep your expectations and shatter your assumptions, and she’s like no other character in pop culture today. The Joy of Harley Quinn is a collection of essays and illustrations by some of comics’ top creators that ruminates on the joys and perils of this magnificent misfit.
Harley is a survivor, and we can take a very large cue from her. She is always entertaining—always finding the joy in each and every moment of her life—and even when she faces obstacles and obstacles and more obstacles, she doesn’t let it bring her down. She doesn’t give up. She keeps fighting, even when things get difficult. And that is one of the most valuable lessons we can pick up from Harley Quinn: that there is always something good at the end of every tunnel if only we let ourselves notice it.
Harley Quinn is just as joyful off the battlefield as she is on it. Responding to situations with a “whatever” attitude that makes you want to root for her no matter what, she has no problem using her charm to get what she wants. She may not be the most heroic of characters but her positive, happy vibes make people like her almost instantly.
Harley Quinn is unlike so many other fictional women, who are often portrayed as being victimized by the men in their lives. Instead, Harley is empowered by an overwhelming need to prove herself stronger than her boss, The Joker. She’s not involved in a love triangle with him—she’s his equal! He may have “rescued” her, but she doesn’t need rescuing. What’s more, Harley doesn’t need anybody. Harley Quinn says she has no one and she doesn’t need anyone.
Harley Quinn is one of the DC Universe’s best-loved characters, but she didn’t always enjoy the popularity she does now. Today, this delightfully insane antihero can be found gracing magazine covers and her own line of action figures, but before she became a household name, she enjoyed causing mayhem in the pages of Suicide Squad comics.
Let’s face it, no matter how much one loves their job, there are times when the day just seems too long. And that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to step away from the desk—out the door, even—and take a breath of fresh air. And if your office is in Antarctica, well, it helps to have a mind like Harley Quinn’s so you can turn an arctic storm into something beautiful.
Kill ‘Em With Kindness
Despite their many horrific qualities, the Suicide Squad team does have a variety of different motivations pushing them forward. The only thing linking them together is their willingness to fight and die for each other and what they believe in. Each member of the team has his or her own personality and backstory. And Harley Quinn is our emotional anchor as we learn this about this ragtag group of anti-heroes, as she brings compassion to the tough, rough Black Manta and works up the nerve to make a move on Deadshot.
Because she treats everyone like family, Harley Quinn holds nothing back when it comes to her love for other people. As seen throughout this issue, The Suicide Squad and the Joy of Harley Quinn is filled with moments that show how thrilling it can be to finally do the right thing.