My own humble opinion of the current Top Ten Harley stories of all time. Subject to change! ;)
10 : THE CODE
Whilst scouting out undamaged buildings for Mistah J during No Man's Land, Harley happens upon a book called The Code, claiming to be a guide to relationship success for the modern woman. Harley is distraught to discover she's been 'doing it wrong' and immediately begins to follow the rules, with the result that Joker begins to pursue her. Unfortunately, one of Joker's goons has taken a liking to Harley and Joker is none too pleased to find out about it...
One of the first Harley-oriented stories to come out after her debut into the mainstream, this adorably cute story is to die for! Watching the usually clingy and super-affectionate Harley play it cool gets the giggles going, and even better is seeing Mistah J's reaction as he shows up with flowers and asks Harley out to dinner (albeit saying she can cook for him), not to mention his possessive jealousy when Josh enters the picture. But naturally, Harley's heart is true and the only reason she's being so nonchalant is to gain Joker's attention. A great read!
9 : BATMAN: HARLEY QUINN
Poison Ivy finds a beat up Harley Quinn lying amidst the rubble in No Man's Land. Taking her back to her base in Robinson Park, she gets Harley to tell her the story of how she fell in love with The Joker, gave up everything for him, only to have him try to kill her! Ivy gives Harley a little extra zest, and our fave clown gal is out for revenge - both on the B-Man and her Puddin'!
Harley's debut to mainstream didn't let a single Harleyite down (to my knowledge!) The art is beautiful, the story glorious. By giving Harls a little extra edge suitable to her mainstream settings, the relationship between her and the darker, eviller mainstream Joker manages to work - espcially since in very much keeping with Mistah J, he tries to kill her because he's falling in love with her! HA! The story is funny and bittersweet - a classic Joker/Harley romp. They beat the crap out of each other, but a simple "sorry" is suffice to have them back in each others arms! Drawing inspiration from Mad Love and Harley and Ivy (Ivy makes an appearance, to everyone's delight!) the story gives Harley her niche in mainstream, remains true to the characters, and is a thoroughly satisfying read!
8 : GOTHAM ADVENTURES #10
Harley has once again been deemed sane and released from Arkham! Word is, she's gonna write a tell all novel about her years with The Joker. Needless to say, Mistah J ain't too pleased about that... but things aren't always what they seem, and Harley's "Harlequin" romance hurts his pride in more ways than one.
This is a really great, sympathetic Harley story. Here we see a "reformed" Harley, out and about and determined to live a life free of The Joker's love. But, secretly, beneath it all... she still longs for him! The story is really funny and yet bittersweet as well, especially when we see Harley's hurt at feeling unloved by Joker. There is some wonderful interaction between them. The final page is a heartbreaker. Oh and watch out for Joker's cheeky allusion to Harley & Ivy's much debated relationship! ;) Apart from that, we get one of those much desired stories - Harley working solo!! And even though she's not in costume this time around, she's still got her unmistakeable flair!
7 : JOKER'S FAVOUR
After having a bad day, poor shmoe Charlie Collins cusses Joker on the street. Joker agrees to spare his life if he promises to do him a favour one day. Joker calls on that favour in a dibaolical scheme to kill the entire G.C.P.D! Can Charlie save the day?
This is Harley's first appearance EVER! The story itself is very fun and cool, capturing the insanity of The Joker and how far he will go for a "joke". But it's major importance is that this is the episode that first introduced Harley to all of her oldest fans - the one where her personality, vivacity and wit was first blasted onto our brains. A collective "wow" went up from every HQ fan when this episode aired; it was their first taste of her and what was to come...
6 : BATMAN ADVENTURES #28
Joker devises a wicked scheme to make the city's councilmen temporarily insane and have them kill at Christmas. Harley's helping him in the guise of a male psychiatrist.However her passion for her Puddin' she cannot hide, and when she's revealed she takes a dose of that insanity formula... and is lost in her delusions.
While I've never really loved Mike Parobeck's art, I adore this book! The story is just so absolutely sweet, funny, smart and Harley! The sight of Harley kissing the Joker while she's disguised as a man is just priceless! Most of this book is just a wonderful exploration of Harley's obsessive love for Joker, but it has other cool moments too. The final page is terribly sweet (in a sick, twisted way...).
