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JackFetch

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I am not sure I have ever watched Mad Love all the way through and WOW is it dark. I can’t believe some of the stuff they got away with. Having Harley blame herself for not getting the joke is horrifying because it mirrors how abusers manipulate their victims.

While this episode is a critical part of the history of Harley Quinn’s character but I think the lasting legacy is overly toxic. In the decades since too many interpretations have almost glorified domestic violence. 

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I feel the recent turnaround with her character has moved away from that in a big way. Like originally, Harley's education wasn't anything noteworthy. The comic straight said that she slept her way through school and was only working at Arkham to get rich and famous. The current animated show depicts her past self as a complete professional who sees the Joker for what he is the whole time and cares for the well-being of the inmates.

Well, Ivy.

Which I had a problem with as there was a scene where Ivy was tearing guys apart with her vines, but when a guard used a flamethrower to get past them and subdue her, Harley yelled at him for abuse. That super-didn't play.

Bottom line, I think the discussion of how toxic the Joker and Harley's relationship has been more public and frequent in recent years, and as a result the character has been put over, sometimes aggressively, into the good camp where her abuse produces a heroic Harley instead of an equally criminally insane one. I liked how the BOP movie did it, as it kept Harley's character funny and silly while still realistically going through Joker withdrawals. 

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2 hours ago, Donomark said:

Like originally, Harley's education wasn't anything noteworthy. The comic straight said that she slept her way through school 

Wow. I didn't know about that, and it is bad. Demeans the character.

2 hours ago, Donomark said:

The current animated show depicts her past self as a complete professional who sees the Joker for what he is the whole time and cares for the well-being of the inmates.

I think they did that in Mad Love, too, because she had great compassion for the Joker due to his fictitious sob stories about his life and his abusive father. Mad Love also plays into Joker's past being multiple choice, which was done well in The Dark Knight.

2 hours ago, Donomark said:

Bottom line, I think the discussion of how toxic the Joker and Harley's relationship has been more public and frequent in recent years, and as a result the character has been put over, sometimes aggressively, into the good camp where her abuse produces a heroic Harley instead of an equally criminally insane one.

I think the Suicide Squad movie glorified the domestic violence aspect a too much.

Maybe I'm being overly touchy about this, but I know people who have been abused mentally and physically, and am really uncomfortable with any positive light on the relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn. That's probably unfair, I admit, and I am allowing real world issues to color my perception of the storylines I have seen. But it's difficult to objectively approach something like this.

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