Exploring The Sexuality Of Harley Quinn: Her Love Life In The Comics, Beyond The Joker And Poison Ivy

Whether it’s DC or Marvel, many superheroes have quite the love life — from Tony Stark the playboy billionaire to to Bruce Wayne’s more romantic affections, there’s always a few butterflies flying around in these guys’ stomaches. I guess that’s what a life of fighting crime — or committing it — leads you to. After all the action, who wouldn’t need some comfort in the arms of an understanding, like-minded significant other?

Even better than the steamy panels, however, is when , whether it’s a gay, bisexual or polyamorous character. It’s as much a great step towards the portrayal of all types of sexuality as it adds complexity to the stories to not have all the protagonists be involved in a heterosexual and exclusive type of deal.

Take Harley Quinn, who despite her hammer-wielding, evil-grinning tendencies, is the epitome of a bad girl in need of love. We all know about her obsession with the Joker, and how she became his sidekick before drowning into a toxic relationship based on abuse and manipulation. That should be what we’re mostly going to get in the upcoming Suicide Squad, for which we’ve been hearing plenty about .

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy / DC Comics

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy / DC Comics

Comic book fans will also be familiar with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s much healthier and sweeter couple, especially now that , an alternate universe in which Harley and Ivy fight in World War II. Poison Ivy has been a sort of remedy to Harley Quinn’s abusive relationship past, and Harley Quinn the first human that Poison Ivy really took a liking to. Benefits all round!

Harley Quinn’s Love Life Doesn’t Stop There

Harley Quinn needs love / DC Comics

Harley Quinn needs love / DC Comics

But even though her more serious relationships are a significant part of Harley Quinn’s personality, she’s also quite the flirty girl, and the many crushes she’s had throughout her comic book history consolidate her as the type of character who’s capable of being as flirty as she’s madly in love, as teasing as she’s in need of affection — proving that one’s sexuality doesn’t have to be set in stone.

Harley Quinn And Deadshot

Harley and Deadshot / DC Comics

Harley and Deadshot / DC Comics

She’s actually got a shot with Deadshot in the Suicide Squad comic and movie (and I’m not going to apologize for this pun). Will Smith, the actor who plays Deadshot in the upcoming film, told Collider that Deadshot was quite sensible to Harley’s charm:

“Harley is the biggest troublemaker, but Deadshot’s actually eyeballing her a little bit. There’s a pretty ragged romantic triangle there.”

In the Suicide Squad era of Harley’s life, however, she’s still very much influenced by the Joker: In the New 52 reboot, she tries to find him again even after hooking up with Deadshot a few times.

Harley Quinn And Wonder Woman

Variant cover for 'Harley’s Little Black Book #1' / DC Comics

Variant cover for ‘Harley’s Little Black Book #1’ / DC Comics

One of Harley’s best crushes is her obsession with Wonder Woman, which we got to explore in Harley’s Little Black Book.

'Harley’s Little Black Book' / DC Comics

‘Harley’s Little Black Book’ / DC Comics

They actually team up in a fight, and Harley’s eyes are just full of that admiration that anyone who’s had a big crush on someone really awesome or famous can relate to.

'Harley’s Little Black Book' / DC Comics
‘Harley’s Little Black Book’ / DC Comics

It even goes further than that when Harley points out that them exchanging outfits (Harley basically drugged Diana so that she’d be able to deal with their enemies herself, taking her costume) is like being “girlfriends.” We might not really be in crush territory anymore.

Harley Quinn loves Wonder Woman / DC Comics

Harley Quinn loves Wonder Woman / DC Comics

After all, she’s her number one fan, and the number of Wonder Woman gadgets she secretly keeps points to quite the obsession.

Harley Quinn And Batman

'Harley Quinn's Valentine Day Special' / DC Comics

‘Harley Quinn’s Valentine Day Special’ / DC Comics

Recently, DC Comics published a Valentine Day special for Harley Quinn… in which she goes on a date with Batman. That’s right, no one’s too brooding for Harley! Their relationship doesn’t go much further than that, but it’s fascinating to see these two establish some sort of bond considering their complicated history with that other acquaintance they have in common, the Joker.

Harley Quinn And Power Girl

Harley Quinn and Power Girl / DC Comics
Harley Quinn and Power Girl / DC Comics

Harley Quinn and Power Girl actually teamed up in a mini issue — she’s not to be confused with Supergirl, whom Harley merrily fights but doesn’t ever really get around to flirting with.

Harley Quinn and Power Girl / DC Comics
Harley Quinn and Power Girl / DC Comics

Similarly to her attitude with Wonder Woman, Harley’s fangirling quickly turns into actual flirting, although she’s very rarely successful with her targets.

While those sexy moments are far from reaching the depth that Harley Quinn and the Joker’s relationship has, or the romantic, soothing side of her time with Poison Ivy, their contribution to Harley’s story is essential. We still don’t see enough gay or bisexual characters in the comics, and same applies to monogamy. It’s so obvious that it might sound corny, but there are so many ways to fall in love out there — from a random crush to an unhealthy obsession, from being with one man to being with two girls to whatever floats your boat — that such a free-spirited figure as Harley Quinn is exactly what we need.

Did you know about all of Harley Quinn’s love interests? Which one is your favorite?

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