5 : BEWARE THE CREEPER
In a twist on Batman creating Joker, Joker creates the Creeper - who promptly rips Joker's act off and goes on a rampage on the city. Depressed and jealous, Joker sends Harley out after him and Creeper falls utterly in love with her. How can Harley make this bozo understand she's a one-clown woman? On top of that Joker's trying to annihilate him and Batman's trying to deal with three utter psychopaths loose in the city... oy vey!
"Wanna try my pie, Puddin"... this episode is worth it for that scene alone, a supremely sexy, cheeky, and very risque moment in Batman Animated history. The sight of Harley covered in banana cream pie musta done somethin to The Joker - he was just too irritated by that loser Creeper. It was wonderful to see Harley's ever steadfast devotion,and other aspects of her - like her willingness to kill if needs be. *sigh* It was just totally fun, cool, and quintessential Harley
4 : THE BATMAN AND ROBIN ADVENTURES #8
Ivy zaps Robin with her special lipstick and he's totally under her control.However, when he starts using his training to help them plan awesome heists, and Ivy begins paying far more attention to him than her supposed best friend, Harley gets super jealous and takes action... which she hopes will be lethal. However that dratted Bat steps in and once again foils their schemes!
This story is supremely cute and funny. It shows how jealous and protective Harley is for those she loves, and again shows she will attempt to take a life. Don't underestimate our Harls, she is as insane as any of them! I think everyone sees her as just a sweet enabler, but she's plenty unpredictable.Especially about her friends. It's great to see her relationship with Ivy expanded on some more here. They're such an awesome team! The art is also really lovely in this book.
3 : HARLEQUINADE
The Joker's stolen an A-bomb and the only way to find him is to use someone who thinks like him... you guessed it... Harley! She takes the B-man up and down and round and round before finally realising where her man is, and typically, she betrays Batsy and runs for her man. But in a twist, it looks as though her man has betrayed her, and so she helps B-man get the last laugh....before rushin back into Joker's arms.
This was Harley's first solo episode! The episode where much of the action was a result of Harley's presence. Harley was absolutely the star of this episode and it's a wonderful, fun and enjoyable show with too many golden Harley moments to list here. A real classic, Harley also looks gorgeous in this and is animated beautifully. It shows she can work by herself as a character,so important! Again, we get to see the extent of Harley's devotion to her Puddin', and some beautiful moments at the end where they cuddle. tee hee. This episode is another truly excellent one, which showcases Harley in all her glory!
2 : HARLEY AND IVY
Joker ain't happy with Harley! So he kicks her out. In a desperate attempt to win back his approval, Harley goes to steal the Harlequin Diamond and in doing so bumps into Poison Ivy. Ivy wants to awaken Harleys inner strength and self esteem so she takes her under her wing and the two go on a demented crime spree. When Joker hears about it he's none too happy, and tracks the two down to take back his Harley - and the goodies they've stolen! Once again that blasted Bat ruins everything...
This episode is just awesome in every respect! Definetely one of the best of the entire series it's fun, witty, insightful and gorgeous! It's got a series of perfectly hilarious moments, and the two girls look stunning, as does The Joker. The interplay between him and Harley, and Harley and Ivy is to die for. It's the episode where Harley and Ivy first make friends, so that's very important. It also examines in reasonably close detail the Joker and Harley's relationship and reveals... *tear*...that Joker really does need Harley! YAY! It's just an incredibly enjoyable watch.
1 : MAD LOVE (comic version)
Harley just wants to please her man! (in every way!) But she can't seem to do anthiny right. While lost in memories of how she fell in love with him, she gets the bright idea that if she kills The Batman - her Puddin' will see her true worth, know he loves her, and what's more - he'll be ready to get married and settle down! But things don't always work out the way you want them to,and killing The Batman is a privilege Joker reserves for himself...so the discovery of this scheme is enough to send him off the deep end... and Harley off a five story building.
This is the ultimate Harley story. Perfect script, perfect art, it tells us WHY Harley became Harley and shows us! Not only that, it really does have two storylines - (the flashback and the attempt on Batman's life) and it proves totally that The Joker is Harley's main motivation to crime and insanity.But it also shows Harley is smart and capable to think by herself and devise schemes - she'd just rather do it in the shadow of her Puddin'! It's wonderful to see some of Harley's background and the meeting scenes between her Joker are just to die for, to say nothing of her attempts to seduce him. If you only ever read one Harley story, make it this one! (and once you do, trust me, you'll be compelled to go after others! hee!)